I’ve heard of M. Graham paint for a few years. Made on the west coast, specifically Oregon, USA, I didn’t readily find it in the stores when I lived in the South. That has changed. If you can’t easily find it, use the store locator on the M. Graham website or buy it online.
A few months ago, Mrs. Graham emailed me to see if I would like to sample the acrylic paint. She offered to mail me some samples to review.
This was a no brainer on my part.
Of course, I always appreciate it when I get to test out a paint brand for free, as free is always more fun! Am I right?
I am not a fan of ad copy written by paint manufacturers. Usually the ads lure me into high expectations, and when the paint arrives, I am disappointed.
Not so with M. Graham Acrylic Paint.
Their website uses the following blurb to sell their acrylic paint
“AT THE HEART of our acrylic color lies a unique high-solids pure acrylic emulsion. It creates stronger, more intense color and provides a creamy delicacy of touch that offers a world of opportunity from fine detail to broad, full brushed applications.”
Well, I don’t know about worlds of opportunity nor delicacy of touch, but I will say this paint packs a punch!
It is highly loaded with pigment. I have never used any acrylic paint that has brighter, more vibrant colors. And I have used a lot of different brands over the years.
I would describe this paint as a luxury brand. Not necessarily because the price, but because of the pigment load. They handcraft each batch. As family business, they take great pride in the quality of the paint they produce.
If you are currently using student grade paint, and you try M. Graham, you will probably have a full blown emotional breakdown – it’s that good. See our article, Three Reasons Hobby Painters Need to use Professional Artist Acrylic Paint.
If you are a seasoned artist, and well acquainted with high quality paint, you still might be surprised at how vibrant the M. Graham colors are.
I found the M. Graham acrylic paint to be a bit slower to dry compared to other fine art acrylic paint. I paint really fast, but I enjoyed having a bit more open working time without having to add a retarder or other medium.
I was a bit lazy on my demo painting, using a canvas that I had undercoated with some Liquitex Cad. Red many months ago. I noticed that when working with M. Graham titanium white, it picked up and “re-wetted” some of the red underneath. Not sure why, probably different formulas or instability with the Liquitex. No other color seemed to have this effect on my undercoat.
Your experience may be different. If you regularly mix brands, take a little extra care to see if this happens to you.
Sharp Edges easier with M. Graham
Lately I have been painting with sharper edges and lots of outlining. Typically, I have to outline with 3 coats when I use white over another color. I have been using fluid acrylic to get the sharp edge on the outlines.
I was able to get solid, bright white with very sharp edges in only 2 coats with M. Graham. Yipee. Less time outlining makes me happy as I find it tedious but necessary to get the look I want.
In order to get this punch of color, M. Graham uses 60% solids instead of 40% solids of other brands. They use a super duper “high solid acrylic emulsion”. We try not to get too technical on this website, we write specifically for working artists. But if you thrive to techno jargon and paint specs, be sure to read more at their website. You might like the sections called, How we make Paints.
Total Knock Out for M. Graham Acrylic Paint Product Review
Although I received these tubes free, I am buying some more asap. I haven’t been this enthused about a paint product in quite a long time.
I give this paint a Total Knock Out, which means it is as good or better than anything I have tried before – EVER.