Creating Pages Together

Comparing Craft acrylics vs. Artist acrylics

My daughter and I painted similar art journal pages with two different types of paint. What did we learn?


left page: folkart craft acrylics (me) | right page: golden fluid acrylics (my daughter)
11 x 14" white 110 lb paper


detail of the page my daughter (12) made with golden fluid acrylics


golden fluid acrylics


golden fluid acrylics


golden fluid acrylics


 Detail of the page I made with craft acrylics.


craft acrylics


craft acrylics


craft acrylics


left page: my page - folkart craft acrylics
right page: my 12 yr old daughter's page - golden fluid acrylics

We painted similar art journal pages with artist quality paint and craft paint! We laughed and giggled and traded ideas for each layer and wound up with some interesting results.

So here's what we did. We started with some butterfly stencils in magenta, then some magenta and orange sections on the left, a medium blue, some white, bright yellow pushed around with a straw, then a layer of light blue wound up mixing with the yellow and on the craft acrylics wound up with a pale minty green and the fluid acrylics wound up a bright green. This is not due to anything about the paints but because we did not use the exact same blues. We wiped the pages with wet paper towells to try to get the earlier layers to show up.

Lots of swirls and a flower in bright yellow and orange followed. My daughter suggested we add the word "BE" to our pages. She painted hers with fluid acrylics in carbon black and I painted my word with a metallic black (didn't have black craft paint). More orange, yellow and blue, and the pages were finished.

We did a side-by-side comparison between Folkart Craft Acrylics and Golden Fluid Acrylics. 

Lots of people use craft acrylics for art journaling, brands like folkart, delta and americana sold at big box craft stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby for $1/bottle. The Golden paints are more expensive. For example, today carbon black is $3.50 and cobalt blue is $5.40.


craft acrylics

Here's what we learned. 

The fluid acrylic page. Smooth to the touch, with a slightly glossy look, and more saturated color. The paint flowed more smoothly from the brush.

The craft acrylic page. A lightly rough texture, a matte look, and the color is not as intense. The paint is thicker and less flowy from the brush, so for example it took more strokes to write the word "be" and was somewhat rough at first.

We wrote on the pages the next day.

The fluid acrylic page. My daughter wrote a few words in black gellyroll and in black ultra-fine point Sharpie on top of her Golden fluid acrylics. The writing process was smooth with no problems. The metal-nibbed pen and a fiber-nibbed pen both worked fine on artist acrylics. 

The craft acrylic page. The black gellyroll did not flow smoothly on the gritty texture of the paint so I switched to a Sharpie which was great. The difference is that the gellyroll is a gel pen with a metallic tip and the Sharpie has a fiber tip. So the fiber tipped pen worked better on craft acrylics. I wrote about a recent trip to Six Flags amusement park where I went on a famous old wooden roller coaster twice. I swear I felt every bone in my way-over-40 body jolted around and I kept my eyes closed, but I loved it. And I wrote about being in the moment more, choosing that, instead of looking back or ahead all of the time.

This was really a fun project to do together. Lesson learned yet again - at bedtime, the kids will help you with any kind of artwork you want to explore!!!