Good old acrylic paints.
When I took my first painting class at UNT, the TA had us do two black and white paintings – one in acrylics and one in oils. That way we could test out the properties of each before buying a whole set of paints. I picked acrylics, mainly because I’m impatient and messy. And I like the fact that they clean up with water. That whole semester, several of the other students would pass by my easel and say “You look like you’re having fun.” I wasn’t quite sure what they meant, but looking back, I realize that it’s probably because I had paint all over me, as well as my canvases. I’m still like that.
Today I’m sorting through my acrylics to see what needs to be re-ordered. I’ve got several students, and right now they are all painting in acrylics. Funny thing is, now that I’m using encaustics more, I have to use oils because they are compatible with the wax. But I still use the acrylics in my mixed media journals and ATCs. And there are so many additives you can add in to play with the texture, dry time, consistency and transparency, that acrylics are still hard to beat. I used acrylics on the Emotional Landscapes and Domestics series on my web site, and as underpaintings on some of the art in my New Work Gallery.
I guess I’ve mainly stuck with the Liquitex brand, because that’s what I could get my hands on at a decent price at HMS Art Supply store there across from the art building. I like the Heavy Body line – they have good coverage and opacity. A lot of artists swear by Golden acrylics — I have some of theirs, too and really like the quality. And they have a ton of great mediums and additives. I use their glazing mediums to create deep layers of transparent color. I also keep a lot of Basics paint for my classes, as it’s more economical. (See my current classes at freshpaints.com/classes)
So, how about you? Do you use acrylics? Which ones are your favorites?