Today I will be reviewing Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic Paint. More specifically, I will be reviewing the Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic 24-pack paint set. Each tube is .4 oz.This brand of paint can be found in many places, but for everyone’s convenience it can be found in almost any Walmart location or online at Walmart.com. This set retails for approximately $14.
Daler-Rowney make a few different series of their acrylic paints – Cryla Artists’ Acrylic, System 3 Acrylic, Graduate Acrylic, and Simply Acrylic. To my knowledge, the Simply Acrylic line is only sold in sets, meaning you cannot purchase these as individual tubes (Although tube size varies depending on the paint set). The Simply Acrylic line offers 24 pigments total (all of which come in the 24 pack set):
I bought my set from our local Walmart on a whim about a year ago. At the time I needed to add more of a diverse color selection to my inventory. I figured, “Eh, for $13.98, I might as well give em’ a try.”
Well…I’m just going to come right out and say it – I am personally not a huge fan of these paints. But for purposes of this review, I will do my absolute best to remain unbiased. And please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion. Someone else may try these and absolutely love them.
For purposes of this review I will be using the following colors: Scarlet, Orange, Medium Yellow, Medium Green, Ultramarine Blue, Violet, Black, and White
To be clear, when I am purchasing and trying out paints, I mainly look for 5 characteristics in my acrylic paint:
- Pigment Vibrancy – What good is it if paint looks beautiful and vibrant inside the tube but looks watered down and lack-luster once it is applied on the canvas?
- Viscosity (Consistency) – For me, I don’t mind a heavy-bodied acrylic, but I DO mind if it’s runny. A runny acrylic can look watered down and not produce the desired color. Also, creating any kind of texture in your painting will be a hassle if it is runny.
- Opaqueness (Is that a word?…) – This kind of goes along with Pigment Vibrancy, but it’s a little different. As opposed to the vibrancy of a color (once it has dried), the opaqueness of a paint refers to how transparent it is once applied onto the canvas. One of the things I hate is when I have a great color with a seemingly great viscosity, but it takes layers and layers of paint to finally get it to show it’s full potential on a canvas.
- Container – This is actually more important that one would assume at first glance. Contrary to popular belief – just because a paint is in a clear plastic tube with a plastic cap does NOT mean it is cheap-quality paint. As a matter of fact, I prefer my paints in a CLEAR tube so I can see the color I am actually purchasing. Oddly enough, the cap is actually important to me as well – there is a special type of smooth/slick impact plastic that is used for some caps and I’ve noticed that with those caps, when there is paint overflow out of the tube my cap never gets “glued” on to the tube because of dried paint. The paint easily peels off and sticking is never an issue.
- Price – I am a huge fan of acrylic brands out there, but at $18 for a small 2oz tube, it is just not practical to me. I need good quality AND a reasonable price. And yes, it does exist out there!
So now to get down to the nitty gritty…..
Before I even open a tube of Simply acrylics, this is what I find:
Now it isn’t such a big deal that the tubes are sealed over when you first get them. It’s rather understandable – they wouldn’t want the tubes to burst and leak out everywhere during shipping or long-term storage in a warehouse. Now you may be asking, “So how the heck do you open these things?” Well Daler and Rowney thought of that, and included this handy dandy cap (p.s. Don’t ask me how the red paint got there…I hadn’t even opened it yet….) :
To use it is fairly simple – take the cap, flip it over, poke the closed off portion of the tube….
And Viola!……A lovely tube of oozing paint. Yes, fair warning! – Contents under pressure! And to be absolutely clear, no, I did not squeeze this paint out of the tube for its very first photo op…it took the liberty of squeezing itself out the millisecond after I removed the cap that punctured it….
And on the flip-side of the cap (the puncture part), you are left with this:
Just be careful – if you screw the cap back on like this, you are facing more oozing paint as well as paint on your fingers. I suppose you could wash off the cap…but it is one more step I don’t want to do (24 times) – Sheesh! I just want to paint already! 😉
Now here is where the Simply Acrylic failed the second part of my “Container” test. In the photo below, you’ll see that the Medium Green color that is shown on the tube is VERY different than the Medium green that comes out of the tube! I really don’t like when that happens. I expect one color, but get another. (Again, one of the very important reasons I love clear tubes!). This was the case for several pigments in the set.
Now as for the “Viscosity” test, they held up quite well. Please keep in mind that these are a soft bodied paint, meaning they aren’t going to hold their shape extremely when you work them onto the canvas. So if you are looking for heavy texture, these aren’t it, but for a little bit of texture, they’ll work.
One thing I didn’t like was the inconsistency of the opaqueness of the paints….wow, ok, that was a mouthful….So in other words, some paints were nice and opaque, and others were sort of weird and transparent. My camera doesn’t demonstrate it very well, but specifically the Medium Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Violet were so transparent I could still see the white background showing through even after a very generous application. However, the Scarlet, Orange, Medium Yellow, White, and Black had no problems with coverage.
In general I found the warmer colors (such as the reds, oranges, and yellows) all did fairly well in the set, yet all the cooler colors (such as blues, purples, and greens) all performed poorly. To be more specific, they seemed more runny and transparent.
And for kicks, I tested some of their brightest and most vibrant colors, and to be perfectly honest, it almost felt like I was painting with transparent poster paints most of the time…..
To conclude, this line of Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic paints are just alright. There is just too much inconsistency in the quality of paint – it varies from tube to tube. And I would go as far to say they are a good value for a beginning artist, but truth be told – they’re not….not for that price anyway. I mean, if someone gives you a set for your birthday or Christmas, by all means, use them! But if you are considering purchasing these with your hard-earned money, I am just going to come right out and say there are better deals to be had out there.
Just as an example, I did a review on the Master’s Touch Acrylic Paint 36-tube set here, which retail for $27.99 at HobbyLobby.com or in Hobby Lobby stores. Now $27.99 is a long way off from $13.98 so I am not saying to fork out the full amount of money for Master’s Touch paints (although they are well worth it). SO, being the frugal person that I am, I would like to remind you that Hobby Lobby offers a coupon for 40% Off Any One Regularly Priced Item! And if you used the 40% off coupon on something such as the Master’s Touch Acrylic Paint 36-piece set, then the set would only be $16.79!!! Only a couple of dollars more than the Simply Acrylic, and you’ll get a GREAT quality paint (and more tubes/pigments, by the way). To use in store, just go to HobbyLobby.com and print out their coupon. Or to use online, simply add the coupon to your shopping cart before checkout (A banner will display the coupon above while shopping on their website); the coupon will then be applied to your highest regularly-priced item.
And just for the record, I know I sound like I am a crazy persistent sales rep for Hobby Lobby, but I promise that I am not endorsed by, or affiliated with, Hobby Lobby in any way. The reality of it, and why I do these posts and reviews, is because I am simply relaying information I wish someone would have told me when I got started on a serious road to painting. In these days, every bit of money counts and we have to make sure we spend it wisely and get the most bang for our buck. So rest assured if there is a good deal to be had out there, I’ll let you all know about it!
As always, thanks for viewing!
And Happy Painting!
(P.S. If you have an art supply item that you would like to see reviewed on TheFeatherArtist.com, please send me an email or leave a comment below letting us know! Thanks!)