Being a DecoArt Helping Artist, my mission is to bring you as much information about DecoArt products by creating blog posts and videos featuring their products. That way you see everything in action.
I’ve been using DecoArt products since 2002 and boy was I excited when DecoArt launched their new product line featuring “tube acrylics”.
So for your reading and viewing pleasure, I’m doing a review on “DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics“. Suitable for fine art and mixed media, affordable price point, super high pigments (a little goes a long way), medium viscosity with a satin sheen.
What impresses me about the tubes is not the fact that the tube contains 2.5oz of paint, it’s the size of the tube. Very easy to hold in one hand.
Quality of Tube
The tube is made of heavy duty plastic (for the lack of the proper term) and one thing that has frustrated me with other brands, is the tubes made from a metal substance, puncturing holes into each other. I also like that I can see inside the tube, so knowing when I’m running out is more visual than feeling the tube in my hands.
No more using pliers to take paint caps off because they are so small for my arthritic hands. The cap is a flip top, so no more caps falling on the floor. But the cap can be taken off if you need to really squeeze out the paint from the main tube opening.
It’s intermixable, light-fast, non-toxic and as all acrylic based products in the DecoArt line, it’s soap and water clean-up.
The finish is satin, but you can flip it into a gloss or matte finish by adding some gloss or matte medium to it.
Consistency of Paint
Americana Premium Acrylics is a medium bodied paint with really good coverage. I experimented on textured canvas and smooth canvas to test the coverage and it worked out very well. I found that applying the paint as is to textured canvas required a bit of water to have the paint go into the grooves of the texture. This is typical of any medium to heavy body paint if applied with a brush.
Thick and consistent, available in white and black. Experimented by applying with a bristle brush and with a palette knife. Gesso held the texture quite well. Took a couple of hours to completely dry.
Prior to buying these paints, I was using DecoArt Gesso and DecoArt Media Gesso. I would have three containers:
- one was the gesso as is
- one would be the gesso thinned with a bit of distilled water
- and one was a thicker version of the gesso. You can read this blog post about how I thickened up gesso.
Now if I had to use thickened gesso, regardless of the line, I would use the DecoArt Americana Premium Gesso as my thick gesso, since everything is interchangeable.
This gel medium extends the open time of the acrylics. An experiment that I did was in 36 degrees celcius temperatures in my studio, the paint was workable for about an hour. Adding the extender, the paint was open for about 2 hours. The extender though does make the paint a little more transparent.
The acrylics have a satin finish to it and adding matte medium to the paint, changes the finish. I also experimented by adding a layer of matte medium to a dried layer of the acrylics and this also gave it the appearance of a matte finish.
Heavy Gel Medium Gloss
I’m looking forward to experimenting with this medium a lot more. Adding it to the paint makes the paint more glossy and a bit more transparent. The really nice features is that the paint is thicker with this heavy gel medium, so you can work using an impasto style. I experimented by adding the heavy gel medium to a dry layer of acrylics and I really like the transparent, textured layer that was created.
There are other mediums in this line, but I’m only talking about the ones I was able to buy and use.
Basic Colour Mixing
When the weather was a bit cooler, I created a limited palette and tested the colours some more. Did some primary colour mixing and tested the open time of the paint on the palette. A skin didn’t start developing for 90 minutes with the studio temperature being 25 degrees celcius with no humidex. Misting with a bit of water every 90 minutes, the paint was workable for the entire day.
Colour Chart of Limited Palette
The colours I chose for my DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics match my limited palette for the DecoArt Traditions and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics with just a few of exceptions. All are single pigments unless marked.
For a cooler red, in the DecoArt Traditions line, I use Permanent Alizarin Crimson. This colour is not available in the Traditions and Premium Acrylics line. If I needed to use a more red violet colour, I would use the following:
- DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics – Quinacridone Violet
- DecoArt Traditions – Red Violet
- DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics – Quinacridone Violet
General Use Reds
For a warmer red, Napthol Red Light (red that leans towards orange) is not available in the DecoArt Americana Premium line, so the colours chosen are as follows.
- DecoArt Americana Premium Acryics – Pyrrole Red
- DecoArt Traditions – Napthol Red Light
- DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics – Napthol Red Light
I don’t use a lot of pure orange in my paintings, but sometimes, it’s easier working with a clean orange than a colour mixed one. Not using orange, you can mix a warm red with a warm yellow such as Napthol Red Light and Diarylide Yellow or Hansa Yellow Medium.
- DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics – Vermillion Hue (pre-mixed)
- DecoArt Traditions – Perinone Orange
- DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics – Pyrrole Orange
Colour Chart of Limited Palette
Product Review Video
DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics
Supplies Used in the Review
Surface: Royal & Langnickle Canvas Paper – RD354
- DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics
- Phthalo Blue – DTA24
- Ultramarine Blue – DTA33
- Quinacridone Violet – DTA01
- Pyrrole Red – DTA06
- Vermillion Hue – DTA13
- Diarylide Yellow – DTA16
- Hansa Yellow Light – DTA18
- Yellow Oxide – DTA15
- Burnt Sienna – DTA09
- Titanium White – DTA40
- DecoArt Americana Premium Mediums
- White Gesso – DTAM07
- Heavy Gel Medium – Gloss – DTAM02
- Matte Medium – DTAM04
- Extender Medium – DTAM03
- DecoArt Traditions: Phthalo Blue – DAT24
- DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics: Phthalo Blue – DMFA23
Brushes: Royal & Langnickle
- Moderna: 3/8 Dome Round – M77DR
- Aqualon: #4, 6 & 8 Round – R2250
- Soft-Grip: #8 Bristle Bright – SG1425
- Royal Square Brush Basin – RD325
- Palette Knife
- Grey Palette Paper
- Mister Bottle
- Paper Towels
- Pigment Liner to Make Notes
What did you think?
What type of paints do you currently own (bottle, tube etc.) What do you like and dislike about them? Please share in the comments below.