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Controlling Acrylic Painting Time Through The Use of Mediums

22 thoughts on “Controlling Acrylic Painting Time Through The Use of Mediums”

    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for all your research and time spent dissecting the paint process. I am trying to find a pourable acrylic paint (paints) that I can pour on thick in different patterns – (say maybe 1/8″ thick) and have it dry nice, self leveling and without any wrinkle, or orange peel… I have tried multiple paints from even hardware stores, art stores, but am having some difficulty..

      can I only achieve this by applying smaller layers one at a time to build it up?

      Reply
  1. I’m going to paint a Buddha statue with acrylic pain. What’s the process I should use to prepare the statue, made out of plaster (which is a dark patina)

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  2. Love ur paints and other products this site is so informative and helps me a lot. I have always dabbled in painting but lately have really picked up fluid art and love it so the vibrant color paints really turn me on!

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  3. Great article since the paint medium has always been a key to whether my art projects actually turn out well of not. I really like this article I found from VeryCreate.

    https://verycreate.com/one-landscape-painted-with-3-different-mediums-demonstration/

    I was curious if you have ever done any kind of test with basically the same art project with a few different art mediums. I am leaning more to acrylics today but have loved watercolor for years. Appreciate your thoughts!

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    • Thank you, Mark.

      We have not done such an article to compare various media as you suggest, but we do appreciate the suggestion for a future article!

      – Mike Townsend

      Reply
  4. Does Golden offer a very thick retarder to mix with the Artist line of acrylics? Also, do you have a clear medium or gesso to seal a graphite drawing on canvas?

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    • Hi Jerry.
      Thanks for your questions. Our Retarder is more viscous than most in the marketplace. We wanted to make one that didn’t overly thin the Heavy Body Acrylic Paints. If you needed to have your mixture be even thicker, blend the paint first with something like Extra Heavy Gel, or High Solid Gel, to increase the overall viscosity.
      You can use the GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium to seal graphite drawings. I start with a relatively small flat brush, and brush in the direction of the linework. You will get a bit of smearing, but I find that you can use this to your advantage and create some soft shadows. After the lines are seal, you can switch to a wider brush if you need to unify the entire surface. You can use this product as a clear gesso as well.
      – Mike Townsend

      Reply
      • Please view this youtube address. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8NLmGNndcI

        Like this artist, for years painted in oils and for health reasons switched to acrylics, specifically Golden. I like painting wet on wet and want to maximize the open time. The above video shows how he is doing just that. I respect your expertise and ask for a solution to my dilemma.

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        • Hello, Jerry.

          Thanks for your questions and comments.

          Retarder is certainly a good option to work with when you need a good covering color, and that can be done fairly easily. Some artists prefer Retarder, others like the Glazing Liquid as you can add as much as you desired. However, Retarder/Glazing Liquid can only provide about 15 minutes or so of working time before you need to replenish the lost water. OPEN Medium used with the standard acrylic paints can provide even greater working time, and OPEN Medium with OPEN Acrylics therefore can provide the longest working time for wet into wet blending. The use of a Medium compared to an Additive (Retarder) is important because mediums can be used with far less concern than an additive because additives do not provide any binder. In the video, the amount of Retarder being used is still reasonable for thinner applications.

          Again, thank you for your questions and we are working on another Just Paint Article that I hope helps further explain the use of Retarder!

          Regards,

          – Mike Townsend

          Reply
  5. Thank you very much for a great article!

    I use fluid acrylics a lot, which are obviously not open acrylics. I use them with all sorts of mediums depending on the fluidity I want (soft or regular gel gloss, GAC 500, Gac 800).

    Can I lengthen the working time of these mixes by adding open medium to them, or would that be asking for trouble? (given that Open medium is intended to extend open acrylics, and these aren’t open ones)

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    • Hello Syb.
      Thanks for your comments. The various mediums are compatible with OPEN products, so that’s not the issue. It is usually how thickly you apply the mixture. For example, if you use GAC 800 for pouring, the thick layer might remain tacky for days or sometimes even weeks depending upon the amount of OPEN used. But thinner, brush-applied applications should not pose an issue. – Mike

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  6. The article was very helpful, but I loved the picture of father and child. Classic.

    Does the color shift still happen when the open paint dries? Please describe the types of mediums and retarders to use with the Heavy paints as that comprises my current paint supply and experience.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jerry. That’s me, holding my son from circa 2008, back when he was small enough that I could!

      OPEN still has some color shift, but what I have observed is that it happens so slowly in both the paint on the canvas and on the palette, that you don’t notice it as much as you do when you paint with the other paint lines or use fast drying mediums. OPEN dries differently. It doesn’t skin over like most acrylics at the start. It slowly thickens. So before it becomes touch dry (sometimes many hours later) the wet paint resembles the drying paint layer. After 3 or 4 days, then you might notice the color shift as fresh paint is applied on top. Of course, the pigments used and overall formula factor in with color shift as well.

      – Mike Townsend

      Reply

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