Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Student Grade and Artist Grade Acrylic Paint? Which one is better for your needs? Does it worse to pay extra for artist grade? To get the answers, let’s take a look a little closer.
Let's Compare: Artist vs Student
For a start - What is Paint Grade? The concept of grade also applies to oil and watercolor paint. And by grade, we mean paint quality. That is why sometimes you can hear "artist quality" instead of "artist grade". Factors that determine the quality: pigment load (concentration of pigment), quality of a pigment, and quality of a binder.
Artist Grade Acrylic Paint
also known as Professional or Extra Fine Grade.
1. Contains a high load of finely meld pigment that is suspended in the best binders with a smooth consistency, which maintains the color intensity when blended with other paints or mediums.
2. Extra Fine grade paint is made of high-quality pigments which results in a vibrant, bright and rich colors, clear color mixing, and no color shift after drying.
3. This paint is designed to resist the impact of the environment, which prolongs painting lifetime.
4. Artist quality paints come in a wide range of colors and are more expensive compared to student paints because of the pigment purity and complex production process.
Student Grade Acrylic Paint
also known as Academic Grade, is a lower quality alternative to an artist grade paint.
1. It contains lower pigment load and lower quality of binder. This affects the paint color strength - when you mix it with other colors or mediums, the color intensity decreases significantly.
2. It has a lower grade of pigment or contains substitutes instead of original pigment. This means that the same color might look slightly different from the original. Also, student acrylics tend to shift to a darker shade once dry.
3. In addition, student acrylics usually come in a smaller color selection and are generally cheaper because of less-expensive formulas.
So which one?
Student Grade Acrylics are designed for painting beginners. They are great for learning and practicing new techniques. You can also use them for quick sketches, painting experiments, underpainting, and mixed media. So if you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to go with student grade.
However, as you develop your skills, I highly recommend you to switch to artist grade paint. You will notice a huge difference in the whole painting process, from paint blending and application to the vibrancy of colors and final look of your artwork. Overall, Artist Grade paints make painting so much more rewarding. You'll never know what you're missing till you try it...