View Full Version : 1st post: state of the art in acrylics?
01-26-2007, 07:00 AM
I'm looking to get back into painting after a long layoff, and I was trying to find out what the newest offerings are in acrylics. So far, I've seen the Atelier Interactives (and my test set should be here today :) ), and the Old Holland New Masters acrylics. Are there any other recent ones I should be aware of? I am looking for acrylics that will give me the most open time, and minimal color shifts when drying. (Isn't everyone? :wink2: ) I looked into the Genesis Heat Set paints, and probably would have liked the way they worked, but the small 1 oz. jars just seemed too tiny to be cost effective. I did some more looking, and came up with the Interactives as an alternative. I just want to make sure I don't miss anything else... I'm famous for that. :D
01-26-2007, 09:11 AM
Welcome and eager to see a post!!!
01-26-2007, 09:17 AM
You didn't miss this forum, Michael.
01-26-2007, 12:16 PM
Hi and welcome Michael, I don't have anything to offer in the way of information but am interested in how you liked the Interactives once you work with them.
01-26-2007, 12:23 PM
01-26-2007, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I appreciate it. :wave:
My Atelier Interactives didn't come today. Too bad. The only cure I know is to go out tomorrow and buy something else while I wait. :D
01-27-2007, 12:04 AM
Hey Mike where abouts in Pa
Am in Erie
01-27-2007, 07:39 AM
Take a look at some of the blending mediums, and liquitex has a new spray for extending open time and it is amazing. It really works. Also helps relieve some of the drag and makes i almost slippery. Matisse has some new mediums of interest especially their crackle medium. Golden has a crackle paste that is fascinating. Lots to see and experiment with out there.
01-28-2007, 08:14 AM
I'm on the south side of the state, down by the Maryland border. Because it's so rural, it sometimes seems like I'm kind of in the middle of nowhere. :wink2:
Thanks for the information on the Liquitex Palette Wetting Spray; I hadn't heard of that one before, and I'll look into it. See? That's why I'm here asking. I'm clueless! :D
Speaking of mediums, has anyone had any problems mixing mediums made by one company with paints from another? You know, like using that Liquitex spray or retarder with W&N Finity Acrylics? If they were "specially formulated" for use with their own lines, you'd think the combination would end up as radioactive mud. Then again... artists are known to, uh... "paint outside the lines" now and then. :angel:
01-28-2007, 08:31 AM
"Speaking of mediums, has anyone had any problems mixing mediums made by one company with paints from another? You know, like using that Liquitex spray or retarder with W&N Finity Acrylics? If they were "specially formulated" for use with their own lines, you'd think the combination would end up as radioactive mud. Then again... artists are known to, uh... "paint outside the lines" now and then."
I haven't noticed any major differences or diffiuclties. I do know that there is a French line that is very reactive when mixed with other mediums or brands. It turns into cottage cheese ( a sure sign of a reaction). I also found that the shelf life of this brand is not good at all. It tends to set up in the bottle and become problematic, at least in the metallics anyway.
If you get a chance check out the information kiosk there is a wonderful selection of info in there. Fun reading as well. See the link in my signature line.
01-28-2007, 11:52 AM
I looked into the Genesis Heat Set paints, and probably would have liked the way they worked, but the small 1 oz. jars just seemed too tiny to be cost effective. I did some more looking, and came up with the Interactives as an alternative.
Hi Michael, what kind of open time were you hoping for?
As far as I know the Interactives are the only major option in terms of what could be considered a long open time (all standard acrylics dry quickly by any any normal standard) with regard to the paint itself.
Speaking of mediums, has anyone had any problems mixing mediums made by one company with paints from another?
None that I've seen firsthand and although I have heard of one or two problems they are very rare.
01-29-2007, 07:19 AM
I'm probably wishing for the impossible, but I like to brush out the paint very thinly straight from the tube, without thinning with water. For me, thin coats of normal acrylics are sticky-dry in about 3-5 minutes, which is not nearly enough time for me to fix my mistakes. :wink2: I was hoping for at least 15-20 minutes of working time; I can then set it aside overnight to dry without feeling rushed.
