Comparing 3 artist quality acrylic paints, I found that Chroma’s Atelier Interactive acrylic paint is still my favoured one for the techniques of layering and for achieving glazing effects. This is especially so when the paint is combined with Clear Painting Medium where a shiny finish is not desired.
However, if more opaque and therefore textured finishes are desired, I wouldn’t use any other except the Schmincke PRIMAcryl acrylic paint. This is also the paint to use if you want your acrylic paintings to look very similar to oil paintings. PRIMAcryl dries with a sharpness to it which can be further enhanced by combining it with Schmincke Struktur-Gel, matt or glossy (depending on your personal taste).
In the following experiment, I squeezed out thick blobs of Schmincke, Atelier and Matisse acrylic paints using only 2 colours – titanium white and cadmium orange – in order to maintain some sort of comparative standard.
As I had suspected, the Atelier performed the worst as it dried with very rounded surfaces, exaggerating the plastic quality of the paint. This is fair enough as acrylic paints are polymers, ie plastic! The Matisse acrylic paint dried a tad better but still far too plasticky in my opinion. The Schmincke dried with beautiful sharp edges and peaks, hence it’s similarity to the finish of oil paint, if that’s how you choose to use it.
Interestingly, the cadmium orange pigments differed even though they were the same pigment (PO20). Atelier was more red than other two. I don’t know why.
Also, the Matisse paint shrank with drying and lifted and peeled off easily. Does this mean that there might be more water in the Matisse than in the others? I don’t know.
IN BRIEF: Think about the effect you want, and then choose your paint.