Sunday, March 3, 2013

Golden Heavy Body Artist's Acrylic Paint; An Artist's Review

A close up of "Tree in the Wind" created with Golden Artist Colors
With the exception of one tube of Golden Artist Color acrylic paint, I have always opted, in the store, for the less expensive brands of acrylic paints. However, I have been disappointed with many of the less expensive options.

As I was throwing out chunky and separated paints that I simply didn't want to have to mix and mash before using, I came across that one tube of Golden paint; it was as smooth as the first day I used it. Suspecting, but not knowing, whether or not the cost versus quality quotient would make a difference, I wrote to Golden to request a sample for testing. I was pleasantly surprised. Golden shipped not only a set of six Heavy Body Acrylics from New York for me to test, but a set of six Gel Mediums and Pastes, as well.

Because of the variety of samples shipped to me, I was able to test these materials in a "studio" test and use them, at hand, while completing a painting. I was also able to test the paints' use in conjunction with the Golden mediums. Beyond the selling points listed in their literature, Golden's Heavy Body Acrylics have competitive advantages over other acrylic paint brands.

An Introductory Set of Six

Golden Acrylic Artists Gels and Paints
I received a set of six paints, including Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Magenta, Titanium White, Carbon Black, Phthalo Green (Blue Shade), and a Heavy Body Application Guide. With this set, an innumerable number of other colors can be created. As for innumerable textures, I tested these paints in conjunction with Light Molding Paste, Clear Tar Gel, and Coarse Pumice Gel.

According to statements in the supplemental materials and on the tubes of paint, themselves, Golden Artist Colors Heavy Body Acrylics can be used right out of the tube, or they can be mixed with water or a variety of mediums. This series "contains the largest assortment of unique pure pigments in a 100% acrylic emulsion vehicle available to the professional artist," according to the Web site. They go on to say that the paints "offer excellent permanency and lightfastness. There are no fillers, extenders, opacifiers, toners, or dyes added."

The purchase of this set makes it exceptionally easy for a new painter to get started or a more experienced painter to replace core colors without having to worry about long-term fading of color that happens with less expensive acrylic options.

Using Golden's Heavy Body Acrylics

Of all of the selling points listed in the literature, the one most important to an artist's immediate use is the "smooth, thick buttery consistency." The first thing I noticed when using these paints out of the tube was how far they spread on the canvas. Whereas I am used to a dime-sized amount covering about nine square inches, this paint covered approximately fifteen to eighteen square inches. It did not get dry or sticky before I was though covering the desired area. Once applied, though, it did dry quickly, which was fine for this purpose.

The paint was also easy to blend, both with the gel medium and paste, and with other hues. Mixed with the gel medium, it dried more slowly. Mixed with water, the color became very fluid, and I was able to spread a consistent amount of pigment across the surface. It worked well applied by brush, by palate knife, off the palate, and mixed on the canvas.

Furthermore, the Golden Artist Color Heavy Body Acrylics are well packaged. It's easy to squeeze from the tube, and the tube works to "retract" the paint for a clean cap thread. There are hand-painted samples on the front of every tube, so artists can see the dried color before purchasing the paint. The back of the tube offers easy-to-read information as continuum scales for "Transparent versus Opaque," "Matte versus Glass," "Thin versus Thick," and "Low Tinting versus High Tinting." With this information, both beginners and experienced painters can choose the products they want and need.

Competitive Advantages of Golden Paints and Mediums

Golden Heavy Body Acrylics have a clear competitive edge over other brands of acrylic paint. Even when purchased at the same time as paints I have had to throw away, this paint remains smooth. It spreads and mixes more fluidly and evenly than others, and information about the paint is readily available on the packaging. These paints, made in the USA by an employee-owned company, are well worth the purchase price.


Golden Artist Colors, Inc. (n.d.). Golden Artist Colors Products. [Web site]. Retrieved from

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