Used by many of the world's best carvers, Jo Sonja's paints differ from regular acrylics in several ways. First, they are an acrylic gouache (pronounced "gwash"), meaning they are somewhat more opaque than other acrylics. Second, they are not shiny like other acrylics. They give a suede matte finish for lifelike plumage on bird carvings or a pleasing finish on flat surfaces. Gloss can be increased by adding gloss varnish directly to the paint. They are one of the most economical paints around. I recommend that you get a few of the mediums, especially the flow medium and retarding medium. Jo Sonja's paints will mix with other brands of acrylic paints so you can pick up a few tubes and work into them gradually.