Daler Rowney System 3 Heavy Body Acrylics

Featured In / August 2020 ScrawlrBox

We realise you may have never seen or used products like this before so we have put together a few hints, tips and techniques to test out and get the best from these supplies.

These Daler-Rowney System 3 Heavy Body Acrylics have been reformulated to offer more pigment and versatility than ever. The high pigment load used gives it excellent colour strength, permanence, light-fastness and opacity. They have a superior heavy body consistency offering a unique peak retention, ideal for impasto techniques and use with a palette knife (or card). It's an extremely versatile and manageable water-based acrylic, but also offers all the virtues of a heavy body consistency.

These paints are fully intermixable which lends to limitless colour combining and blending possibilities. They are also suitable for interior and exterior use, making them the perfect medium for all mixed media art projects. 

Things To Try...

~ Almost all skin tones include a varying ratio of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. To create a perfect skin tone, first try mixing equal parts of each colour – this will make your mix quite dark but this is good! It is a lot easier to lighten a tone than darken it. Once you have a base skin tone you can then shift the hue with a small amount of one colour. If you need to make the tone lighter you can add yellow. If you need a rosier skin tone add a little red. If you need to make your skin tone darker, use a small amount of each primary colour in equal quantity.

~ Acrylic paint can look a little darker when dry than when it is wet, so be sure to mix your colours slightly lighter than you would like the final outcome to be.

~ Mixing a specific colour can be tricky, particularly if you are trying to recreate a colour you have previously mixed. Be sure to make a note of the colours/quantities that went into your mix so you can recreate it if you need to.

~ Try to avoid mixing a lot water with your Heavy Body Acrylic. Whilst you can thin and lighten the paint by adding water, if you add too much the water will act as a solvent. This will affect the adhesion of the paint which can cause the paint to crack and peel when dry.

~Remember to think in three-dimensions when painting with Heavy Body Acrylic. You can layer this acrylic when dry, so you can really highlight the textural aspect to your work. 

~ You don’t just have to use paint to build texture in your work. You can create texture using things like sand, coarse salt, soils, small fabric pieces such as cotton, dried foliage - just make sure you don’t use organic materials (unless they are properly dried/pressed) as they can produce unwanted moulds.

~ You can mix these other materials with your paint for added dimension but be sure to consider the weight of your materials, as anything too heavy will not adhere and will just fall off when the paint is dried.

~ As well as adding different materials to your art to create texture, you can also use other materials to leave indents into your paint strokes. If you see something with an interesting texture – rope, tree bark, seashells etc. - try using them to add another textural quality to the paint.

~ The palette card is a fantastic tool for texturing Heavy Body Acrylic. You don’t have to use it as it comes though. You can cut it into any shapes you want in order to create varied grooves and notches in your paint work.

Notes From The Artist


Acrylic gives way to a vast freedom of expression; fluid when it is associated with a liquid, model-able when it is associated with thick material, it allows to multiply the layers, vary the textures and create depth in the canvas.

The capabilities of heavy body acrylic allows you to multiply the layers and to play with the thickness and create various textures.

Combined with something like a modelling paste it creates a texture similar to that of the mortar, which can be manipulated with the purpose of unexpected shapes, raw and voluminous.

As featured in the August 2020 ScrawlrBox

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