View Full Version : Liquid/Fluid Acrylics

10-11-2004, 01:25 PM
I'm beginning to explore liquid/fluid acrylics and wondered if anyone has tips/techiniques for working in this medium. Thanks.

10-11-2004, 02:05 PM
I have a number of the liquid fluid acrylics, but haven't used them as yet. I'm in the same boat as you are it seems. Am sure we'll get some ideas from some of the members! I've been told that they can be used sort of like watercolors and are great for washes???
Lets hear some of your thinking & experiences with them folks!!!! :)

10-11-2004, 02:49 PM
Hi Bertoni,

I've worked in watercolors previously, which is why I chose to experiment with the fluid acrylics...thought the transition would be easier. I know that washes and glazes are easier to do with them, if only because of the liquid consistency of the paint. I'm wondering if you can mix them with the acrylic mediums out there if you want more body and texture in a particular piece of work.

Any acrylic masters out there have suggestions for Bertoni and I?

Blue skies,

Lady Carol
10-11-2004, 03:14 PM
I have one liquid acrylic, that I use occassionally. Incidentally don't drop the cap (as I did yesterday), spent 10 minutes tracking down and cleaning up all the drops of pink not to mention trying to get it off my jeans :o

10-11-2004, 04:48 PM
I use golden fluids with a fluid medium for glazing... no problem. :) And with water to do washes. It's quite fun, I use it for all those 'thin' applications - for dripping, for underpainting watercolour style (blending and washies), and for upper glazes where I just need touches of pure colour and dilute them in glazing medium. I don't see why you couldn't add some to thick mediums too. In general though the reason for using fluids is because you like that texture. So if you want to go thick it's probably more economical to just get heavy body (normal tube) acrylics. I use both. :)

Carol - you mean you don't wear painting clothes? I have pairs of jeans and t-shirts only for the studio. :D And Golden's fluid paints have flip-tops, never get lost. ;)


Lady Carol
10-11-2004, 08:00 PM
Carol - you mean you don't wear painting clothes? I have pairs of jeans and t-shirts only for the studio. :D And Golden's fluid paints have flip-tops, never get lost. ;)


:o Ummmm!!! Painting clothes? Well all my clothes now are painting clothes. Actually I have a painting shirt but that didn't help the jeans at the time. :o

10-11-2004, 08:28 PM
I use Liquitex Medium Viscosity acrylics almost exclusively. I love working with them! They're the most fun I've had since using fingerpaints in 3rd grade. :) In the past I've done both watercolors and oils, and using thin, concentrated acrylics gives me the best of both worlds.

My favorite technique is to start with a wet surface suitable for watercolor, and work wet-in-wet in the initial stages, without thinning the paint. Or, I just squirt it onto the painting right out of the bottle and brush it around. I like to let the paint run and blossom and do all the things watercolor will do on a wet surface. The fluid paints have more pigment than tube paints, so they work well for watercolor techniques.

As the paper or canvas starts to dry, I start using thicker paint. I never use a medium. If I want thicker paint, I wait until it starts to thicken a bit on my palette. I try to leave my darks transparent if possible, and my lights opaque, so that's where the ability to use the paint either watercolor-thin or thick comes in really handy. There's an example of this in my WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2788528#post2788528) from the latest Weekend Drawing Event.

Because I like to squirt paint right out of the bottle, I have a lot of colors on hand, all arranged and labeled on the bottom so I can find the color I need quickly. I know how to work from a limited palette, but in liquid acrylics I find it more convenient to have a lot of colors pre-mixed. I keep the containers upside down so the paint is always ready to go:

Liquid acrylics pros: They don't dry as quickly as tube colors, especially if you start on a damp surface. The colors are intense, and because they have a good pigment load for a relatively low price, a little can go a long way.

Liquid acrylics cons: If you want a thick, textured, or opaque area, it's best to use tube paint. And if you're traveling, make sure the lids are secure and your paints are bagged in plastic if you're changing altitude. Exploding paints are not a good thing!

Favorite surface: A CP watercolor paper is good, but my favorite paper-type surface is Multimedia Artboard. I'm also very fond of the new Fredrix watercolor canvas. :)

Good luck, and have fun experimenting!


10-11-2004, 09:13 PM
I'm beginning to explore liquid/fluid acrylics and wondered if anyone has tips/techiniques for working in this medium. Thanks.

I have used both the Liquitex Medium Viscosity acrylics and the Golden Fluid Acrylics and love them both!

