We’ve talked a little about paint brushes and whether it’s important to use only top quality/expensive brands. Now it’s time to talk about paint, specifically whether quality is important.

And the answer is yes, definitely!

Unlike brushes where you can easily use different quality brands depending on what effect you’re after, paint really needs to be artist quality for good results and ease of use. Cheap, student brands really make your life more difficult than it’s worth and they don’t give you a real understanding of how paint works.

As you probably know, I use acrylics and absolutely love Derivan Matisse Flow paints! They’re an Australian company (another thing I love about them 🙂 ), there are oodles of colours to choose from and they mix and blend beautifully in the palette or on canvas. Some of the colours can be quite expensive, especially if you paint on large canvases and use lots at a time, but it truly is wonderful paint. I usually buy mine from Riot Art and Craft (in store), because they often have special deals on their paints, but most Australian art shops will probably stock them. Prices generally range from $8-$30 per 75ml tube, depending on which series they’re from.

paint really needs to be artist quality for good results

When I’m working on 12×16 inch canvases or larger, I often use Liquitex Basics for the background then switch to Matisse for the main subject and details. Even though the word “Basics” is in the title, these paints are really, really good! And much cheaper than Matisse, as much as I love them. You can also buy them at OfficeWorks (yay!!) and Lincraft for around $10 for a 118ml tube. And as far as I know, all the colours cost the same.

paint really needs to be artist quality for good results

There are lots and lots of really good paints out there, these are just the ones I’m using now. As with the brushes, try out as many as you like (and can afford), until you find the brand that works for you. 🙂 If you’re curious about comparing brands, just buy black, white and any colour in different brands and try painting similar subjects/styles in each and see how they go.

Also, when you find a brand you love, don’t feel as though you need to buy every single colour in the range straight away – that would be crazy expensive! Just buy a tube or two a week in the colours you like the most and you’ll soon have all you need. That’s how I did it. 🙂

Whatever brand you end up buying, just make sure your paint is artist quality – even if you’re starting out. It’s simply not worth using cheap brands if you’re serious about painting.

And if you like colours in different brands, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixing and matching them – provided they’re artist quality, of course. 😉

What’s your favourite brand of paint? 😀


Hi, I’m Kat! An Australian artist who loves painting fantasy characters and illustrations.


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