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Investigating the Drying Process of Acrylic Color and Gel Medium

5 thoughts on “Investigating the Drying Process of Acrylic Color and Gel Medium”

  1. I’ve never done this before, but i want to learn. I think i learned the wrong way first with olis and silicone. Wasn’t very good at that either, but i want to be. Is there any videos out there to show us the Golden way to pour paint? There’s plenty out there that show us how to add oils and silicone.

    Reply
    • Hello El Lena,
      Thank you for your questions. We have a video showing us doing a big pour with GAC 800 and Fluid Acrylics, located here: http://www.goldenpaints.com/videos/big-paint-pour–with-golden-gac-800. If you read through the many comments in this article, you’ll see we are very wary of using oils that do not dry in your paint, which is what silicone oil is. Try isopropyl alcohol first, you may find that to be all you need, but pouring paint isn’t all about big cell patterns, so feel free to explore other avenues. Let us know if you have any questions at help@goldenpaints.com
      – Mike

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the article. Over the course of my painting I’ve done my own (less scientific) research on drying times. Other than physical prodding, it helps to hold the painting up to light so that the light reflects off of the surface at various times in the drying process.
    I found the best way to do this is by reflecting light off the finished work directly after a film has formed, and then putting it out of sight for at least a day or two. When I come back to shine some light on it again, right away I can visibly notice a difference in the appearance of the painting. The best way to describe the difference is that there is a general flattening of structure in a thinner acrylic application. Brush strokes become harder to recognize. Top layers merge with the under-painting layers to create a more cohesive, ‘lived in’ look.
    In a thin acrylic application, the process from newlyweds-to-50-year-anniversary-level-of-merging is 3 days. In a thick application, sometimes it seems the cure process may actually take 50 years.
    That merging change is easiest to see in landscape paintings in my experience. Usually the foreground objects ‘pop’ too much during the initial stages of drying. After curing for a few days they settle into the landscape nicely.
    But it always gives me a little anxiety when I’m doing a more naturalist style. The foreground grass and the trees’ highlights initially look a bit too neon for me until the painting cures.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comments Jone.

      There are many facets of acrylic paint films drying that are in need of exploration. All insight is welcome!

      – Mike Townsend

      Reply

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