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acrylique
09-05-2003, 12:22 PM
I am curious about which mediums acrylic painters use most, which they like most, which brands, etc...

Mediums can be very confusing as so many of them appear similar and have parallel uses. How do you know which ones to use when:confused: :confused: :confused:

how do I get to know more techniques using mediums, as I am trying to add more depth to my work and extend my colours.

ukwarrior
09-05-2003, 12:39 PM
for most paintings i don't use any mediums. i use water if you count it (in small amounts), but no mediums. sometimes i do use some gel medium, usualy for light effects. if i want to give something a radiant glow i may give it a warm glaze. or to give something the appearence of being far off, i put a grey-blue glaze over that. and for those glazes i use a matt gel medium.
the only other mediums i have used are retarder and a texture medium. the retarder i did't use to my satisfaction so it wasn't much use to me. it left the painting a bit flat looking because i ended up overblending stuff. the other i have used (the texture one) was for a school project. i had to use it, to build out some forground landscape. i didn't really like it though, it didn't suit me.

oh, and welcome to wetcanvas!

kiteless
09-05-2003, 12:49 PM
I do, I have probably far too many, but all of mine, except my retarder are Golden brand.

Here are the ones I can remember that I have off the top of my head:

Golden Soft Gel: I use this to extend colours, and for glazing, it is thinner than their regular paints. I have used this in the past for some impasto, but it isn't meant to hold large peaks. Also thinned out, this makes a great isolation coat for before varnishing.

Golden Clear Tar Gel: This is very pourable, and you can get Pollack like effects with it. I have also used this to get a water colour like wash out of some colours, as its very thin, but it probably wouldn't work as well as the Glazing Medium they sell.

Golden High Solid Gel: I use this for impasto and when I want to retain my brushstokes. It is thicker than their regular paints, but not paste-y.

I would suggest, if you are just looking to extend your paint, to try the Golden Regular Gel. Its the same consistancy as their normal paints, pretty much just the acrylic binder with no pigment. My next purchase will be their Acrylic Glazing Meduim, it looks like it will serve me better than soft gel for making "washes". Golden and Liquitex's sites have awesome references for what each medium is used for, I suggest checking them out!

edzstudios
09-05-2003, 01:17 PM
I almost never paint with acrylics straight out of the tube, I almost ALWAYS use a medium or combination of mediums. I generally work either in a heavy impasto, with painting knives, or in thin oil like glazes and washes, and I have 2 main "medium recepies" for each style respectively.

For heavy impasto work, knife work etc... I use Golden's "high solid gel" medium, which is a very thick, buttery medium, almost like modeling paste, but smoother. I mix that with a dab of gel extender and a splash of Golden's glazing liquid, to increase open time on the canvas and I find this combination gives paints that have an almost oil like impasto quality

For tighter, more "oil painting like" works, I use generally just use water and Goldens glazing liquid. sometimes I use some of the soft gel as well, when I want a slightly fluid paint, but not quite the "glaze" effect.

Between these 3 mediums, I find I can get a huge variety of effects and techniques out of acrylics.

maverick
09-05-2003, 02:33 PM
I have a huge tub of matte gel medium that I used for mixing with sand and building up texture on a series of paintings I did. Now I use it to glue my canvas to hardboard, or to had brush marks before I paint.

Sometimes I use gloss gel medium over a finished acrylic painting to bring out the colors and give it an even look, but lately I've been using varnish. The gel, even when dry, can stick to things like packing material when shipping.

To mix with paint, I usually just dip my brush in water and dab it on paper towel afterwards. Yes...I mix with my brush after it's been cleaned. If I want more open time, or if I want to thin the colors to be transparent, I use acrylic glazing liquid, the same stuff they use for faux finishing walls. I find it works better for me than retarder, which I tried once and gave up on.

timelady
09-05-2003, 04:31 PM
I use 2 main mediums, both Golden brand. 1) Light molding paste - for high texture. (there is also regular and heavy molding paste, it's the weight and porousness that differs) 2) Fluid matte medium - for glazing. Which I do a LOT of. :) I can substitute regular matte medium but prefer the fluid version.

