With all the art materials to choose, from why acrylics? And specifically, why heavy body acrylics?
As a professional artist for over 50 years, I am as excited about acrylic paint today as when I first purchased them at the age of 18.
When I found acrylic paint, it was new to the art market in the early 1960s. Here was a medium that had the texture and looks of oil paints, but with no odor, cleaned with water, and could be dried with a hairdryer.
But back then, art galleries would not take and hang an acrylic painting preferring oil paintings as that is all their customers knew.
I started then to find the best ways to use acrylics and try to mimic the brush strokes and texture of oil paints. Most artists were using them like flat watercolors.
Many of the techniques artists have learned in our Online Art Academy are exclusive "Cook" methods of layering and applying acrylics in an oil painting style developed over 50 years of painting with acrylics.
In the ensuing years, almost all of the significant paint manufacturers have developed a line of acrylic paints. The research and development in this beautiful medium have produced the most exquisite colors, pigments, textures, and ease of use.
With hopes of introducing more people to the ease of acrylic paints, the manufactures soon came out with cheaper versions of the medium. New art students were encouraged to try the so-called "student grades" of paint. Although more affordable, I have found that they do not cover as well, nor do they have the richness in color when compared to the professional heavy-body variety. With "student grade" paints, you will end up using more paint to achieve the same color as the professional paints.
As a professional artist and art teacher, I feel that the most effective brands are Golden, Holbein, Matisse, and Liquitex acrylics in the heavy body varieties. The whites cover with the first try; the colors are vibrant, permanent, rich in pigment, and do not fade over time.