Artist VS Student Quality Paints

Artist VS Student Quality Paints

If you’re shopping for paint, you’ll find there’s
a wide variety of brands and qualities
to choose from, and a vast difference
in price as well. You might be wondering if it’s
worth spending a bit more for your paint, or whether a less expensive one
will work for your needs. Paints with names like
‘Artist’, ‘Professional’, or ‘Extra Fine’
indicate that the paint is made from
high quality pigments that are finely milled
and suspended in the best binders. These paints contain
a high pigment load, which means you can
stretch them with mediums and still maintain
the colour and intensity. They also generally contain
single pigments which provide the most vibrant
and clean colour mixing. As a result of their purity and their attention
to production, professional grade paints
can have a higher cost. Even within a line, you’ll find that certain colours
or series are more expensive. Some pigments are just naturally
more costly to mine and to mill. Student or academic paints are
a less expensive alternative to the generally
higher priced artist quality. This category of paint
is produced with less costly raw materials and often substitutes hues
in the place of true pigments. A hue is a man-made alternative
to a natural pigment, which often have
a slightly different colour from the original. Student grade paints
are great for beginners who are learning
basic painting techniques or anyone making quick
sketches in underpaintings. An easy way
to tell the difference between a student
and a professional grade paint is to mix it with white to see how intense
the colour remains. In this case we’re mixing
a student grade burnt sienna, and a professional grade
burnt sienna. And you’ll see that
the student grade greys out, and loses its intensity. While the professional grade
maintains a vibrancy and stays truer
to the original colour. When choosing paints, you don’t know
what you’re missing until you try it, so it’s always
a good idea to test an assortment of paint lines to see what you like and what really
works best for you.


  • Cherry Summer says:

    Wow, I never thought that student grade and artest grade could be so diffrent! I was wondering does this apply for watercolours too?

  • Blick Art Materials says:

    @Cherrysuumer1232 Yes – it applies to watercolor, oil, acrylic and other paints.

  • Cherry Summer says:


  • Rather Dashing says:

    Were you using Titanium White or a Zinc Mixing White to test the quality?

  • Wahn Sinn says:

    haha the first sentence she says you can read in the description. Exactlx the same 😀
    But thanks for video 🙂

  • Tony Kalemba says:

    exactly what I thought as well!

  • AlphaPhoenicis says:

    Then, why buy a full set? get blue, yellow, red, white and black. that's all you need to get a variety of colors 😀 maybe it takes a little of time, but i think it's a little bit more economical than buying 12 or 24 colors of which half you'll not even take out the tube 😉 (not counting watercolor of course.)

  • claystudiofx says:

    cool, my question is do i really need artist quality for black and white ? there's no color pigment on them (they're considered as neutral). So i think that will be fine to use white/black (neutral) of student quality to mix with other artist grade. Am i correct ? They're just to lighten/darken the color, so i can add more if i need more white/black.

  • Blick Art Materials says:

    As with the other colors, black and white in student and artist quality will differ somewhat with regard to pigment load, texture and how they mix. But definitely do some testing to see if these differences are acceptable for your painting.

  • Paul Pellicci says:


  • Matt Hofstadt says:

    Yea, more burnt sienna mixed with less white paint. Although, I wonder if more white paint actually had impact on the student grade blend greying out?

  • Ozterkvlt says:

    using liquitex basics paints and the yellow wont cover anything thats even a bit dark, would this be fixed with artist quality paints?

  • Paloma Monteleone says:

    How about the subject archival quality. Let's say I buy student grade and change my methods limiting the use of whites as not to dilute the colors. Will the student paints fade over the years?

  • a Winter's Tale says:

    My specific application is used by modelers, which is the use of highly thinned oil paints applied to the nooks and crannies of plastic model tanks, vehicles, etc., to achieve a "weathered" effect. I notice that with my very inexpensive oil paint (black), the results on the model is tiny but distinct particles of pigment, which might indicate the cheap nature of my oil paints. Is this true, and will higher quality paints show less of this individual particle look by laying down tinier particles when thinned with odorless thinner? I hope I am making my inquiry clear. Thank you.

  • Foxy_Floof says:

    so what store do you buy good paint like that at I would like to know

  • beneath.the.roses Lucid Dream Journal says:

    what a huge difference when mixed with white. what brand of professional grade paint do you recommend?

  • Nontas Priobolos says:

    what is the difference between the two grades of paint in terms of longevity if they both have lightfastness rating of 1?

  • Gediminas says:

    There are several factors influencing paint color intensity and coating power. Probably most important factor is pigment refractive index, as for example synthetic pigments such as azo yellow has much less opacity than cadmium pigments. Also choice of binder, pigment size and purity have influence.

  • Roman Horak says:

    Thank you! This is the most concise and helpful explanation on this subject.

  • Viviane B says:

    Is it safe to use a cheaper paint for the under painting and the expensive brand on top? I mean, will the cheap brand underneath peel off or change and damage the whole piece and not be archival?

  • Astro says:

    As of now, all I have are the $5.00 paint bottles (like what they have at primary school art classes), and just by looking at the more expensive paint, you can tell how much smoother it must be to paint with.

  • Calter Bro's says:

    can i have some help, if i want a set of say 16 paints which will last a good 20 painting and are good quality what should i get? please help, i need to know prices

  • jachob69 says:

    how about the fact there was about twice as much of the burnt sienna for the expensive paint.. unfair comparison really.

  • Dan says:

    no way those are the same pigment…

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