Because of issues with my research that prevent me from doing much work on it at the moment, I decided to go on a shopping trip into the city the other day. Naturally art shops were at the top of my list of destinations, and since Melbourne Artists’ Supplies wasn’t far from the train station, I headed there first. Though I can comfortably buy pretty much anything I want online from the comfort of my own home, I do love being able to wander along aisles of art supplies, looking at all the colourful tubes and bottles of paint and trying (and usually failing) to talk myself out of buying them all. The only nearby art shop (Riot Art and Craft) has a pretty dismal selection, even more so now that they don’t appear to carry more than one or two brands of watercolours and acrylics anymore, and the shop near my Dad’s work (in addition to being a good 45 minute drive away) has a good range but is in a dingy, dark warehouse. I happily wandered around Melbourne Artists’ Supplies for half an hour and eventually came across the Golden acrylics.
Golden are a brand I have heard many good things about, but every time I’ve seen them online, they’ve always been significantly more expensive than most other brands, especially for their Heavy Body and Open formulas. However, the Fluid acrylics were available in little 30 ml bottles, and since I don’t have any truly fluid acrylics – and I still had some of my birthday money burning a hole in my pocket – I decided these small bottles were cheap enough that I’d try some.
Here are my swatches for the five colours I purchased.
If you’ve used acrylics like Jo Sonja’s and other similar paints typically used in folk art, the consistency of the Golden Fluid acrylics is very similar; as the name suggests, they are runny, so you can’t use them for impasto applications or get really textured brush strokes in them. It doesn’t take much water to thin them down to an inky consistency, so if you primarily like using acrylics for watercolour-esque (ie. transparent) applications, fluid acrylics would be a better choice than the more buttery acrylics found in tubes.
In terms of price, Golden Fluid Acrylics are pretty dear compared to other fluid acrylics (not surprising as Golden seem to be quite expensive in general). They’re a lot more expensive than both the Atelier Free Flow acrylics and the Jo Sonja’s acrylics, with 30ml bottles ranging from about $9-15. In terms of pigment concentration, they don’t seem to be significantly better than other fluid acrylics, which makes me think the higher price probably isn’t worth it (I haven’t tried their Open or Heavy Body acrylics so maybe those are better compared to other paints in their class).
Golden Acrylics are another brand that includes a swatch of the actual paint on the container, so you can see exactly what the colour looks like. In addition to including pigment information (the pigment names as well as the pigment numbers), Golden paints also include some handy little graphs showing their transparency, glossiness, body and tinting strength. This is useful when you’re buying the paints in store and want to know how it will look in your work.
Here’s a little landscape painting I did with my Golden Fluid Acrylics.
Golden Fluid Acrylics are really nice to use, but I think there are plenty of other paints out there that do the same job for a lot less money. You would probably be better off using either the Jo Sonja or Atelier Flow acrylics (both fluid like these ones).