It is always better to use artist-grade acrylic paint or professional acrylic paint. Winsor and Newton is the artist-grade acrylic paint brand I have been using for months. So you might wonder, is Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint good?
Winsor & Newton Professional acrylic paint is good for any artist from beginner to professional level. Because the colors are very saturated, rich, vibrant, and offer excellent coverage and opacity. Color mixing is easy and accurate and the mixed colors look rich and saturated as well.
I have done a few experiments with Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint tubes I have. You will find an in-depth explanation of each aspect of Winsor & Newton’s professional acrylic paint and my experience.
- Excellent coverage
- Heavy body acrylic paint, holds shape after drying
- Excellent concentration of pigments
- More single pigmented colors and fewer colors with pigment mixtures
- Little to no color shift
- Lightfast/ permanent colors
- Vibrant and saturated colors
- Takes a long time to dry than some student grade acrylic paint
- Only available in heavy body consistency
- Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint is an artist-grade acrylic paint
- The paint has a thick, creamy heavy body consistency
- It is one of the best art mediums for beginner to professional artists
- It has excellent coverage, opacity, and color saturation
- Color mixing is easy and accurate, mixed colors look saturated and rich
- You can get the best value by getting 200 ml (6.75 oz) tubes or 237 ml (8 oz) jars
Who should buy Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic paint:
- Professional artists
- Beginner artists
- Amature artists
- Artists who are looking to get the best out of their paints
Is Winsor & Newton acrylic paint artist-grade?
Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint is an artist-grade acrylic paint. Meaning it is loaded with pigment and has excellent coverage. However, the price of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint is high. All the artist-grade acrylic paint colors are lightfast and permanent.
There is a student-grade acrylic paint of Winsor & Newton which is called Winsor & Newton Galeria. It uses the same pigments of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paints but in less concentration. It is best if you are a beginner artist and looking for affordable decent quality acrylic paint.
I have written a review about Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylic paint. You will see the pros and cons of Galeria acrylic paint and if it is a good fit for you.
Properties of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint
I have done tests to check the properties of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint. For this experiment I have used, ultramarine blue, cadmium lemon, and permanent alizarin crimson from Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint.
I have done all the tests on a canvas, as it is the most common surface artist will use. Below you will see a detailed explanation of each aspect of acrylic paint I have tested.
Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint has a very rich creamy thick, consistency, especially for opaque acrylic paints. However, the transparent colors have a slightly thinner consistency than the opaque paints. In general, all Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paints have the thick consistency of a heavy body acrylic paint.
Most importantly these artist-grade acrylic paints can hold shape very well after drying. It can preserve brush marks and different textures created very well. So it is a good choice for impasto techniques. This is not common with student-grade paints. They usually dry flat and do not preserve the texture well after drying.
Winsor & Newton’s professional acrylic paint application is very smooth. However, it feels a little slimy and gel-like as well. Opaque colors like cadmium lemon have a thick creamy application while transparent colors like ultramarine blue and permanent alizarin crimson have a slightly thinner application.
It is best if you apply paint after wetting the brush or with a little water. It helps with smooth paint application. Painting straight out of the tube does not give the best results and causes waste of artist quality paint. Artist-grade paint can be extended more with water or with an acrylic medium. A little paint can go a long way.
I have thinned Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint with some water and painted a few swatches on the canvas. Following are my results.
You can see how the colors retained their vibrancy and saturation even if they are thinned a lot with water. See the blue colors swatch in the right-hand corner. Even though it is thinned so much with water, it still has a decent concentration of pigments.
This is not common with student-grade acrylic paints. They are already extended with fillers and we cannot extend them to artist-grade paint extent with water.
Artist-grade acrylic paint has a higher concentration of pigment. Because of this artist-grade acrylic paints have very saturated and vibrant colors when applied to a surface. You only need to use a little paint to create more saturated, vibrant color swatches. A little paint can go a long way.
Winsor & Newton is a renowned paint brand. They use high-quality pigments in high concentrations in the professional acrylic range. There are 80 different colors in the professional acrylic range, but what I recommend is to use only 7 colors and mix any other color you want.
I have written a whole article about making an acrylic color mixing chart with only 7 colors. Yet the colors mixing chart has a wide range of mixed colors. You can also get a free ‘Color Mixing Chart and a Grid’ there.
Professional paints have excellent color mixing ability. They make saturated rich colors which are harder to achieve with a student-grade acrylic paint brand.
Also, Winsor & Newton uses high-quality pigments. Both natural and synthetic pigments. Natural pigments are usually earthy colors. They have excellent opacity. More about opacity will be discussed later in the article.
Is Winsor and newton acrylic paint toxic?
Winsor & Newton acrylic paints are nontoxic. There can be a potential risk but it is non-toxic and not harmful unless you ingest (or swallow) the acrylic paint or by inhaled it (e.g.during spraying). However general hygiene guidelines should be followed with Winsor & Newton acrylic paints as with any other chemical product.
