How I Learned to Save on Acrylic Paint

How I Learned to Save on Acrylic Paint

One of the biggest costs for a painter is the canvas and, of course, the paint. I’ve been painting for over 20 years and during that time, I’ve had many fine brands of acrylic to choose from like Liquitex, Windsor & Newton, and Golden. But tubes of paint are crazy expensive.

In 1999, I got turned on to Nova Color paint by a muralist from Los Angeles. Nova Color manufactures and sells their own high quality paint, comparable to the name brands, out of California, and ships it direct to artists, cutting out the middleman–and the huge price tag.

I can buy a pint (16 oz) of paint for the same price as a 6 oz tube at the local art store. Big savings.

And big mess.

The only problem was that Nova Color ships their paint in jars, not tubes. Tubes are nice. You can squeeze just the amount of paint you need onto the palette.

Nova Color paint in quart and pint sized jars.

Nova Color paint in quart and pint sized jars.

With jars, the only way to apply the paint onto your canvas is with a spoon. And that gets very, very messy. And you waste paint every time you load up your palette. And so preparing my palette is something I have grown to hate. I sometimes endure nearly dried gobs of paint rather than scoop fresh paint from the jar.

The solution.

Finally, after 15 years, I found a  a way to get rid of the mess and waste: refillable squeeze tubes. They weren’t easy to find, but I purchased some squeezable tubes online at REI.com that people use for camping and travel. They work perfect for paint.

 

Squeeze tubes that you can use for acrylic paint from REI.com

Squeeze tubes that you can use for acrylic paint from REI.com

You just open the end, pour in the paint, and crimp it to seal.

Pouring paint into refillable tubes from REI.com

Pouring paint into refillable tubes from REI.com

Done. Now I have reusable paint tubes with high quality, low priced paint.

Finished tube of paint.

Finished tube of paint.

 

Tubes_o_paint1

I’m loving preparing my palette.

I think I’m going to go paint now.

Share Your Thoughts!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!

"I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands."

Inscribed6a_500px

"Inscribed," Pencil on Paper, by Matt Philleo

One day, when I was discouraged I read a verse in the Bible, in Isaiah, 49:15-16, where it says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands." This verse brought such encouragement, that I created this original work of art to share the incredible love of God with others, including you!


Get a free 8 x 10 copy of this drawing that you can use to print, share, or as wallpaper!

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4 Comments

  1. Matt,
    Thank you for sharing some of the issues you deal with. The info about your paint is very interesting. While you are a genius with canvas, the average person would never have thought here would be something you wouldn’t like doing. Keeping it real! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Matt Philleo

      Thanks, Marilyn! Actually, there are many myths about art and artists. One of them is that artists love their work so much (and we do) that to be paid for it would somehow be “selling out” or ruin the creative aspect of it. Not so, I say. We are craftspeople creating a product for people to enjoy and any quality product is worth paying for. I know you agree with this sentiment, Marilyn; I’m just ranting on my soapbox:) The second myth is that you have to be in a creative mood to work. Again, not true. I pray, and then I get to work, trusting that God will guide me as I draw or paint. I don’t have to feel like working, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I’d rather just play on my iphone! But like any job, I know that once I start working, the creative juices eventually will flow. The famous contemporary portrait painter Chuck Close said about artists who wait for the creative muse: “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

      Reply
  2. I love these tips, but I must confess – I couldn’t help noticing the shirt – you know, the cat with the violin. Around our house the violin ranks pretty high. Cats not so much. 🙂 I totally get the enjoyment of preparing your palette. I used to laugh when I’d go to paint and thoroughly enjoy that part.

    Reply
    • Matt Philleo

      Thanks, Sheila! Yeah, cats are not loved very much in my house, either. I like them OK, but my wife and son are extremely allergic. But the shirt is of a band called the “Oscillators” who were staying over at the fellow artist’s house that I show my work at during the Falling Leaves Art Tour. They are friends of the family. I normally wouldn’t get a shirt with a cat on it, but the violin makes it transcend. 🙂 As far as preparing my palette, I like it a lot more now that I have squeezable tubes!

      Reply

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