Yesterday I had to bike to the next village to get some matte medium because my delivery hadn't arrived. I bought Winsor & Newton stuff in a little jar. NEVER AGAIN! Ugh. It was awful, less fluid than the Golden version of regular matte medium, and clumped into little dried bits very quickly. yuck yuck yuck. So brand does matter!

I try to experiment with new mediums once in a while. It all depends on what kinds of effects you want. Some mediums I'd probably never use because they don't go with what I'm painting, technically speaking. I did buy the Golden Tar Gel but didn't find a way to use it that fit with my style. (It's a good glue for collage though! ;))

Retarder is something completely different from a medium, by the way. I just started using it this summer because we've had the hottest summer ever and I was desperate. Actually, I was quite impressed with the stuff seeing how long I've avoided it. My fluid medium was just drying too fast and I do glazes on large areas so need it to stay fluid for a while on the palette.

All of my mediums are Golden that I've mentioned, including the retarder. They do have a lot of mediums (and I mean a LOT!) so experimenting is the best way to find what you like. It took me a long time to find that the fluid matte medium worked best for me. Even tried a few of the GAC versions first.

Tina.

P.S. the Daler Rowney glazing medium (in a tube) is quite good too! It's the first medium that I was able to figure out glazing in acrylics with! (I was an oil painter first.) Even though I don't use it now I would recommend it for playing with.

Keith Russell
09-05-2003, 07:44 PM
Golden Light Molding Paste

Golden Heavy Molding Paste

Liquitex Texture Gel

Liquitex Resin Sand

Liquitex Gloos Medium and Varnish

oramasha
09-05-2003, 08:02 PM
So odd about this topic. ..as just today I treated myself to a bunch of Golden mediums, none of which I have used before:

-acrylic flow release-- which I plan to use, when I paint on paper for watercolor-like "drips"

-heavy gel-- for impasto effects-- i'm going to try a painterly portrait

-coarse pumice gel-- Carly Clements had reccommended this; she said it adds a texture similiar to her oils. I'm not certain what I'll do w/ it.

I have Regular gel which is great for extending paint. I have Gloss medium that I use for glazing. I'm actually going to start using it much more, instead of using water, as I like my paint to look thick.

Can anyone post any paintings where they have used any of the various mediums?

timelady
09-06-2003, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by oramasha
-acrylic flow release-- which I plan to use, when I paint on paper for watercolor-like "drips"

As some people here know, I drip in my paintings. I just treated myself to some Golden fluid acrylic paints and they are fabulous!!! Literally just got them this week. Basically, the pigment load is high and they're already fluid so they don't lose vibrancy like when you use the regular paints with a medium (ie. it thins out). I'm so impressed with them. Only used them one day and already want to buy more. I'm also impressed with glazing with them because you need less paint in the mixture with medium to get the same strength! They work really well as watercolour consistency too, just with water.

Not a medium technically. So you might want to think about different paints for different effects, especially if you use a lot of medium for some techniques like I do. Just wish I'd tried it sooner. :)

Tina.

angi612
09-06-2003, 10:03 AM
:D

Thank you everyone for such interesting posts. I have been using acrylics for nine months now, and bought some mediums without knowing how to use them! I`ve been getting along fine without them, but with your advice, I can now try them with more confidence.

oramasha
09-06-2003, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by maverick

Sometimes I use gloss gel medium over a finished acrylic painting to bring out the colors and give it an even look, but lately I've been using varnish. The gel, even when dry, can stick to things like packing material when shipping.



Maverick,

Do you use the gloss, satin, or matte varnish? I used 2 coats of the satin varnish for the first time yest. (some strong chemicals!) I wish I had gone w/ the gloss. I was also thinking of going over a small painting w/ just gloss gel medium. . .did you like its effect?

