Right now, I don’t feel like my work is worth buying better paint for, so I am using student grade paint. It’s unsatisfactory, but it gets me by. Currently, I am using Liquitex Basics, which are a few steps above the Artist’s Loft paints one might find at Michael’s (but only a dollar more!!). I have some Artist’s Loft gesso, and it goes on like Elmer’s glue until you water it down. I think I would be better off using leftover primer. I also have some decent gesso, but it’s the last of Beau’s and I feel guilty using it up!
Basics are okay. I had some large tubes and managed to kick out some work with just six colors plus black and white, and there is a surprising amount of freedom in staying with a simple palette. It’s fun to learn to mix colors, particularly when you learn to mix the color you desire. One of the greatest tips I found was that each shade has a specific color bias — like some reds lean more toward blue, and some more toward yellow. Also, that paint colors get their names from the process used to create them. Also…
Purple is a bitch to mix. If you look at basic color theory, it shouldn’t be, but it is. A bitch. Green too. Unless you are using the proper hues/shades/tones/whatever, you get muck, or murk. It’s very disappointing when it happens, but that’s why you have the internet–because hundreds of artists in the world want you to have knowledge and ability to create your own masterpieces!! Whenever I need advice on glazing? Internet. How to mix a nice skin tone? Internet.
Internet does not take the place of a good live teacher, but it gets you by… like cheap paints. As I was saying, Basics are okay, but they’re not Golden, which are my preferred brand. Years ago, I dated an artist who had the money to buy Goldens. He let me use them sometimes. They are delicious!
I have had decent success with the Basics though. Below is one of the paintings I did after my mom got me this starter set with a fuck-ton of colors in it. They are just tiny little tubes, but I use a color extender (Windsor & Newton) and get a LOT out of pea sized applications.