High Load Acrylic Colors

Jump to Related Products


GOLDEN High Load Acrylics are unique, highly pigmented paints that dry to a velvety, matte finish. They can be used as a richly colored ground or gesso or as an extremely potent paint for thin applications.


As the name indicates, GOLDEN High Load Acrylics have an extremely high pigment content. They were first produced as a custom line of colored gessoes. Soon after, artists began to discover their usefulness as an extremely potent paint for thin applications. They are not tints (mixes with white), but produced from a single pigment, which makes them very rich and intense in appearance. They have a similar look to watercolor gouache, but are insoluble when dry.


Use As A Ground/Gesso

GOLDEN High Loads are most commonly used as a colored gesso. Their consistency is very close to that of the GOLDEN Gesso, and the working properties of these products are also comparable since they both impart a similar tooth. The High Loads can be blended with GOLDEN White or Black Gesso in any ratio. This gives artists the ability to create a wide variety of colors and values without altering any important surface attributes of the Gesso.

Use As A Paint

High Load Acrylics are also excellent paints for thin applications. Loose sketching and under-painting can be achieved without thinning. The matte finish allows easy viewing while working on a gessoed canvas. High Load Acrylics are the suggested acrylic paint line for use under oil paints.

Mixing With Other GOLDEN Products

High Loads can be intermixed with any GOLDEN Acrylic Paints, Gels, and Mediums. Use Matte Gels or Mediums to keep the sheen low, or use Gloss Gels or Mediums to increase the brilliance of a particular pigment.

Spray Application:

Many artists enjoy airbrushing the High Loads for use in fine art and commercial illustration. Before airbrushing, the High Loads should be thinned with GOLDEN Airbrush Medium to achieve the proper spraying qualities. Thinning only with water can lead to very poor adhesion and undesirable film defects. (Refer to the GOLDEN Airbrush Medium Information Sheet for further details and mixing ratios).

Safety Note: Do not spray-apply Cadmium High Load Acrylics, or any GOLDEN paint containing Cadmium.


Increasing Film Strength

Due to the high level of pigment and other solids in the High Load Acrylics, they form a more fragile film than most other GOLDEN paint lines. In general, any matte surface is easier to mar than a glossy counterpart. With High Loads, the artist should understand what features, such as matteness or consistency, they wish to keep, and which ones they desire to alter, before selecting the appropriate gel or medium. (Refer to the Information Sheet: "GOLDEN Product Review: Gels & Mediums" for a complete listing of all of the gels and mediums made by GOLDEN Artist Colors). Always test new mixes before applying them to the artwork to avoid undesired results.

Increasing the Color Selection

Many pigments are impossible to produce in the High Load formula. If there is a color that isn't in the product line, a paint with similar properties can be made by blending the Fluid Acrylics (Heavy Body Acrylics or Matte Acrylics are also viable alternatives) and Super-Loaded Matte Medium. A 1:1 mix is a good starting point. Keep in mind that although these mixes will appear similar to the High Loads, they will be lower in pigment content.

Clear Separation

GOLDEN High Load Acrylics can produce a clear separation (a mixture of water, retarder, acrylic and other paint additives vital to paint formulation) if they are not used frequently. It is critical to the adhesion and stability of this paint system that the separation is not poured off, but homogeneously re-stirred back into the other paint components.


The above information is based on research and testing done by Golden Artist Colors, Inc., and is provided as a basis for understanding the potential uses of the products mentioned. Due to the numerous variables in methods, materials and conditions of producing art, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. cannot be sure the product will be right for you. Therefore, we urge product users to test each application to ensure all individual project requirements are met. While we believe the above information is accurate, WE MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, and we shall in no event be liable for any damages (indirect, consequential, or otherwise) that may occur as a result of a product application.