What brand of acrylic paints?

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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 2:06 am
I'm starting to get sort of into acrylic painting as a hobby, but I'm getting frustrated with the colors and quality of the paints I've been using. Granted, I bought cheap paints, because I wasn't going to invest a lot before knowing what I was doing at all, especially since I don't have a lot of cash to spare on hobbies and because I have a tendency to buy waaaaaay more art materials than I end up using. But now that I'm trying to spend a little more time creating a little better art, I'd like to know what's actually worth using.

I tried I think 4 different brands/types of paint, all of the Michael's or Walmart brands. One set of 12 little tubes that were quite nice to work with but the colors seemed a little dull. One set of the cheap craft type paints that come in bottles that actually did nice colors but didn't lay on so evenly, you'd still see through the color in spots and trying to make more layers didn't really help that much. One set of individually purchased larger tubes of what was supposedly a better "level" of Michael's paint, which had its merits but got major thumbs down when I tried to mix two PRIMARY colors and ended up with a grayish color Exploding anger It was also a little too gloopy in texture for me. Another set of the cheap craft type paints that was better on the opacity but not as good on the colors.

So before I start anything new, what paint should I buy, preferably without spending too much?
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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 7:42 am
Following, as I'm looking for paints for my kids.
Please also mention what's considered a more or less good price.
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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 7:50 am
I saw someone review paint sets on amazon and said to try gumbacher. I have never tried them myself.
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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 8:40 am
Are you looking for looser or thicker paints? I personally have has success with some of the Michael's paints, but most of these are the thicker kind.
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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 9:27 am
In Between, I think, though I haven't been at it long enough to develop a preference. Which Michael's paint do you use? I haven't been happy with the colors. One set they all looked kind of dull, and the individual ones I bought the primaries looked nice on their own but when mixing you could tell something was seriously off. One brand made orange and green fine but made mud instead of purple. The other brand made purple fine but made peach instead of orange. The Wal-Mart brand made all the colors nicely but frustratingly lacked good coverage.
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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 10:06 am
Gumbacher is a good brand. I am not a painter myself, so I can't give specific advice. But I did go to art school and have a lot of painter friends, so I have general advice:

In general, the more you spend, the better quality paint you get. But each painter has his own preferences as to viscosity, hue, etc, so there is no standard "best" paint. I have an oil painter friend whose favorite paint was the cheapest one that no one else could stand using:) As frustrating as it seems, you are going to have to try different ones to find your favorite.

There are also a lot of things ("mediums") you can add to paints to change the viscosity, etc. -- like matte medium. It's been way too long since they made me study painting to remember more, sorry:)

As for color, I wonder if you ever learned any color theory? In "real" painting, there is no such thing as just "primary." Each primary comes in a warm and cool. If you mix a warm blue with a cool red, you will get a purpleish brown. I took two classes just about mixing colors! You might do well to take a class yourself, or at least invest in a book:)

You should also consider going to an art store with knowledgable staff who can help you figure out a few things before buying. Unfortinately, since Pearl Paint closed, I am not sure what store to send you to. Some Dick Blick's may have useful staff. You could call ahead, and ask if they have anyone who knows about acrylic paints.

I hope that was somewhat helpful!
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Post  Mon, Dec 04 2017, 11:28 am
I know, I miss Pearl Paint so much :'( I loved that place. And you could try almost anything before buying, like pencils, markers, and pastels, which is really helpful because most art students can't afford to keep buying sets of expensive materials until they find what works for them. I don't know of any other store like that. And you could start to feel creative just by figuratively rubbing shoulders with the kinds of people frequenting the place. OK, that's what you get for triggering a memory lane trip.

Anyway, yes I have learned all about color theory. The problem with theory is putting it into practice. I can't tell a warm from a cool of the same color unless it's boiling hot or ice cold. I would listen to the teachers in art or design classes talk about "warm red" and "cool red" and could repeat everything they said about it but still have no idea what they were talking about. Sometimes you get a set of paints that's labeled clearly enough that you can follow a guideline - "This is ultramarine blue. It is cold. This is phthalo blue. It is warm." But then I wanted to try just a few of the supposedly-slightly-better Michael's paints so I bought the ones that were sold together - "Brilliant blue" "Brilliant red" and "Brilliant yellow." And I have no idea whether they're warm or cool but plain blue+red made gray. As for the other ones, I don't know if it's a warm/cool problem, but if yellow+red = peach, that suggests that there's white hiding in there somewhere. It was LIGHT peach. The red looked red and the yellow looked yellow, but together they were pale. It's weird! The other set, where I said the colors looked dull, I mostly wasn't mixing colors. That came with 12 different hues and I did a little mixing but mostly just used them either plain or with white. So if they weren't bright, it wasn't because I was mixing the wrong temperatures.

I'm not just going to buy expensive paints in the hope of getting it right, because I just don't have the budget for it, and I'm more of a dabbler. I'm not going to sell these paintings. It's not worth the investment. Still, even as an occasional amateur hobbyist, I do't want to waste my time on reds and blues that make gray. (the painting I'm working on now, I'm using the Michael's artist loft red and yellow for all my oranges, and the craft smart red and blue for all my purples. It's a little clumsy but that's what I have...)
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