Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Blick Matte Acrylics

I've done several posts over the years about my favorite art supplies. I thought I'd post about the acrylics I've been using for the past two years. I am not a fan of inexpensive acrylics found at the craft stores. They often contain more binder (glue) than paint. This produces not only unwanted effects but it can also cause your pages to stick together when the paint is applied too thick. Call me a paint snob, but I never could do what I wanted with them.

One day I was at Blick buying supplies for a class and I came upon a new display, Blick Matte Acrylics. They were priced at about $2 each. I usually paint with transparent, gloss acrylics but thought that these would be worth a try especially with the new direction that I wanted to take my collage work. I bought white, aqua, brilliant magenta, yellow bright, dark blue deep, dark blue light, off white, red deep and black. I took them home to play and they quickly became my core colors. 

I like the Blick Matte Acrylics because they are also opaque and they cover and layer beautifully. Sometimes I combine them with better quality acrylics (Nova and Holbein) for rich, deep layers. I like how I can apply them to my collage papers and get different looks depending upon how I apply them.

One major problem I have found with the acrylics is quality control. Sometimes I will open the bottles and the paints smell something awful (I apologize when this happens to my students.) It doesn't happen often to me and I am lucky that when it does, I bring the guilty paints back to Blick and they exchange them.

For $2 a bottle (or less when they go on sale), you can't go wrong. I do mix my own secondary colors (orange, purple, green, I am talking about you.) I also just realized the photo of my color palette is missing brown, which is another of my favorite colors to layer with. I love playing with layers to create new looks. 

Have you tried these paints? What do you think?

2020 UPDATE: I've been using these acrylics for several years now. I'm about to stop. They've switched to a harder plastic, which makes it more difficult to squeeze the bottles. Even more concerning, I've noticed that the yellows have a tendency to change consistency, becoming cottage cheese like. Both the yellow bright and yellow deep have done this to me, multiple batches (I've checked the serial numbers on the side.) This is incredibly frustrating as someone who buys paints in volumes for her workshops. For my workshops, I will eventually be switching to Utrecht brand. I also use Holbein, Sennelier and Nova Paint as well.

Favorite Art Supplies
Favorite Acrylics and Tips on Using Acrylics


Unknown said...

Ok, now I'm off to buy Blick paint. Everything you've recommended has been so fabulous. You should see my pen box, it won't close anymore because there are so many in there! Sorry to nag, but are you still thinking about putting together ephemera grab bags? :)

Curiouser Alice said...

Thank you for this post!! I have seen the Blick Matte Acrylics on their website, but didn't want to order them on the off chance I'd like them (sending back stuff is a pain, versus just taking stuff back to their store, which I don't have). And now it's on my wish list!! I love your reviews - they help so much.

Unknown said...

Great post. Thank you so much for mentioning the smelly paint phenomenon. I have experienced this, too. It’s rare but horrible. It happened to me with Green Blue Medium. I alerted my local Blick to the issue. These are packaged in such a way that I’ve found I can tell which are smelly without opening them. When you take the cap off , the paint is sealed with a little round sealer plastic cover. So the paint is still sealed but f you try smelling without removing the little bottle sealer thing, you can tell whether it’s a smelly bottle or not. This is my method now, any time I wish to buy this paint. Hope this helps you and your readers! It’s a great buy! As long as we avoid the random smelly paint bottles!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the update on the Blick paints! Very helpful information. Thank you!