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Three Types of Acrylic Paint - What is the difference between thin and thick acrylic paint?

Types of acrylic - heavy body



Any creative person may discover the ideal tool for the job thanks to the enormous selection of acrylic paints available on the market. But it might be confusing to know which acrylic paint to use with so many different brands and varieties available.  Art to Art carries a large variety of different acrylic paints, this article seeks to describe the three basic types of acrylic and the advantages and applications of each.




  • Heavy Body Acrylics
  • Soft Body Acrylics
  • Fluid Acrylics




types of acrylic paint - heavy body



Heavy Body Acrylics


Our acrylic paints with a hefty body have a thick, buttery substance. They retain their brushstrokes well and have superb colour intensity. They excel at textured painting and impasto methods.


We stock the heavy body acrylic paint brands Golden Heavy Body, Matisse Structure, and Mont Marte Dimension.


Additionally, we stock Atelier Interactive and Golden Open. These acrylic paints have a unique quality that makes them ideal for blending wet-on-wet for flesh tones and gradients on the canvas. They are heavy body paints with a delayed drying time. All acrylic brands we stock can interact perfectly with each other, besides Atelier Interactive and Golden Open. They use two different slow-drying properties and they do not play well together.


However, some mediums, like Atelier Thin Medium, can be used to thin heavy body acrylics so they become soft body and high-flow acrylics. Water can be used as well; however, water can disrupt surface qualities and longevity.




Types of Acrylic - soft


Soft Body Acrylics


As the name implies, our soft body acrylics are much softer and thinner in substance while still carrying a significant pigment load. These are fantastic if you want to make paintings that are flatter, blended, or smoother. Soft bodied acrylic paints are a great place to start if you have never painted before.

Our large stock selection of soft body acrylic includes Golden Fluid, Matisse Flow, Amsterdam Acrylic, Jo Sonja, and Mont Marte Satin.


Additionally, you can thicken soft body paints with gel mediums like Matisse Gloss Gel Medium if you think that they are too thin for your taste. An airbrush medium like Matisse Surface Tension Breaker can help thin paints to their thinnest if you discover that they are too thick and that you desire something even thinner (for airbrush painting or glazes). Always follow the ratio recommendations on the bottle for the best results.



types of acrylic - fluid


Fluid Acrylic

Fluid acrylic paints offer the lowest viscosity and an amazing pigment load. They are extremely thin but nevertheless retain their pigment contents, and their consistency is comparable to that of skim milk. They make the ideal paint pouring and airbrush painting partners. Additionally, they can be used to paint with thin layers and even to apply light glazes. 


The fluid acrylic ranges we stock are Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint and Matisse Fluid.








Where should I begin while painting with acrylic?


We carry several paint sets that are excellent starting points for novices.

The Mont Marte Satin Acrylic Primary Set can be a fantastic place to start for people looking for an affordable set to play with.

The Golden Heavy Body Professional Acrylic Set is the ideal location to start your collection for individuals looking to invest in professional quality paint with highly pigmented colours, bright colour mixing, and reduced likelihood to appear muddy or grey.




What acrylic brands are the cheapest?


Mont Marte are the most affordable brand we stock; they are known for having wide colour selections and surprisingly good value.

I have used Mont Marte weekly for years for running painting workshops. They are a great paint for the price point, their biggest weakness is the yellows often need a second coat.  But if you’re just starting or if you’re on a budget, Mont Marte is a great option.

We offer Mont Marte in all three types of acrylic paint.



What is the best brand of acrylic?


The best brands we carry are Golden and Matisse; they are equivalent to one another and provide high-quality pigment and colour loading.


Golden is American-owned, and their colours selection includes traditional painting colours as well as bright, vibrant, modern colour ranges. While Matisse is Australian-Owned and in addition to traditional colour profiles, they also have significant colour selections celebrating the Australian landscape. Despite its French name, Matisse is perfect for Australian landscape painting.


I frequently combine Golden and Matisse in the same paintings in my own art practice. I adore their vibrant colours and versatility.




What is the best practice for thinning thick body paints?


As previously noted, you can alter the paint's thickness with mediums or water. The most convenient and affordable option is frequently water. However, they might affect how long the paint lasts. To maintain the structural integrity of the paint, do not use more than 30% water to 70% paint.


The best approach is to use mediums or a mixture of medium and water; for optimal results, always follow the instructions on the medium bottle.



Your one-stop shop for art supplies 


And there you have it, The three types of acrylic paint on the market, additionally we also stock Acrylic Gouaches, Inks and Acrylic Paint Pens – But that is a story for another day. At Art to Art, we have a wide selection of art supplies to choose from, including oil paints, varnish brushes, colour pencil sets and so much more!  Upgrade your collection today and experience the quality! Free shipping on orders over $100. Same day, Dispatch Australia-wide. Before you go, don’t forget to check out our collection of markers, paint pens and drawing accessories



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