What We Like
Dries super even
Bright, vibrant colors
What We Don't Like
Not great for layering
Some lines showed while dry
If you were to peek into the window of my apartment on this particular Sunday, you would have seen a dining room table buried underneath acrylic paint sets, brushes, paper towels, knit hand towels, mixed media paper, and a lone tote bag. My partner, Joe, and I were testing acrylic paint brands and having a total ball. Joe studied fine art in college, and I’m an avid tote bag painter, so you couldn’t have found a better couple for this job.
Next up was Golden, a brand Joe always wanted to try when he was a student but never got the chance to because of its slightly higher price point. (He was excited to finally get his chance.) This formula of acrylic paint is known for staying wet and workable for longer periods of time compared to other brands. Golden also has a program called Seconds, where mislabeled or damaged paint is given away to artists for free to cut down on product waste. We put our acrylic set through the test on both mixed media paper and a canvas tote bag. Find out what we thought of the company’s 10-piece High Flow Acrylic Paint Set.
Quality: Much better than you’d think
We were both super surprised by this set. The packaging boasted a few unexpected things—drip the paint directly on your paper! What!—but we were into the adventure.
The paint itself is incredibly thin. We’re talking thinner than some liquid watercolors. You would think that the paint would lose richness as it becomes thinner—which can happen—but did not with this particular formula. I was skeptical. I loaded up my paintbrush with every expectation that literally no paint would stick to the paper. I was very happily surprised. Not only did the paint stuck to the paper, but it dried incredibly opaque and deep in color.
You would think that the paint would lose quality as it becomes thinner, which can happen but did not with this particular formula.
All in all, the quality of this paint is much better than you’d think had you never heard of the brand or its reputation (I hadn’t). And I mean that in a truly complimentary way.
Quantity: A little goes a very long way
The ten plastic bottles that hold the paints are very, very small, at 1 ounce (or 30 milliliters) each. A too-hard squeeze of the container will send half of the bottle flying out, so be careful. It’s easy to use way too much of this paint in one go. The colors included in this particular set are: Burnt Sienna, Carbon Black, Quinacridone Magenta, Hansa Yellow Med, Quin/Nickel Azo Gold, Naphthol Red Light, Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, Ultra Blue, and Titanium White.
Blending: Stick to simple color mixes
Don’t expect your blends to be incredibly textured or full of body—painting with these acrylic colors is like filling in a section of paper with a marker. Stick to simple color mixes to avoid getting a muddy hue (a mistake I made a few times). I tried layering an orange mix on top of the Naphthol Red Light, and it didn’t go great. You could see the orange on top, but it looked more like a discoloration than an intentional layer of paint.
Don’t expect your blends to be incredibly textured or full of body.
Performance: Similar feeling to painting with watercolors
This paint dries incredibly fast—one of the major benefits of going acrylic. I accidentally dropped a towel on a flower I had painted two minutes earlier and … nothing happened. While the paint dries opaque, you can see some of the brush lines, which almost end up looking like marker lines. Also, the packaging says that you can apply this paint to your canvas directly from the bottle. I tried this, and I would not recommend it. Maybe I have shaky hands, and maybe I just pushed too much paint out of the bottle. Either way, one of my flowers no longer looks like a flower.
I was very surprised at the amount of coverage this paint offered. The thin nature of the formula is nice when you have paper with a bit of texture behind it, as the grain will come through. I also used this paint on watercolor paper, and the resulting texture was a real treat—the paper added a bit of dimension where the thin paint formula could not.
Color Richness: In your face
The Quinacridone Magenta in this set will slap you right in the face. These colors are not lacking in vibrancy. They also mix together quickly, given its viscosity, which is a bonus. The colors really soak into your paintbrush, though, which was a bit of a drag as I was cleaning them.
These colors are not lacking in vibrancy.
Price: On the expensive side
These paints lean a bit on the expensive side when it comes to acrylic paint set pricing at $35. It’s really more about the kind of paint you’re looking for: If you want to cover a lot of space and don’t care as much about color depth or dimension, you’re going to be fine with this set. Want to feel like you’re falling into the deepest part of the ocean and experiencing a world of blues in one bottle? Try a different (thicker) set of acrylics.
Competition: There are thicker paints out there
If you want to spend some real effort blending colors, opt for another paint set like the Winsor & Newton’s Galeria paint set or the more-expensive Professional Heavy Body set from Liquitex, both of which I also tested. These are both wonderful options for experimenting with homemade color combinations.
This set from Golden is more expensive than the Winsor & Newton option, which comes with 10 tubes that are twice the size of the Golden acrylic paint tubes. It’s also thicker and more flexible, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for those qualities in your acrylic paint.
- Product Name Golden
- Product Brand High Flow Acrylic Assorted 10-Color Set
- MPN GD953-0
- Price $35.00