--Lisa

oramasha
09-06-2003, 10:09 AM
Angi-

Welcome to wetcanvas!!

angi612
09-06-2003, 10:16 AM
:clap:

Thank you Lisa, I am only just finding my way around this enormous site! I start looking for one thing and end up spending more time getting side-tracked!

maverick
09-06-2003, 10:44 AM
Do you use the gloss, satin, or matte varnish? I used 2 coats of the satin varnish for the first time yest. (some strong chemicals!) I wish I had gone w/ the gloss. I was also thinking of going over a small painting w/ just gloss gel medium. . .did you like its effect?

I use gloss. I find it brings out the colors and depth of the painting. It all depends on the effect you want. Glare can be a problem with gloss. I usually paint fairly thin on lightly textured canvas, so it's not a big problem. For highly textured sufaces, I don't varnish, and I use the matte medium. What you're looking for is light refraction, not reflection. The light should go though the varnish layer and into the paint layer and bounce around (non-technical description...I'm just learning these things).

The gloss gel medium works very well, but if you don't want your brush stokes to show, you can use the liquid gloss medium. I've used both, and they look like you've varnished the painting. As I said before though, it can stick to packing material or the frame, even after it's dry. I haven't kept anything long enough to see it not stick. I have one here from last year that was stacked with some other paintings, and it now has paint chips stuck to it from another painting (not to worry...just on the edge).

I spray outdoors. I have a bottle of the brush-on varnish to use indoors in the winter.

oramasha
09-06-2003, 01:08 PM
Mav- Thanks for your thorough explanation of how you do things. What a bummer the gloss sticks to things. Your apple was delicious, btw.

Angi-- Tell me about it.

:)

Einion
09-06-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by oramasha
I used 2 coats of the satin varnish for the first time yest. (some strong chemicals!) I wish I had gone w/ the gloss. I was also thinking of going over a small painting w/ just gloss gel medium. . .did you like its effect?
Hi Lisa, I was going to chip in but Maverick beat me to it. Acrylic mediums should never be used alone to finish a painting, in common with the paint they are tack-sensitive and remain so indefinitely (matt much less so than satin or gloss FWIW).

The best way to give a consistent finish is varnishing (which is a good idea anyway if you don't frame behind glass) there are a number of past threads with my recommendations and comments on varnishes for acrylic work if you want to search for them.

Einion

maverick
09-06-2003, 06:26 PM
FYI, I am using Krylon Kamar varnish for my oils and acrylics.

Dick Blick says...

"Krylon Kamar Varnish provides clear, lasting protection for oil, acrylic, and water-based paints. It's free of the impurities found in natural varnish, so it will not yellow with age.

It allows reworking of the painting, and it can be safely removed by conservators for restoration."

Andrew
09-11-2003, 04:48 PM
The main medium I use is water. I use retarder occasionally, especially when painting plein aire, but have been phasing it out by using a Sta-Wet palette. When I do use retarder, I prefer the Golden brand. It is the most consistent and free flowing retarder I have ever used.

For Half Pastes (translucent glazes) I just use water. For thinner glazes on a non-absorbent ground I use a mixture of 1-2 parts medium (usually matte or semi-gloss) to 3 parts water, as a solution for my glazes.

I use modeling paste for heavy impasto work, and I have a opaque gel for improving the opacity of naturally transparent pigments.

For the most part, I have found that just a touch of water keeps the paint fluid.

Andrew

acrylique
09-12-2003, 12:14 PM
Thanks everyone for being so helpful and informative!
I have been experimenting with several mediums (mostly Tri-Art, a Canadian brand) and I love the results.

Is there any information out there in books or video that could be helpful? How did you all get informed?

Acrylics are so versatile as it is and with mediums it seems the possibilities are just explosive...where does one go to seek guidance and inspiration?:confused: :D