Student-Grade vs Artist-Grade




There are two grades of acrylic paint available on the market …

artist quality and student quality.  A key important thing to understand is the differences between the two:


Artist Quality Acrylic Paint 

Limited color shift.

Varied price range.

Highest pigment levels.

Widest choice of color.

Student Quality Acrylic Paint 

Good for large scale painting and under-painting.

Less paint coverage.

Greater color shift.

More affordable price range.



Paint pigments can get pretty expensive. Manufacturers group colors into price bands based on the amount of raw material in the paint. Prices are also based on what the raw material is.

Artist quality paints are split into series … e.g. Series 1, Series 2.  The higher the letter  the more expensive the paint. Burnt umber is a relatively inexpensive raw material so it is a series 1, the cheapest price. Cadmium red is expensive so it is a series 9, the highest price.

When you see “hue” written on a label it means imitation, or not pure.  If you see Cadmium red hue, it means it is a combination of cheaper available reds to make a color that is very close to the real thing. It will never have the color saturation of rtist grade paint.