Discover the beauty of fluid painting with Daler Rowney System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paints


Discover the beauty of fluid painting with new System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paints from Daler Rowney. Versatile and affordably priced, these pigment-based paints deliver excellent coverage for their price bracket and they’re compatible with popular painting techniques like acrylic pouring! Brush, drip, pour, stamp and more to create your own dynamic acrylic artwork. We put them to the test to see how they compare alongside the rest of the System 3 range.

Three bottles of System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paint in Lemon Yellow, Process Magenta and Coeruleum Blue Hue on a painted background

The introduction of NEW System 3 Fluid Acrylics adds even more flexiblility to the already versatile System 3 Acrylic Painting System. Now encompassing four different consistencies – Original, Fluid, Heavy Body and Ink – along with new acrylic painting mediums – Pouring Medium and Silicone Oil – there will be truly no limits on your creativity!

This Fluid range offers a low viscosity, free flowing paint that is sure to be poplar with artists looking to experiment with fluid painting techniques, watercolour-like effects, stamping, staining and more! Use them alone or combine them with other products from the System 3 Acrylic range to create acrylic paintings full of colour and texture.

We put these new paints to the test to see what properties they can bring to your acrylic painting practice and how they fit in to the broader System 3 Acrylic Painting System.

What are System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paints?

Fluid Acrylics are the newest addition to the System 3 Acrylic Painting range. Like the rest of the System 3 range, they offer excellent performance at an economical price without compromising on quality. These paints have a soft, flowing texture that maintains the depth of colour and vibrance you see throughout System 3 colours. They’re compatible with all your favourite acrylic painting techniques, but especialy suit liquid art techniques like pouring, dripping and staining.


The easy flowing, smooth consistency of System 3 Fluid Acrylics is one of their big selling points. Squeeze some colour onto your palette and you’ll discover that these paints are easy to work straight from the bottle. While they certainly don’t require dilution to use, you can add a drop of water to use them for watercolour style effects. Their texture also makes it easy to load your brush with paint and to apply colour in smooth, even strokes.

System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paint being dripped from the nozzle of the bottle.

Their fluid consistency and self-levelling properties also make them ideal for use with acrylic pouring techniques. Try mixing them with System 3 Fluid Acrylic Pouring Medium and System 3 Fluid Acrylic Silicone Oil to create poured paintings full of colour and pattern.

Looking to learn more about Acrylic Pouring? Why not read our ‘Beginners Guide to Acrylic Pouring’ or discover ‘9 Basic and Advanced Acrylic Pouring Techniques to Try Today’.

Create your own poured acrylic painting with our Acrylic Pouring Starter Kit. Includes paints, mediums, canvas, accessories and instructions. Buy Now.

Pigment Load

Fluid Acrylics have a high pigment load for their price bracket, much like the rest of the System 3 Acrylic range. This pigmentation, along with their smooth texture, means it’s much easier to load your brush and you won’t need to reload as frequently. You’ll find that a little of these colours goes a long way! They deliver excellent coverage and are perfect for large scale applications like mural painting.

Daler Rowney System 3 Fluid Yellow Acrylic Paint being applied with a brush.


Fluid Acrylics open up a whole world of art techniques to enjoy. Use them straight from the bottle and experience bold colours with good coverage, or mix with a number of mediums for specialist painting techniques. Their texture makes them ideal for application with a brush, but you can also apply them with a knife, splatter brush or pouring cup. Their quick drying times and soft consistency also make them easy to layer or use with glazing techniques.

A close up shot of the nozzles of two System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paint Bottles

These colours also work remarkably well with watercolour-style painting techniques. Dilute them with water to create transparent washes that dry to a smooth finish. They give much better results than Original or Heavy Body Acrylics if you were to use them with the same technique. Diluted Fluid produces much less granular mixes and you’ll notice a lot less separation of colour in your final mix.

Try out some of these painting techniques to see just how versatile these paints are!

