The American Journey brand has been a part of the Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff family of products since 1998. Beginning with the birth of the professional artists’ watercolors, a long list of products followed throughout the years, including premium brushes, quality easels and studio furniture, watercolor accessories, watercolor sticks, mediums, sketchbooks, palettes, and even watercolor gesso. It was only natural for the list to go on to include professional artists’ acrylic paint.
Acrylic artists have many different professional brands of acrylic paint available to them already. So, why choose American Journey?
Well, at Cheap Joe’s, value and quality go hand in hand. The American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylics are no different. Most artists create for personal enjoyment, discovery, enlightenment, and growth. It is not until someone shows interest in their art do they even consider selling it. So, for the majority of us, art is an investment in ourselves that may not have an immediate monetary return. Hence, the phrase, “starving artist”.
In order to keep creating art, we must keep investing. Cheap Joe’s is dedicated to enabling artists to continue to create by providing them with the best quality materials for the best value. One of the ways we can do that is to offer our own in house brand materials.
What’s In The Tube?
The American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylics were designed for artists, by artists and are produced right here in the USA. They have been created using a unique blend of acrylic polymer emulsion, giving the paint a high viscosity that dries flexible. They are also free of unnecessary fillers and other agents, such as compounds that are usually added to help reduce costs. We are able to keep the cost competitive without the use of the fillers by using “Mill Strength” pigments that are concentrated and have high tinting strength. The tinting strength of a color is determined by the type of pigment, the amount of pigment and the fineness of the grinding. The finer the pigment has been ground, the higher the tinting strength. Pigments of high tinting strength will go further and this will ultimately save you money in the long run. They will also retain their vibrant color longer when adding white to lighten. This means you will use less paint with results of clean, vibrant and brilliant colors.
When selecting acrylic colors, the characteristics of the pigments are very important. You will want to know if the paint is light fast, of course, but also, its transparency, pigment information, and if it is organic (synthetic) or inorganic (mineral). Ideally, paints will be made with only one pigment. The more pigments that are in the tube, the more pigments you have when you mix two or more colors together. This can increase the chance of dulling the paint by unintentionally mixing the three primaries together and possibly making mud. However, due to the expense or unavailability of an original single pigment paint, a mix may be necessary to replace it. By knowing what is in the tube, you can choose colors that mix well together. Of the 60 American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylics colors, more than half are made from single pigments. This gives you plenty of opportunity to mix to your heart’s content. The paints are packaged in 60 ml. collapsible aluminum tubes. This ensures that the acrylics stay fresh and moist as you use them by eliminating any chance of air getting back into the tubes. Select colors are available in 150 ml. tubes for an even greater value.
Color Chart- UNDER CONSTRUCTION
We are currently working to design an informative and visually accurate American Journey Artists’ Acrylic Color Chart to provide you with the information you need to select the exact colors you are looking for.
As part of the production of the chart, I was given the task of creating the hand painted base color chart that will be used when the information is printed. This was a great opportunity to be able to use each and every color in the line! I just couldn’t wait to experience this new and exciting palette of acrylic colors!
1/2 inch flat synthetic brush (an American Journey Interlocked Synthetic works nicely)
Palette knife for mixing- (I used a #81 Cheap Joe’s Painting Knife)
I decided the number of rows and columns I would need to fit the colors uniformly on the board. I came up with 5 colors in each row and 12 total columns, which equals 60 colors. Each swatch area would be 2″ long by 1″ tall, and 1/2″ between each row. The color order is a typical color family sequence similar to the color wheel, starting with bright yellow and ending with neutrals and black and whites.
I applied 3 coats of Joe’s Signature gesso to the board, allowing each to dry in between. I alternated the direction of the coats to minimize brush strokes. I measured and marked my board in alternating increments of 1″ rows and 1/2″ spaces in between.
To prevent a lot of pencil lines and the need to completely erase them at the end, I cut a placement stencil from light weight YUPO and sprayed a light coat of adhesive on the back to keep it in place. (This saved an enormous amount of time and repairs!)
Pictured is the Pure Color Swatch of each, and a 1:1 color to Tint White mix to show tinting strength and a color tint of each of the 60 colors.
Each swatch is an accurate example of the quality of American Journey’s Professional Artists’ Acrylic Paint.
Of course, this is only the beginning of creating the final color chart. All of the important information about the paints will be added, as well as, the names and item numbers and then it will be printed by the thousands and made available to all of our customers!
I made these notes as I mixed and painted the sample chart.
1. Most colors had low to moderate sheen when used full strength.
2. Sheen was reduced to matte to low sheen when tinting white was added.
3. Colors dry evenly.
4. Smooth, creamy, buttery feel right out of the tube.
5. Dries fast.
6. Stays pliable when dry to prevent cracking.
7. Tint white is for mixing, Titanium white is for covering.
8. Cobalt Blue / Cobalt Blue Hue very similar and a good alternative to genuine Cobalt Blue.
9. The Grey Matters palette really showed off the great colors! (I am saving the dried palette sheets and labeling them with color names and item numbers for future reference!)
You can use this process to produce a studio color chart of all of the acrylic paints in your collection. All paint brands are different and a visual aid to refer to while painting will save a lot of time, money, and paint in the future. Be sure to check back soon for the printed version of the American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylic Paint color chart. We also hope to add new colors to this collection in the future, so stay tuned!
The American Journey brand name will continue to live on at Cheap Joe’s as a sign of quality and value, paired hand in hand, for artists everywhere. Quality, value and a full line of exciting “mill-strength” colors make American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylics everything an artist is looking for in a professional acrylic paint. We hope you will try these new acrylics and give us feedback on what you think. As a supplier and manufacturer of fine art supplies, Cheap Joe’s wants to hear what you have to say. You are the artists, and we value your opinion. We know it is this information that keeps making us better and better everyday!
Knowing the chart information is very important, I am providing the basic information regarding the new American Journey Professional Artists’ Acrylic line below until the final printed chart can be made available.
So, to them we say, “Welcome To The Family!” With many years of painting pleasure ahead, keep your eyes peeled for the new color chart which will be available soon! It will be available upon request when it is complete. Just remember, you are not taking a chance, when you try our new American Journey Acrylics. Because, if you are not completely satisfied with their quality and value, why then, just let us know! As always, they are covered under our 365 day No Hassle Guarantee! We Promise!
Have an “American Journey” today!
And Keep your brushes wet and your canvas covered!