GOLDEN Acrylic Glazing Liquid is a 100% acrylic polymer emulsion-based painting medium. Many artists who desire longer working time have enjoyed the benefits of this product. This simple blend of acrylic polymers, water, and retarder is complemented with a perfect combination of leveling and an ability to show brush texture. Acrylic Glazing Liquid allows for thin, even paint films with more time to blend and soften than any other acrylic painting medium available.
For many artists, the fast-drying nature of acrylics allows for immediate realization of the creative impulse and represents a benefit of the media. To other artists, however, rapid drying is perceived as a burden. Acrylics offer less time to blend colors and soften edges, a characteristic that seemed unsolvable to artists dependent on longer open time. This created conflict for artists interested in looking beyond oil paints for application methods and products that would achieve their painting goals.
Use of Retarder
Artists who first began to experiment with slowing the drying time of acrylics tried a variety of additives and methods including alcohols and glycerins. Most trials failed to achieve desirable results, until retarder came to be popularly known. Retarder is only one ingredient in the combination necessary to make an acrylic medium dry slowly. The exact combination is extremely difficult formulate correctly. Finding the right amount of retarder to add safely, without weakening the paint too much or making it take forever to lose it’s tackiness, can be tricky because it relies on other external factors. This is not to say retarder doesn’t work, as it is used quite successfully by many artists. But testing and experimenting are usually required for acceptable performance in each application.
History of AGL
GOLDEN Acrylic Glazing Liquid sprang from the request of professional decorative artists for us to create waterborne decorative glazes rivaling traditional oil-based versions, without the toxicity. As we closed in on achieving a system for decorative artists, it was apparent this new product was also going to be beneficial to fine artists. After testing the archival qualities and assuring good film formation upon drying, GOLDEN Acrylic Glazing Liquid (AGL) was launched.
AGL is actually a mixture of acrylic polymers, retarder and water. It contains additives like Acrylic Flow Release, which contribute to AGL’s leveling and thickness attributes. These characteristics result in increased open time, better flow from the brush, and smooth blending.
Oil painters take a slow-drying, viscous paint and add a medium to create fast drying glazes. Glazes usually need to dry fast enough to re-coat within a couple of days of each application. Essentially, the reverse is necessary with faster-drying acrylic glazing; open time has to be increased in order to effectively glaze large areas. Retarding the paint is just one aspect of achieving better open time. It is important to also consider the surface absorbency, airflow, temperature and humidity. The more these conditions can be favorably altered, the longer the open time.
There are many great techniques for which Golden AGL is useful:
Wet in Wet
On the palette, blend equal parts paint to AGL. You should experience at least double the open time of paints compared to paints without AGL. Increase the AGL and you should get about 30 minutes of working time or more.
Pre-Coats Before Painting
AGL really slicks up a surface for paints to glide across. Seal painting surface with a coat of GOLDEN Matte Medium, Gel, or Polymer product and let it fully dry. With a flat brush, apply an even layer of AGL. While wet, begin painting into this layer. This technique helps the paints flow even if they haven’t been blended with AGL.
Blending With the Paints
Don’t be fooled by the “glaze” part of the name, blends of 1:1 with most colors can still be very opaque. Adding AGL will increase working time proportionately. Don’t worry about adding too much or sticking to an exact ratio, blend as needed.
Adding AGL as Layers Tack Up
Expect about 30 to 45 minutes of working time before you feel the brush dragging and the surface tacking up. If you feel an area getting tacky and you’re not quite ready to stop painting, dip the brush in some AGL and keep working, but don’t expect large areas to be very receptive for long.
Preventing Palette “Skins”
Dried paint skins can be really aggravating as you are trying to mix colors. An easy way to prevent this is to cover the paint dollops and the mixing area with thin coats of AGL. This prevents the skinning on the outer layer and assures at least a little AGL is in each color mixture.
Add Water as Needed
When you add water after the paint has been sitting out for a while, you really are not adding – you’re replenishing what was lost to evaporation. Plant misting bottles work great for this.
Try Decorative Finishing Brushes in Fine Artwork
Who says you have to use flats, brights and filberts only? If you want perfect blending and never used a badger-haired softening brush, now is the time to learn. There are plenty of great stippling and texturing brushes available as well. The combination of the right brush and paints mixed with AGL will create softer blending and perfect gradations.
Knowing when to stop working a section is essential. If large areas are getting tacky, stop working in that section, or take a break. If you have to keep working, get a hair dryer and warm up the surface. Avoid overheating the surface. Wait until the paint loses the majority of its tackiness, before continuing with additional painting.
GOLDEN AGL is an essential painting medium for artists who desire slower-drying acrylics. Oil painters in particular, who are used to having the luxury of hours to blend paints, find it hard to make the transition to acrylics. Commonly they attempt the switch to acrylics because they are commissioned to do an unusual project, or to reduce their exposure to solvents. They find they cannot paint like they are accustomed to with oils. With AGL, artists should be able to blend acrylics paints with better results.
Take some time to experiment with how this medium responds on test artwork, or certain areas of a painting where you really need soft gradations.
Visit www.goldenpaints.com for more information. You may discover a highly flexible and essential new component for expanding the possibilities of acrylics.
Information Sheets to Read:
–Acrylic Glazing Liquid
–Technical Notes on Drying
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