Also, Winsor & Newton recommends avoiding prolonged contact with acrylic paint on the skin. Any acrylic paint should never be used on the skin. If you get the paint on your skin, you should wash that off immediately or immediately after a painting session.
Especially some acrylic pigments are more harmful than others. These acrylic paints contain warnings on the back of the paint tube label. As an example, the cadmium lemon professional acrylic paint has the following message at the back of the paint tube; “Warning: Do not spray apply-This product contains cadmium, a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer by means of inhalation”
You can find more information about health and safety in Safety Data Sheets on the product page.
Get single pigmented colors for the best color saturation
Pigments give color to paint. When there is a single pigment in a color, there will be the highest saturation and vibrancy. If there are multiple pigments in a color, the color will be less saturated and less vibrant, especially when colors are mixed.
Therefore consider getting single pigmented colors. However, there are only 13 colors of Winsor & Newton’s professional acrylic paint that are a mixture of pigments (excluding the metallic colors). Almost all the colors you need for painting are single pigmented colors.
Therefore I highly recommend Winsor & Newton’s professional acrylic paint, because they have the most saturated single pigmented colors.
Opacity is another important metric to consider when buying acrylic paint. When the opacity is high, the paint will have excellent coverage. Opacity changes with the pigments for professional acrylic paint. There are opaque, transparent, semi-transparent, and semi-opaque pigments in Winsor & Newton’s professional acrylic paint.
I have tested the opacity of ultramarine blue, cadmium lemon, and permanent alizarin crimson from Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint. I have painted a single coat of paint straight out of the tube on a stripe of black acrylic paint. Following are my results.
As you can see, the opaque yellow color covers the black stripe well with just one coat of paint. Other transparent colors did not cover the black stripe. The black stripe is visible through the transparent colors.
The opaque color is cadmium lemon. Cadmium pigments are very opaque and offer excellent coverage. Usually, yellow acrylic colors are transparent. Therefore using cadmium yellow colors will be the best choice. Use the cadmium paints with care and do not use them for spraying for safety concerns (more details in the above section).
Of 80 different colors of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint, there are 32 opaque colors, 28 transparent colors, 13 semi-opaque colors, and 7 semi-transparent colors. As you can see there are more opaque colors and transparent colors as well.
You can choose any colors with any opacity. You cannot change the opacity of an artist-grade acrylic paint because the opacity is determined by only the pigment used. These are pigment characteristics. But with student grade paints, they are extended with fillers. Therefore they can be transparent even though it is made from an opaque pigment.
Coverage is one of the important factors you need to consider when buying colors. When paint can cover an area well, it has better coverage. Coverage is high when the paint is opaque. If the paint is transparent the coverage will be less. There are two types of coverage. They are total coverage and detailed coverage.
Total coverage is the paint’s ability to cover an entire area of color. I have used ultramarine blue, cadmium lemon, and permanent alizarin crimson from Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint for this test.
To test the total coverage I have painted a circle filled with black paint and attempted to cover the entire black area. I have added multiple coats of paint until the circle is entirely covered with the paint color. Following are my results. The dashes on top of paint swatches indicated the number of coats needed to cover an area of paint.
As you can see, the opaque color covers the black circle well. I have put down 3 coats of the paint however it can cover the black circle reasonably well with two coats. The two other transparent colors did not cover the black circle even though I put down 3 coats. The black circle can still be seen through the transparent colors.
So if you are looking for full coverage it is best to go for opaque colors in Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint.
Detailed coverage refers to how well a paint can cover little details in a painting. To test this I have painted ultramarine blue, cadmium lemon, and permanent alizarin crimson from Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint on top of 3 thin black stripes. I have put down the colors until the lines are fully covered. following are my results.
As you can see the opaque cadmium lemon color has excellent detailed coverage. I have applied 3 coats of it. It has reasonable coverage with just 1 or 2 coats also. I have painted 3 coats of transparent ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson. They also have reasonable coverage with 3 coats.
If you are looking for detailed coverage, again the best choice is an opaque color. If using a transparent color from Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint, apply multiple coats of it. You can also mix it with an opaque color like titanium white to make it opaque.
Quick-drying is one of the main characteristics of acrylic paints. However, I have used student-grade acrylic paints that dry very quickly. But I have noticed that Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint takes around 10 to 20 minutes to dry even though the room temperature is around 800 F.
I have used student-grade acrylic paints that dry quickly less than 10 minutes and maybe within seconds. The extended drying time of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint is a great advantage for artists. Artists will have more time to blend acrylic paints on the palette before drying.
After drying the paints, they are permanent and water-resistant. I have written a whole article about Is acrylic paint waterproof? What you need to know. There you will find many factors that can affect the permanency of acrylic paint.
Is Winsor and Newton acrylic paint waterproof?
Winsor & Newton acrylic paint is waterproof after fully drying. Allow 1 to 3 weeks to fully cure the paint and apply an acrylic varnish or a sealer. It makes Winsor & Newton acrylic paint waterproof. Some absorbent surfaces like fabric will not need a sealer as they are permanent.
Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint has a satin finishing to it. You check the finishing of the colors on canvas in the below image (satin finishing may not be visible on the image).
