Studio Materials: Paint That I Use
The question I get asked the most by students and other painters is, "What type of paint do you use?" I only use professional quality acrylic paint because it is 100% pigment with no filler added. Also available are student grade paints, and nearly every paint manufacturer produces a line of student grade paint. Student grade paint is less expensive because it contains much less paint pigment and more filler. The colors are fairly muted and sometimes the paints don't mix very well.
How do you know whether to use student or professional grade paints? If you are just beginning to paint I would say purchase some student grade paint just to get a feel for the material. I would rather see a beginner purchase student grade paint and use a lot of it, rather than spend money on professional paint and hardly use any of it. The way I teach folks to paint is to use copious amounts of paint and really get it on the canvas. If the only way for you to do that is purchase student grade paints, then do that. If you decide to pursue painting further you may want to invest in better materials as you gain experience and confidence.
When I began painting in acrylics I used almost exclusively the Daniel Smith brand. They however, stopped making acrylic paint early in 2015 so I scrambled to test many other colors and brands before deciding on what I use today. I use three major brands of paint today: Nova Color Paint (California - manufacturer - they sell online but not in retail stores: www.novacolorpaint.com); Utrecht Artist's Acrylic Paint (made in Brooklyn, NY) and Golden Artist Colors (Berlin, NY; www.goldenpaints.com). You can Click Here to download a pdf of my color palette to see what colors I use from each manufacturer.
I always use paint in jars because I waste less paint. Any paint left on the palette after a painting session can be easily scooped up and placed back in the jars. If I use paint from a tube I waste lots of paint because once it's out of the tube, there is no putting it back in there. I always use more paint using jars too, because I can put lots of paint on my palette knowing that none of it will go to waste. You never want to be stingy with paint, so use a product that supports your desire to be successful.
My advice to beginning painters is to buy and experiment with many different paint brands to see what you like the best - that is the only way to know what you like and what will work best for you. That is what I did, and I know if will work for you. Have fun experimenting - I know it will make you a better painter!