In recent years, Liquitex reformulated their professional grade acrylics, the medium and standard viscosity paints so that they use a clear medium that allows the wet paints to dry with little or no darkening shift from wet to dry. That is a big help when trying to match colors that have already dried. The consistency of the Liquitex Medium Viscosity paints is something like heavy cream. They have a very high pigment load so they can be thinned with water or mediums to either a wash or glazing consistency with no problem. A little goes a long way. The high pigment load helps with opacity when you are painting in an opaque manner (or any combination in between).

The Golden Fluid Acrylics have a consistency a bit more like India Ink. They, too, have a very high pigment load and can be used anywhere from opaque to thin washes. They make beautiful, clear, non-grainy washes, by the way. One of the many things I like so much about the Golden Fluid acrylics is that they flow so wonderfully off your brush when you are trying to do some really fine lines or detail. No other acrylic paint that I have tried will work quite as well. They can even be used like drawing inks while using them in a pen tip such as a crow quill or other flexible drawing pen nib. Try that with a thinned down tube acrylic!

Both of the acrylic paints mentioned above will give you a broad range of painting techniques. If you want to work in a more impasto style, you might consider using heavy body tube acrylics. I find a combination of these paints are great to extend working possibilities. I often begin a painting with thinned washes, then progress to semi-opaque and opaque techniques. Then I use the Golden Fluid Acrylics to add any finishing fine details.

I like to prewet my painting surface, then I begin painting and use a very soft synthetic filbert brush to gently blend and soften the edges while the paint is still wet. It takes some practice and you have to work quickly. I always keep a blending filbert brush slightly damp and ready to use the moment I finish painting an area where I don't want any hard edges. The blending brush is kept clean and damp, ready to use even as I am applying the paint with another brush.

If I'm using heavy, opaque applications of paint, I usually use a damp hog bristle brush to scumble soft edges where I need them. This can even be done after an area has dried. If the edges are too hard, just use a scumbling technique to go over it with the same color (or neighboring color) to blend and soften the transition area.

Hope this helps a bit. I know there are lots of folks here who all have their favorite methods and can share lots of tips with you.

Have fun and experiment.


10-12-2004, 05:57 PM
i don't know if i could even begin to explain how i use fluid acrylics.

most often i further dilute them with water, alcohol (both denatured and/or isoprophy), golden fluid glazing medium, acrylic flow release.... most often i put the fluid acrylic in a bottle with a squeeze tip. my canvas (36"x48") is normally saturated with a garden hose and i pour the acrylic along with whatever variety of solvents onto the canvas. my studio is now equipped with a high power dehumidifier so that i can dry canvases normally in about 1/2 a day (i used to have to work around weather issues especially humidity and temperature....i live in Florida).

i just let the paint mix and swirl. the alcohols will cause types of resist (where they'll push the paint), whereas additional water and hydrogen peroxide will break it down (a fascinating effect).

some months, i work with my brush over the pours and enhance areas i want enhanced, but lately i've been exploring just using overlays of pours to create my images. (obviously i'm going more abstract).

and i do mix in occasionally a heavy gel paste because i can create a color in fluid and then beef it up while retaining an incredible transparency.

my art has never been more fun since i discovered fluids. i use mainly golden, but also Lascaux's aquacryl, and spectralite liquid acrylics. each line definitely has its own properties, but if you're willing to allow yourself to explore, you'll learn a lot as you go along.

10-22-2004, 11:04 AM
If you'd like to see just such materials in action (Liquitex Medium Viscosity Acrylic, thinned with water), check out on the watercolor forum Nick Simmons' work, and my latest work.

Nicholas Simmons WIP threads (not to be missed):
Tarantella: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221025
Faded Glory: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=198295

Nick's site: http://www.nicholassimmons.com

My latest: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224356

10-22-2004, 04:30 PM
Dito, what Tina said.

The main thing I have found with Golden fluid acrylics is the great saturation of pigment in the fluid paints. I do a lot of glazing, and washes. Found a little dab will do ya. I often use gesso for my white because it has better covering ability than the fluid titanium white.


10-22-2004, 05:21 PM
Im just doing my first work with Golden Liquid acrylics (on paper, size A3). This is not finished yet, but maybe gives some idea. I used the colors a bit as watercolors, using very thin layers of color. When I got more used to the colors, I used them more "from the bottle" (I did the mixing of colors on a little cup first, a drop was sometimes way too much color because they cover so well with such tiny amounts. Learned just to take a little color directly to my brush tip). I like the intensity of the color, a lot of pigment.

Photo is not the best - the shadows are too sharp here + like I said it is not finished. (Ive since painted the driver some more + changed the wheels).

Leena :)

11-02-2004, 11:00 AM
Here it is with some more touches. Picture tells the colors better than the previous one. Lots of thin layers of color.

Leena :)