Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the primary colours in the Professional Acrylic colour range?

The three primary colours in the Professional Acrylic Colour range are Azo Yellow Medium, Phthalo Blue [Red Shade] and Permanent Rose. These colours are the best selection when only three colours are used. We recommend Lemon Yellow, Azo Yellow Deep, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue [Green Shade], Pyrrole Red and Quinacridone Magenta when using a six colour mixing system.

Read more about Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic.

2. What does 'hue' mean when used in the colour name?

"Hue" means colour and indicates that a modern pigment has been used instead of the traditional one. For example, 'Cadmium Red Pale Hue' is a 'colour of cadmium red pale'. A hue colour is not necessarily inferior.

3. Which whites are included in the Professional Acrylic range?

Titanium White is the whitest and most opaque of the whites and is recommended for general use. Mixing White is a more transparent white with reducing tinting strength, making it ideal for strong tints, glazing, and toning down colours. Iridescent white captures the unique effect of "light interference" and can be mixed with or painted over colours to create interesting pearlized effects.

4. How do the blacks and greys differ in Professional Acrylic?

Ivory Black is a brown black of moderate tinting strength recommended for general use.

Mars Black is a denser, more neutral black with stronger tinting power.
Davy's Gray is a mixing grey, specially formulated for toning down a colour without the dirtying effect caused by adding black.

Graphite Grey is a dark grey which is not made from black and white. Like Davy's Gray, this makes it useful in colour mixing.

Payne's Gray is a very dark grey with a strong blue undertone that is more subtle than Ivory Black giving a purer colour when used in mixing.

5. What does "colour shift" mean?

Typically acrylic paints darken in tone as they dry, making colour matching difficult, so artists have to remember to allow for this when mixing wet colours. The colour shift is due to the binder changing from white to transparent as it dries

6. Does Professional Acrylic experience colour shift as it dries?

Unlike other acrylic binders, which are white when wet and clarify slightly as there dry, the Professional Acrylic binder is translucent when wet and clear when dry. This maintaining of clarity as high quality pigments results in virtually no colour shift. The result is a range that allows artists to match colours more easily from palette to canvas and see a painting as it will actually look when finished.

7. Can Professional Acrylic be mixed with Winsor & Newton Galeria?

It is possible to fully intermix Galeria Acrylic Colour with Professional Acrylic colour, either in layers or on the palette.

8. What mediums can be used with Professional Acrylic?

All Winsor & Newton acrylic mediums, including Galeria mediums, are fully compatible with Professional Acrylic. These can be used to achieve a variety of effects and textures, also to alter the performance of the Professional Acrylic.

9. How long does it take for Professional Acrylic to dry?

Thin films of Professional Acrylic will dry in 20-30 minutes; thicker films can take an hour or two. This will vary according to environmental conditions.

10. How long does Professional Acrylic remain workable or open?

Professional Acrylic colours do remain usable on the palette for slightly longer than many other acrylics. This working time has been increased by 20% compared to the previous range; Finity. This means even less waste on the palette and longer time on the canvas for blending. Colours will remain workable on the palette for over 30mins. The working or open time will be extended further by mixing the colour with Winsor & Newton Acrylic Retarders. Either alternatively or in addition to retarder, the Winsor & Newton Acrylics Palette can be used. This consists of a lidded tray into which a paper membrane is placed and moistened keeping the colours usable for days, provided the paper is kept moist and the lid replaced at the end of every painting session.

11. What are the best brushes for Professional Acrylic?

Acrylic colour can be used in viscous form or in a thinned down form, similar to (though not exactly comparable to) water colour. The brush you select will depend on the style and technique you use and whether you need to move full bodied colour or control flowing colour.

12. What are the best surfaces for Professional Acrylic?

Acrylics can be used on a large variety of supports, including canvas, paper, wood, degreased leather, brickwork, or anything which is neither greasy nor too glossy. Professionals and those painters using an oil technique favour canvas whilst paper is used by those working in a water colour style. Galeria Acrylic Pads are also popular for sketching or outdoor work.

13. What is the best method to clean Acrylic Colour from brushes?

Cleaning of Acrylic Brushes

   1. Brushes should be wiped clean on a lint-free rag and then rinsed under running water.
   2. Clean brushes gently with cool water and mild soap, gently swirl the soapy brush in the palm of your hand.
   3. Repeat washing and rinsing the brush until the soap and water run clear. You'll be amazed how much colour comes from the brush head. Take particular care to ensure that the base of the brush head is clean.
   4. Some pigments may stain the brush slightly, but this will not affect the performance or the life of the hair.
   5. Gently reshape the head and remove excess water from the brush head.
   6. Dry the handle and ferrule and stand head up to allow the hair to dry.

14. Why should an Professional Acrylic painting be varnished?

As the acrylic film approaches it final dry state, the last few evaporating water molecules leave micro-pores in the film. These pores cause the film to feel tacky, even when fully dry. The micro-pores remain open indefinitely, meaning that the porous acrylic film can freely accumulate dust, grime, and smoke from the atmosphere. While that grime may not seem to be much over a week or a month, it adds up over the course of years. The best way to protect the painted acrylic film is to varnish. Winsor and Newton produce a range of acrylic varnishes.

15. How should Winsor & Newton acrylic varnishes be applied?

Thinly painted acrylic films may be vanished after 24 hours of drying time, but up to a week of drying time should be allowed for heavy or impasto layers before varnishing. In addition, varnishes may be intermixed for a variety of finishes.

Here are eight simple steps to varnishing success:

1) Use a 1"- 4" flat wide, soft, tightly packed, varnishing brush (such as the Winsor & Newton Monarch glazing/varnishing brush). Keep it clean and use it only for varnishing.

2) Place the work to be varnished flat on a table - do not varnish vertically.

3) Apply the varnish in 1-3 thin coats, rather than 1 thick coat. A thick coat will take longer to dry, may dry cloudy, drip or sag during application and has a greater chance of showing brush strokes when dry.

4) Thinned varnish is more susceptible to producing bubbles. Do not be vigorous in your application.

5) Apply in long even strokes to cover the surface top to bottom while moving from one side to the other. While working, inspect the varnish layer at all angles for bubbles. Even them out immediately.

6) Once you leave an area, do not go back over areas that you have done. If you do, you risk dragging partially dry resin into wet, which will dry cloudy over dark colours. If any areas were missed, allow to dry completely and re-varnish.

7) After varnishing, we recommend that the surface should be shielded from dust with a protective plastic film "tent".

16. How can Winsor & Newton acrylic varnishes be removed form a painting?

Acrylic Varnish can be readily removed when dirty. To remove Winsor & Newton acrylic varnishes, apply the Galeria Varnish Remover generously onto a lint free cloth and gently rub into the varnish film. If slight pigment is visible on the cloth this is an indication that the removal has been successful. Use plenty of clean cloth to ensure varnish is being removed from the surface. Avoid undue abrasion.