  • Spray water over a stroke of fluid acrylic using a spritzer or spray bottle.
  • Blow multiple colours around on your painting surface to create interesting fluid effects.
  • Create transparent stains on your surface, and overlay colours for glazing effects.
  • Use the nozzle of the bottle to create blobs of colour in various sizes. The nozzle can also apply strings of colour that raise slightly when dry.
  • Blend colours together both with and without water.
  • Use with stencils to create patterns. Add texture paste or heavy gel mediums to your acrylics to create a relief.
  • Test them out with stamps. Load a flat brush with colour straight from the bottle and use it to coat the bottom of the stamp.


Like most acrylic paints, System 3 Fluid can be used on virtually any surface. They dry to a durable, flexible finish that offers excellent adhesion to paper, textiles, canvas, stone, wood and more. During testing, these paints demonstrated fantastic scratch resistance on stone, good adhesion on glass and overall showed a broad compatibility on multiple surfaces. They’re also suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

How do they compare with the rest of the System 3 Acrylic range?

Each of the paints in the System 3 Acrylic range has its own unique consistency that changes its working properties. These new Fluid colours occupy a space between the Original and Ink colours, offering a paint with a less viscosity than Original but with more body than Ink. This texture makes them suitable for painting techniques like pouring and watercolour effects, and will give a better overall performance with these techniques than other paints from the System 3 range.

Tubes of System 3 Original and Heavy Body Acrylic Paint alongside bottles of System 3 Fluid Acrylic and Acrylic Ink on a painted background.

Below you can see our breakdown of all the current paints available in System 3, ranked from low to high viscosity, and take a look at what their properties can bring to your work. All of these paints contain high levels of artists’ pigments and the majority of colours have excellent lightfastness and permanence once dry.

System 3 Acrylic Inks

A photograph of System 3 Acrylic Ink on a colourful painted background alongside a dripped sample showing viscosity.

Lowest Viscosity – flows like milk

System 3 Acrylic Inks are an opaque highly fluid, acrylic-based paint. They’re quick drying to a permanent finish, so they won’t reactivate as you apply additional layers. Their consistency is perfect for use with pouring mediums or for using in an airbrush. These bottles of ink also have an ink dropper in the lid that is not only great for calculating mixes, you can also use it as a drawing and painting tool!

Application: Apply with a brush, refillable marker or an airbush.

Surfaces: Gives great performance on a broad range of surfaces including canvas, paper, murals, textiles, wood, metal, plastic and ceramic. Can be used for indoor and outdoor applications

Availability: Available in 29.5ml bottles in 28 colours

Shop now for Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic Inks

System 3 Fluid Acrylics

A photograph of System 3 Fluid Acrylic on a colourful painted background alongside a dripped sample showing viscosity.

Low Viscosity – Creamy, free-flowing consistency

System 3 Fluid Acrylics have a creamy, flowing texture ideal for fluid art techniques. They’re quicker drying than System 3 Original Acrylics, so are ideal for quickly covering backgrounds or large areas with block colour. Their consistency is fantastic for use with pouring mediums, is equally suitable for brush and painting knife application. It doesn’t retain the same strokes and texture as Heavy Body or Original.

Application: Apply with a brush, painting knife or mix with pouring medium.

Surfaces: Gives best performance on canvas, paper, murals and textiles. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Availability: Available in 29.5ml and 250ml bottles in 27 colours. 7 colours also available in 500ml.

Shop now for Daler Rowney System 3 Fluid Acrylic Paints

System 3 Original Acrylics

A photograph of System 3 Original Acrylic Paint on a colourful painted background alongside a dripped sample showing viscosity.

Medium Viscosity – Soft, smooth texture

System 3 Original Acrylic Paints have a smooth consistency suitable for all kinds of applications. They are slower drying than all other System 3 Acrylics, making them perfect for creating seamless transitions of colour, effortless blending and fine detail painting. It does have a more ‘plasticky’ feel when used in multiple layers. Suitable for most traditional acrylic painting techniques.

Application: Apply with a brush, knife, lino roller or squeegee. Ideal for use with screen printing techniques.

Surfaces: Suitable for use on canvas, paper, murals and textiles. Suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.

