Acrylic paints have come a long way in the past 20 years. They don't hold the prestige of old-school oils, but they're nipping at their heels in terms of colour range, pigment quality and their finished colour.
Acrylic paints in liquid ink form, like these, are a firm favourite with airbrush artists. As with all acrylics, the speedy drying times and water resistance when dry make this an ideal medium for a number of applications – and there are plenty of uses for acrylic inks besides airbrushing.
Schmincke's Aero Colour Pro range of acrylic inks come in 28ml glass bottles with handy pipette lids (some colours are available in 250ml and 1000ml bottles too). There are 36 lightfast colours that cover a comprehensive chunk of the colour spectrum, including a Transparent White as well as an opaque Supra White. With 12 effect colours including Shine Gold, Metallic Green and Vision Space, there really are endless possibilities with these little pots of fun.
As expected, the Aero Colours work superbly in an airbrush, since they're just the right consistency to avoid too many clogs and splatters. And using them with brush and dip pens, plus the very cool Aero Colour Pro Liner fillable marker pens, is really fun. The viscosity and coverage of the opaque colours is luscious, and the transparent colours also have a high pigment content, producing colours that really sing.
Importantly, the colours continue to sing when they're dry, which you don't get with cheaper acrylic inks. They sit well on a range of different paper stocks, but you'll obviously get the best results from a coated paper than higher-gauge watercolour stock.
If you haven't tried working with acrylics for a while, it's worth giving them another go, and for sheer fun the Schmincke Aero Colour Pro inks are definitely worth a try.
This article originally appeared in Paint & Draw issue 03; buy it here!