As you can see Cadmium Lemon, the opaque color has a very even, non-streaky finishing. While the two transparent colors (ultramarine blue and permanent alizarin crimson have a slightly streaky finishing. You can minimize the streaky finishing by applying paint layers thinly.
Another thing Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paints claim is that they do not have a color shift or change of color when drying the paint. To test this I have experimented using ultramarine blue. Following are my results.
As you can see there is a slight color shift in the paint which can be ignored. The dry color seems a little darker when compared to the wet colors. But there are drastic changes in the color shift in most student-grade acrylic paints.
Having only a little color shift is important for accurate color mixing. This way you can get the same color you have mixed when wet even after drying. Winsor & Newton says that they are using a special transparent acrylic polymer binder that makes the color shift a very little case.
Lightfastness refers to the ability to resist fading when exposed to sunlight. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) has ratings from lightfastness I to lightfastness V for paints. Lightfastness I indicates the highest lightfastness and lightfastness V indicates the least lightfastness.
Most Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint has a lightfastness rating of I (excellent lightfastness) while other colors have a lightfastness rating of II (very good lightfastness). This indicates that Winsor & Newton’s professional acrylic paint will not fade in sunlight.
Permanence is a better indication of a painting’s ability to not fade or change over time when exposed to light and atmosphere. Unlike most other paint, Winsor and Newton have a permanency rating for their colors. permanency considers lightfastness, stability of acrylic polymer binder, pigment, and manufacturer testings.
Following is the permanence rating used by Winsor and Newton;
AA – Extremely Permanent
A – Permanent
B – Moderately Durable
C – Fugitive
All Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint has the permanence of AA or A which indicates the artwork you make with Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint will remain permanent without changing over time. It offers the best archival quality acrylic paint. So, no need to worry about losing your hard work over time by fading or changing.
Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint is available in 3 different sizes. You can get all the 80 colors in 60 ml tubes, 34 colors in 200ml tubes, and 4 colors in 237ml pots. You can get all of these colors individually. There are a set of 12 colors in 20 ml each as well.
You can also get many types of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic mediums. You can easily find them in an art store. However, Winsor & Newton products cannot be shipped outside of North America currently, due to the manufacturer’s distribution restrictions. So if you are living outside of North America, you may not get Winsor & Newton acrylic paint.
Artist-grade acrylic paint like Winsor & Newton professional is on the expensive side of the price spectrum. But you are getting the full value for what you paid for. These artist-grade acrylic paints do not have any fillers. So you are only paying for the pigments, binders, and other additives, all useful for the artist.
Student grade acrylic paints usually contain fillers, like calcium carbonate and other paint extenders. When you buy student-grade paints you are also paying for the filler in the paint which does not add any value to your painting. Rather it reduces the coverage and saturation of colors.
Below I have included a price table containing the price you pay for 1 fl oz of Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint when you buy paint in different sizes. All the prices are the current prices at Blick Art Materials.
|Type of Pebeo acrylic paint
|Price (USD) per 1 oz of paint
|Professional Acrylics, Set of 12
|20 ml (0.67 oz)
|Professional acrylics, Single tube
|60 ml (2 oz)
|3.65 – 8.03
|Professional acrylics, Single tube
|200 ml (6.75 oz)
|2.47 – 4.65
|Professional Acrylics, Single jar
|237 ml (8 oz)
As you can see you can get the best value for money if you buy 237 ml (8 oz) size Winsor & Newton professional acrylic paint. But there are only 4 colors available in that size. I suggest you get a color like Titanium white that is frequently used in a jar.
The next best option is getting all your colors in 200 ml (6.75 oz) single tubes. You can get all the colors you need between 2.47 – 4.65 USD/ fl oz.
I have also written a whole article about ‘are acrylic paints expensive?‘. You can learn about many factors that go into the pricing of acrylic paint and determine whether the paint you are buying is worth the buck.
Winsor & Newton Galeria vs Professional
Galeria acrylic is the Winsor & Newton student grade acrylic paint line. I would be comparing these two paint lines in the following table. You can also read my Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylic paint full review for more information.
|Single pigmented colors
|Most are single pigmented
|Lightfast and permanent
|Lightfast and permanent
|Price (60ml tube)
|2.67 USD/ oz
|3.65 – 8.03 USD/ oz
As you see in the table also you can get the best value for acrylic paints by getting the Winsor & Newton Professional acrylic paints. You just need to spend a little bit more than Galeria acrylic paint for the best quality.
With Winsor & Newton Professional acrylics, you will get single pigmented, saturated, and vibrant colors with excellent opacity. You will not be frustrated about your paintings just because of the colors you use. If you are on a tight budget then it will be okay to get Galeria acrylic paint.
I would recommend Winsor & Newton Professional acrylic paint for anyone who is starting on acrylic painting or any professional acrylic artist. Using artist-grade acrylic paint like Winsor & Newton Professional will be the best choice you would be making even if it is slightly expensive. You will never be frustrated about the colors of the paintings you make. It will make the whole painting process easier.