Availability: 54 colours available in 59ml (tubes), 150ml and 500ml bottles. Larger 1 Litre and 2.24 litre bottles available of Titanium White.

Shop now for Daler Rowney System 3 Original Acrylic Paints

System 3 Heavy Body Acrylics

A photograph of System 3 Heavy Body Acrylic Paint on a colourful painted background alongside a dripped sample showing viscosity.

High Viscosity – Thick, buttery consistency

System 3 Heavy Body Acrylics have a thick consistency that retains brush and knife marks beautifully. This paint is perfect for artists looking to create high texture effects and impasto paintings. Use this paint with a stiff, hog hair brush and you’ll notice this paint’s amazing volume and ability to hold peaks and stroke detail.

Application: Apply with a brush or painting knife.

Surfaces: Ideal for application on canvas, paper and murals. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Availability: 27 colours available in 59ml tubes. 5 colours available in 500ml pots.

Shop now for Daler Rowney System 3 Heavy Body Acrylic Paints

Testing out all System 3 Acrylics with a Drip Test

Conducting a drip test demonstrates perfectly the different textures of paint available in the System 3 Acrylic Paint range. Try it out at home by dropping a blob of each paint onto a sheet of paper or board, leaving a gap between each sample. Tilt the board or paper vertically and see how the low viscosity colours run down the surface, and higher viscosity paints stay put.

Testing out System 3 Acrylic Paints with a Drip Test. From left to right - System 3 Acrylic Ink, System 3 Fluid, System 3 Original, System 3 Heavy Body.
Click to enlarge

You can also test the ability of the paint to hold brush and knife marks. Apply another blob of each colour beneath the first test and drag a stiff brush or palette knife through the colour. Fluid boasts excellent working properties in dilute mixes, so we also tested a blob of each paint spritzed with water and applied more like watercolour paint.

Should I thin my acrylic paints with water?

In an ideal world, you’d have a separate consistency of acrylic paint for all the different types of paintings you create – but most of us don’t have budgets that stretch that far! The beauty of acrylic is that they’re water-based, so you can thin them using just water or by using a fluid acrylic medium. Fluid acrylic mediums help extend your paints while maintaining the strength of the paint film. You can also use some acrylic additives for the same purpose, but make sure to use them in the right ratios! While you can use a little water to thin your paints, excessive amounts can both weaken the paint film and deaden the vibrance of your colours. This can mean flat, dull colour with poor adhesion.

Heavy Body Acrylic (left) thinned to the consistency of Fluid Acrylic (right). Application is much more patchy and the colour strength has been lost.

Always aim to match your project with the appropriate consistency of paint. If you thin System 3 Original or Heavy Body to the same texture as Fluid you’d loose a lot of the colour load and reduce the colour’s coverage!

Use alone or combine with other System 3 products to create dynamic acrylic paintings.

All System 3 Acrylic colours and mediums are fully intermixable – so you can combine them to your hearts content. You can create some incredibly dynamic acrylic paintings using a combination of all the System 3 consistencies available!

Mixed media art by Jenny Muncaster painted with System 3 Acrylics
Mixed media artwork by Jenny Muncaster
  • System 3 Fluid is perfect for creating flat backgrounds. It’s quick drying, so any initial layers you paint will soon be ready to work on top of. It’s also perfect for staining backgrounds if you thin it a little before application. The fine nozzle of Fluid is also fantastic for creating lines of colour that will dry slightly raised.
  • The slower drying System 3 Original is ideal for creating areas of blended colour. Make use of its longer open time to paint in fine detail and create smooth colour gradients.
  • Use System 3 Heavy Body to create textured effects with a palette knife or work with impasto style painting techniques.
  • System 3 Ink has a very low viscosity making it perfect for splatter painting, watercolour effects and fine detail work

Don’t feel limited to working with just a single consistency of acrylic! Mix and match them to create some really fantastic effects and textures.

Visit our website to discover our full range of Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic Colours including the NEW System 3 Fluid Acrylic range, plus Pouring Medium and Silicone Oil.


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