What is Chromacolour?

Chromacolour artists paint.

What is Chromacolour?

Whenever I exhibit my paintings I often refer to the fact that they are not just acrylic, but that they are Chromacolour. This almost always results in the above question,

So why make this distinction?

Well, there are multiple reasons for this.

The paint is based on a resin, rather than a polymer as most other acrylic paints are. This allows the medium to be heavily diluted, whilst still maintaining it colour intensity.

My original medium of choice was watercolour and so when I came to try Chromacolour I found that I could continue to work in my watercolour style, using multiple washes of heavily diluted colour with no loss of colour clarity.

When adding many washes in watercolour you have to be particularly careful not to disturb the underlying paint as you add subsequent layers. But with Chromacolour every layer is permanent once dry, so that problem does not arise.

Often with some other paints you can experience dramatic ‘colour shift’ as the medium dries., but with Chromacolour the paint remains the same colour when dry, as it was when it was wet.

Another benefit of this medium, is that you can use opaque layers of paint (sometimes referred to as body colour), to build detail, or even to make changes as you work. Once again these layers will be permanent once dry, and you can easily work over them with alternate colours or detail.

If you prefer to work with thicker and more textural paint, then you can purchase the paint in tubes of a thicker consistency, than the pots shown above. You can also, if you so wish, add a thickener to the paint and  apply it with a palette knife.

People are often a little concerned, when thinking about using acrylic, by the rapid drying time. Well, Chromacolour does dry more quickly than watercolour, but when used heavily diluted, the drying time is much more manageable.

I personally prefer to work on gesso-primed panels for my paintings, but Chromacolour can be used just as succesfully on watercolour paper if that your surface of preference.

Suffice to say that, since I tried Chromacolour 30 years ago I have never used watercolour again.

If you would like to try Chromacolour for yourself, visit:


Andrew Forkner – Wildlife Artist

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