Testing acrylic paints

13 05 2022

I purchased a set of 24 metallic acrylic paints from Amazon (Ohuhu brand; link to the Amazon Australia site: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B08PPCCM2D/r) and decided to test them out on some sample popsticks.

The idea of using popsticks is that you have a ready reference for your colours without having to lift every paint pot out of the boxes you have them stored in (I saw this trick on YouTube!). I wrote the brand and colour name on each stick, kept one end ‘naked’, and painted the other end of each stick with black gesso because I wanted to see how the colours worked on a black background. Would the black bleed through or would the colours remain strong and opaque? Was there any difference in the colours? (in some of my early dotting, I’ve found that yellow can react badly on black and almost disappear, even when other paint colours from the same brand work well). After prepping my sticks, I ‘painted’ each end (using a dotting tool) with the same colour. Simplistically, this is what I did—the reality is that it took several days to create these samples while I waited for paint to dry 🙂

Well, the metallic colours of this set of paints are great. And the colour seems to give good coverage with no bleeding through. But, and there’s a big ‘but’ here… these paints are very thick and ‘goopy’. They aren’t suitable at all for dotting straight from the bottle. Some practitioners (via their YouTube videos) suggest the paint for dotting should be the consistency of runny honey. These paints are nowhere near that. You can see from the photos below that when you take the top off the bottle, the paint peak remains (green paint bottle). And it stays like this for ages. You can also see the goopiness of the (green) paint on the practice dotting tool, and later I dabbed the tool into the yellow and held it suspended for more than 30 seconds. The drop didn’t move—it stayed peaked like that. For dotting, it should form a drop within a few seconds, even if the drop doesn’t actually drop off.

But now that I know these paints are thick, I won’t use them straight from the bottle. Instead I’ll add them to a paint palette and add pouring medium to them to give me the consistency I need.

The peak remained on the paint for as long as I had the bottle open.


The dotting tool is very ‘goopy’ with this thick paint.

The dotting tool with a peak of paint—it didn’t move.

The full range of 24 metallic colours, on plain and black-painted ends.

The colours on black gesso. The coverage is good, but the paint’s thickness means that the coverage wasn’t even.

Some of the colours on the ‘naked’ ends of the popsticks. Again, the colours are good, but the thickness means there are a lot of bumps of paint.

Dotted coasters and magnets

8 05 2022

My latest foray into the dotting world had me dotting some plain fridge magnets (super quick!), and applying black paint to 10 cm (4 inch) wooden coasters then dotting them too. I started with one coaster a couple of weeks ago, then have slowly been doing the others in the same colourway. I finished the final two today. I’d guess I’ve spent 6 hours on the coasters, perhaps a bit more. The designs were all out of my head.

I still have to apply the glazing medium to the coasters but I likely won’t do that until I’ve put some sort of protective backing on them as they are raw MDF at the moment.

Dotted animals

3 05 2022

After doing several mandalas and other dotted art pieces, I decided to try some animals. The turtle is on a piece of 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inch) black paper, and the kangaroo is on a black painted canvas, which is actually a large fridge magnet (about 10 x 10 cm; 4 x 4 inch). I added a glazing medium to the kangaroo after I finished doing the dots. Note: The magnet is meant to be placed on the fridge (or hung) on the diagonal so that the kangaroo is correct in the horizontal plane.


Marine turtle swimming in the ocean


Paints used for creating the turtle


Partly finished kangaroo—final dots to be added, and the glazing medium


Finished kangaroo fridge magnet, with glazing added


Paints used for the kangaroo