Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Review – One Of The Best Paints For Beginners

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

Liquitex is one of my staple acrylics since 2020 and I finally decided to do this Liquitex Basics acrylics review to show you that they are truly one of the best acrylic paints on the market for beginners.

I had already a few colors of Liquitex Basics that I often use for color mixing, and I also bought a whole set of 12 colors for this review in Japan.

Funny enough, I didn’t know Japan had a different style. But the brand reassured me that the quality is the same.

Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint Review
My Liquitex Set

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Liquitex Basics is a Student grade paint

Liquitex Basics is student-grade acrylic paint for beginners while Liquitex Heavy Body is a professional, artist-grade paint, for experienced artists.

Student-grade paint means less pigment load in general, more filler and less single-pigmented colors.

At the same time, artist-grade acrylic paint has no fillers. The colors are mostly single-pigmented which is more expensive to produce and gives higher quality.

However, I would not discount Liquitex Basics so quickly, they actually are softer than the heavy body series which makes them easier to use for me and I don’t think their colors are any worse – you can do any painting with Liquitex Basics, including pouring, and they can definitely compete with my Golden set.


What I like about Liquitex acrylics

What I like about Liquitex acrylic paint:

  • good color range (72 total), including a few iridescent and fluorescent colors. All colors are nice, clean, and never create muddy mixes like some cheap acrylics. Brilliant blue and Magenta are my favorite colors in the Liquitex range.
  • Mixed and single pigmented colors which says a lot about quality – they don’t use cheap mixes for paints.
  • NO brushstrokes!
  • They are softer than Golden or Liquitex heavy body and for me, it is much better – easier to apply on canvas and smoother finish.
  • They are super versatile – from paper to T-shirts or ceramics, they are like a 4×4 of acrylics.
  • They have great coverage and are really opaque or semi-opaque so it is easier for layering.
  • Brand itself to be honest. They have wonderful resources on their website and are very transparent about everything.

My score:

  • Packaging/Tubes 5/5
  • Performance 5/5
  • Drying 5/5
  • Ease to use 5/5
  • Price 4/5
  • TOTAL: 4.8
Liquitex Acrylic Paint Review

I only gave 4 for this specific set’s price as the paint is amazing but I know that the Winsor & Newton Galeria set is also great and cheaper.

What I don’t like:

  • Price. Almost $30 on Amazon for the set is not cool for a beginner. BUT! In offline stores, I see certain colors in tubes on sale. I also find that if Amazon doesn’t have sales it is sometimes cheaper to shop for art supplies on Blick:

Often, paint supplies are cheaper on Blick art materials, but surprisingly it is not the case with Liquitex (at least for times I checked), Liquitex is around $5 cheaper on Amazon.

So check both!


My Color Swatches

liquitex acrylic paint review colors
Colors in my Liquitex Regular set (Basics)

My set, Regular acrylics (Japan) colors (12 x 20 ml):

liquitex acrylic paint review color chart

My set came with a full-color chart of all colors available in the line.

As you can see, my Japanese set has more reds and the US set has more brown shades. I don’t know why the a difference, but I would say it is not changing the possibilities of working with both sets equally.

I must say that the Brilliant Blue in my set is probably one of the most beautiful blue colors I’ve seen in paint sets.

Make sure to make your color swatches on small pieces of paper before you start painting.

It helps with color choice.

Upgrade your collection each time you mix the new color and add a note on the back of the paper saying what colors you mixed and in what ratio.

Regular Japan vs Basics (World)

Just a quick note to address the “difference” in color.

Even though the package looks different, the brand and my test confirmed that the Regular and Basics Liquitex are absolutely the same paints with the same colors:

liquitex acrylic paint review

There are 2 different types of tubes for Liquitex Basics acrylics.

One is distributed in the US, UK, Europe, and pretty much everywhere – black tubes with transparent front. They have info about opacity, lightfastness, and the pigment used.

Another paint tube is the one I got in Japan – they have a completely different packaging design: white tubes with label Regular type. It is the same Basics line but packaged for Japanese market.

liquitex basics acrylic paint review tubes
liquitex acrylic paint review tubes

This tube though has different info on the front and back and it isn’t transparent to show you the color. The label tells you about the Munsell system of the colors, chroma, and value of each, pricing range, opacity, and pigments used.

liquitex basics acrylic paint review tubes

The tubes aren’t sealed and they are filled just to the right point. You can safely open the lid and paint directly from the tube or squeeze it onto a palette.

liquitex acrylic paint review tubes

With some paints, as soon as you open the cap, already some paint comes out and you end up wasting some anyway.


Testing consistency, mixing, and blending

I love how Liquitex has a creamy, thick, soft consistency, and applies smoothly.

liquitex basics acrylic paint review consistency

No lumps and no separated binder come out from the tube. Pure color with homogenous consistency, ready to be used.

Mixing custom colors with this paint is also effortless.