From my shopping trip Saturday, I picked up some W&N Finity tube acrylics, which are supposed to have a "slightly longer" open time. I had a 12 year old tube of Liquitex acrylic Pthalo Green laying around (told you it was a long time!), and I bought a tube of Finity Pthalo Blue. I put a pile of each on my test canvasboard, then brushed them both out thinly to see which would dry first. Turns out the newer Finity got sticky first, in about 4 minutes. The old Liquitex didn't stay workable much longer than that, but I was kind of hoping for more from the new stuff. **sigh**
01-29-2007, 10:00 AM
For me, thin coats of normal acrylics are sticky-dry in about 3-5 minutes, which is not nearly enough time for me to fix my mistakes. :wink2: I was hoping for at least 15-20 minutes of working time; I can then set it aside overnight to dry without feeling rushed.
Okay, that's not too excessive (if you wanted close to an hour or much longer then I'd just recommend alkyds!)
Something around the timeframe you're looking for should be feasible with some addition of retarder, but the problem is you have to mix this my hand (in controlled amounts - too much is definitely not a good idea) into all your paints. And how long you do get will be partly dependant on other factors than the paint too as you might know, including exactly what you're painting on (substrate and primer, if any) as well as the temperature and humidity; if it's very dry where you are then you'll have a much bigger hurdle than someone in a humid location.
From my shopping trip Saturday, I picked up some W&N Finity tube acrylics, which are supposed to have a "slightly longer" open time.
Yes, they are supposed to :) They're also formulated to have a minimal wet-to-dry colour shift which you were also looking for; incidentally if you don't plan on using much water you'll see this much less than you might otherwise you'll be pleased to know.
I had a 12 year old tube of Liquitex acrylic Pthalo Green laying around (told you it was a long time!), and I bought a tube of Finity Pthalo Blue. I put a pile of each on my test canvasboard, then brushed them both out thinly to see which would dry first. Turns out the newer Finity got sticky first, in about 4 minutes. The old Liquitex didn't stay workable much longer than that, but I was kind of hoping for more from the new stuff. **sigh**
Well the difference in body of the two paints can account for drying differences also, as can the pigment and pigment load.
I think that unless you want to tailor your working method specifically to maximise drying time - with retarder or by working like this* - overall the new paints from Atelier are probably going to be your best bet.
*Golden used to have a page on a method for keeping the paint workable for extended periods by working on canvas with a moisture reservoir in the back. It's not a perfect solution but at least it doesn't rely on additives and the mixing that goes along with them so you might like to have a look for it on the Golden site.
01-31-2007, 09:20 PM
Dang! I forgot all about alkyds! :eek: The last ones I used (a long time ago) were W&N Griffins, and they were particularly evil-smelling to me. I loved the handling and drying characteristics though. I've been checking to see if there any new ones that might fit the bill. Thanks for the reminder.
I had to place a new order for the Interactives, but hopefully they will be here by the end of this week. Then we'll see if I can bend them to my will, or if they'll bend me. :D
02-01-2007, 07:57 AM
The last ones I used (a long time ago) were W&N Griffins, and they were particularly evil-smelling to me.
Regrettably that's not an uncommon complaint about them. There are a couple of other alkyd brands on the market now if you want to compare; I'd ask about them first in Oil Painting though if smell is really a deal breaker, just to be on the safe side.
Then we'll see if I can bend them to my will...
02-01-2007, 07:33 PM
I love your "mad scientist" laugh. It reminds me of me. :D
Thanks for the advice. I guess I can't base decisions entirely on smell, because even good-smelling stuff is still giving off vapors that might not be all that healthy. Checking out work area ventilation may be in order too.
I'll still have to give my impressions of the Interactives when they do get here. I'm just too curious, and I have to know... it's the mad scientist in me. :D
02-08-2007, 09:10 PM
Well, my Interactives finally came today, and it's time to tell you what I think. (Please note I did my tests in a house closed up from the winter cold, and the heated air inside created a low humidity environment.) You may or may not experience similar results. I can only tell you my thoughts.
- I tried out my preferred painting style; painting thinly straight from the tube. The Interactives seemed to dry just as quickly as any other acrylic paint. :wink2: For this test I did not thin with water, or apply a water spray mist. I plopped some Interactive on my canvasboard, brushed it thin a few times this way and that, and poof! It was dry like the others. Not what I was hoping for, but again, that was only my experience under my specific conditions.
- I noted other people compared this to an "acrylic gouache," and I would agree. The Interactives dry to a mostly matte finish (thicker paint dries to a semi-gloss), and can be lifted by re-wetting for a fair amount of time. