What We Like
Two tubes of Titanium White
Smooth, full-bodied colors
Great for layering colors
What We Don't Like
Fully blending colors is a practice in patience
Super-thick formula; you need to add water
Some colors are too dark and rich out of the tube
I am a big acrylic paint fan. I use it to paint on the many canvas tote bags I’ve accumulated from working in the media industry—my way of adding a bit of personality to an item everyone seems to have. Combine that with the fact that my partner, Joe, studied fine art in college, and it’s not entirely uncommon to see our dining room table covered in paint, brushes, and mixed media paper on a Sunday afternoon. On this particular weekend, we had a task: Test out acrylic paints from different brands, including Liquitex.
I’m not going to lie, we had a great time doing this work—especially when it came to the brand’s 12-tube Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint Set. I broke down everything you’ll want to know about this pack of paints, from the quality and quantity to the color richness and performance.
Quality: Thick and vibrant
The paints in the Liquitex set are super thick, as acrylic paint tends to be. Acrylic paint contains pigment particles and acrylic polymer emulsion. They’re water-based and water-soluble. In fact, you’ll want to add some water to these to make them a bit more manageable. You can tell Liquitex’s acrylic paint has staying power from the moment it’s out of the tube—each color comes out impossibly dark, and it’s not until it hits the paper or canvas that you really get to see what each hue looks like.
The blue in this set is the most brilliant blue I’ve ever seen.
Once dry (and they do dry quickly), the acrylic is flexible on the canvas tote. You can bend the bag around a bit without the paint cracking or flaking off. On paper, it finished matte and deep in color.
Quantity: Add water
As indicated above, this paint won’t go far without water. The set comes with 12 59-milliliter tubes of paint, which is more than enough to get all of the hues you’d ever want: yellow light hansa, naphthol red light, quinacridone magenta, ivory black, emerald green, phthalocyanine green (blue shade), phthalocyanine blue (green shade), brilliant blue, bronze yellow, dioxazine purple, and two tubes of titanium white. (Liquitex's heavy-body acrylic paints also come in sets of 6 59-milliliter tubes, 12 22-milliliter tubes, and 7 22-milliliter tubes.) Having two tubes of white in the set is an extra nice touch, and you will definitely want to be blending these paints. Speaking of blending and mixing...
Blending: Be patient
My experience mixing and blending paint is minimal: Unless I really feel the need to mix up the primary colors, I’ll usually stick to adding a few drops of white to brighten each hue and call it a day. But one of the most exciting aspects of this paint set was the ease in which I could mix and layer on the colors.
These colors mix really nicely, but it does take a bit of patience. The comparable Winsor & Newton acrylic paint set, which I also tested, mixes equally well, but it does come together a bit quicker. The wait for the Liquitex is worth it: Your work will be rewarded with smooth, glossy pools of paint in vibrant colors. Feel free to add a few color dimensions: While some paints can’t handle complicated blends, this thick formula can handle a funky palette.
Performance: Quick-drying and cleans easily
Liquitex acrylic paints can be used on a ton of surfaces, from paper and canvas to wood and glass. When dry, the product listing boasts that the paint is “non-yellowing, UV-resistant, water-resistant, and pH-neutral.” Since painting and leaving our test artwork unprotected for a few months, I can confirm the color permanence is still going strong—we haven’t seen any yellowing across the color spectrum.
The paint doesn’t fall into the paper and retains its peaked shape when manipulated.
If you lay this paint on thick, your palette knife or brush marks will be visible. The paint doesn’t fall into the paper and retains its peaked shape when manipulated. I found this the easiest of the acrylic paints to clean off of my brushes and palette. The paint didn’t quite soak into the brush bristles and wiped off of my palette quickly and easily.
One of the nicest things about this set is the lack of scent. Acrylic paint can adopt a rotten egg scent if it’s been left out too long, but there was none of that with the paint from Liquitex—which is great, considering the brand markets the set as “low-odor.” If you stick your nose directly in the paint, you’ll get a sense of the funky potential this paint has, but you’ll get that with other similar sets as well.
Color Richness: The most beautiful blue I’ve ever seen
The blue in this set is, in fact, the most brilliant blue I’ve ever seen. I added a touch of white to make it pop a little bit more, and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks on paper. It’s a deep, sky blue—the kind you see in the intro sequence of The Simpsons. The more water you add, the lighter and more matte the color gets.
The darker hues like emerald green and dioxazine purple will need a bit of water or a dollop of white to show what they’re really made of. The color in each paint is made up of very small reinforced ceramic beads, which helps disperse the hue across the painting space. It also helps keep the paint strong and tight to its surface.
Price: On the pricier end
This paint set is on the pricier side of the spectrum for 12 2-ounce tubes of acrylic. What you have to remember is that you’re supposed to add a bit of water to the paint, which automatically stretches it a bit further. You don’t need to pour out a ton for a small project space.
Competition: There are cheaper options with comparable quality
There are cheaper paints with a comparable level of quality. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, Winsor & Newton has a set of 10 2-ounce tubes that will cost you about $27. If blending is what you’re after, steer clear of thinner paints like Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint Set. The colors do mix together relatively well, but it can be tough to layer colors on top of each other given the thinness of the liquid.
- Product Name Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint Classic Set
- Product Brand Liquitex
- MPN 3699312
- Price $40.00