New colors are as bright and opaque as colors from the set, easy to change value or transparency by adding white color or water.

liquitex acrylic paint review mixing
Mixed yellow + blue to get green and then added white and water

Colors are blendable directly on paper, with a slightly wet or dry brush, leaving only soft edges in between colors.

liquitex basics acrylic paint review blending

For beginners blending wet may seem easier, especially if you used to paint with gouache or watercolor.


Lightfastness

Liquitex acrylic paint is lightfast.

Most Liquitex colors have excellent to good lightfastness which means a painting will last up to 50-100 years with proper care, without fading or yellowing.

Liquitex Acrylic paint review lightfastness

Each US tube has a mention of lightfastness. Japanese tubes don’t have it, but you can find lightfastness of every color in Liquitex Acrylic Book.


Opacity Test

Liquitex Acrylic paint review opacity
Liquitex acrylic paint opacity

Liquitex Basic colors offer greater opacity than most student-grade acrylic paints.

In my set, Regular acrylics (Japan) colors (12 x 20 ml), there are 5 transparent and 7 opaque colors, and the opacity is as follows:

  • Medium Magenta, opaque
  • Naphthol red light, transparent
  • Pyrrole Crimson, opaque
  • Yellow Medium Azo, transparent
  • Permanent Green Light, opaque
  • Phthalocyanine Green, transparent
  • Brilliant blue, opaque
  • Phthalocyanine Blue, transparent
  • Dioxazine Purple, transparent
  • Bronze Yellow, opaque
  • Mars Black, opaque
  • Titanium White, opaque

I also did a test and it confirmed the label, I tested covering the black line with only 1 coat of each color.


liquitex basics acrylic paint review techniques
Tested layering, impasto, and glazing with Liquitex

Liquitex Basics acrylic paint is an amazing tool for beginners to learn different techniques in acrylic painting: from simple dry brushing to layering, glazing, and even palette knife application.

The ease of use of this paint and how Liquitex makes it effortless for you to paint is impressive.

It does feel easier to paint with Liquitex than with some cheaper paints.


Liquitex Basics vs Professional

Liquitex Basics and Liquitex Professional (heavy or soft body) are two different lines of acrylic paint produced by the same company.

Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint Set, 12 x 22ml (0.74-oz) Tube Paint Set
Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, 12 x 22ml (0.74-oz), Essentials Set

Here are some differences between the two:

  1. Quality: Liquitex Basics is a student-grade paint, while Liquitex Professional is an artist-grade paint. Liquitex Basics has a lower pigment load and is designed for beginners and students, while Liquitex Professional has a higher pigment load and is designed for professional artists.
  2. Design: The professional line has white tubes with the label “Liquitex Professional” while the Basics series has black plastic tubes with transparent bellies to show the color.
  3. Color range: Liquitex Professional offers a wider range of colors than Liquitex Basics (116 colors vs 72 colors). This is because Liquitex Professional uses a wider range of pigments, including some that are more expensive and harder to find.
  4. Consistency: Liquitex Professional has a more consistent viscosity across colors and finishes, and has heavy-body paints, while Liquitex Basics can have some variation in consistency between colors and finishes and leans more to a soft body.
  5. Price: Liquitex Basics is much more affordable than Liquitex Professional. This makes it a good choice for beginners or those on a budget. For ex., a basic set of 12x22ml costs around $30, while the same Professional paint set costs around $43.
  6. Toxicity: The professional line has a cadmium-free option for some colors. Liquitex Basics line is non-toxic but does contain some harmful elements in safe amounts.
  7. Techniques: While both paints can be used for a wide range of acrylic painting techniques, Professional paint will be better for texture and impasto.

Key takeaway:

Liquitex Professional is a higher quality paint than Liquitex Basics, with a wider range of colors and more consistent viscosity.

However, Liquitex Basics is still a good quality paint that is more affordable and suitable for beginners or hobbyists.


Is Liquitex Basics better than Golden?

I have two sets of Golden acrylics and lots of Liquitex tubes. Golden will be better than Liquitex Basics as it is the highest-quality professional paint for artists, while Liquitex Basics is a student-grade paint.

In general, Golden doesn’t make student-grade paints at all. Only professional artist-grade acrylics.

Liquitex Basics is more affordable than other Liquitex lines or Golden and has a lower pigment load, which means that the colors are not as intense or vibrant as those in Golden.

In my opinion, Golden paints are also much thicker and many of the colors are semi-transparent unlike Liquitex – they have more opaque color range.


Wrapping Things Up

Despite the price, Liquitex Basic acrylic paint is truly great value for money and an amazing tool for beginners and painters in transition to professional paints.

Learning color theory, techniques, and how to use acrylic paint with Liquitex is something you will look forward to and quickly feel successful.

I’ve tried many different acrylic paints and I personally think that Liquitex, Golden, and Winsor&Newton are the best acrylic paint brands on the market.

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API