As an artist I have used all sorts of acrylic paint ranging from the basic thin acrylic paint to the more expensive strong coat paint such as Golden. Most of the acrylic paint I use has been cheaper acrylic paint - it gets the job done just as well as the more costly professional acrylics.
There are some differences between the more affordable and expensive acrylic paints, like buoyancy, but overall some more affordable acrylic paints can still get the job done just as well as the more expensive professional acrylic paints. If you are a student or novice, buying affordable acrylics will be your best choice, especially when you are developing your painting skills.
Personally, most of the acrylics I use is very affordable. I paint with a palette knife and the main thing that I want any of my paints to have, whether cheap or expensive, is good pigment and to be thick enough to create some great textures. When I paint I like to layer my paint over my surface using the palette knife, sort of like layering icing on a cake, and most of the cheaper acrylics allow me to do that. I could buy acrylic paint that you see at places like Walmart - the ones that are in the small cylinder tubes. Those acrylics are just too thin to paint with - they are for crafts only.
For artists that want to paint on a canvas or hard surface I would suggest getting paint from your local art supply store or online like at Dick Blick or Mister Art; both of those retailers have all brands of paints at affordable prices. Before you start buying acrylics here are some brands of cheaper acrylic paint that are available.
One of my favorite acrylics is Liquitex Basic - it has been around for a long time. What I like about Liquitex Basic acrylic paint the most is that you get a lot of paint in their tubes and if you are close to running out in a particular color you can easily cut the bottom of the tube with scissors and get the remainder of the paint from the tube.
The paint is nice and thick and you can easily add different mediums to change the consistency of the paint. I use Liquitex Basic acrylic paint all the time and find it offers among one of the best for the values on the market. I would recommend Liquitex Basic acrylic paint to anyone using a fair amount of paint in whatever art they create.
A2 Chrome Acrylic Paint
A2 Art Students' Acrylics are another specially designed acrylics for the needs of students, beginners or hobby painters who wish to avoid the expense of buying artists colors, especially during the earlier stages when they are learning how to handle paint. A2 acrylic paint has not been around along as Liquitex's Basic yet still provides the same pigment and consistency as any other professional paint.
A2 derives from the popular brand Atelier, which I have used well. A2 is a little thinner than Liquitex's Basic but it's just as effective. A2 and Liquitex's Basic are similar in a lot of ways, but a little different in body and pigment.
Depending on where you purchase A2 Chrome, you may be able to get it for a lower price than Liquitex's Basic and you will not spend over six dollars for a four ounce tube. I encourage you to try both and see which one you like more.
Chromacyl's Acrylic Essentials
Chromacyl's Acrylic Essentials is the thinnest of the three paints. I know of a lot of artist who add different mediums like molding paste or heavy body gel to enhance the paint.
I really haven't used this brand of paint. I just know that it is thinner and great for creating loose painting and adding appliqu to a surface, sort of like Jackson Pollock. Many school teachers use Chromacyl acrylics for their students, but well known artists use it too.
As with the other two acrylics, it depends on what you are trying to do with your painting. Chromacyl's Acrylic Essentials were developed for the middle school teacher because it has good solubility, intense color, and rich consistency for painting, printing, and sculptures. As an artist you can use Chromacyl's Acrylic Essentials for the same reason - just keep in mind that it is a little thinner than other acrylic brands I mentioned earlier.
All three bands are all great and affordable to use for your paintings whether you are a student, beginner artist or professional. I would suggest that you test them to see what works for you.
I use a palette knife with Liqutex's Basic and Chroma A2 when I might use a more expensive acrylic paint. I add different mediums to these two brands to make the paint thicker and more pliable like Golden or Liquetex's Professional Acrylic Paint, but both paints still work just fine with what I'm trying to do with my palette knife. I'm still able to make nice textures and bold strokes with the Liqutex's Basic and Chroma's A2.
If you are looking for some great paints that are inexpensive, I encourage you to try the three that I mentioned in this article. There are several others out there but I have found these three brands work well for me and for my other artist friends.
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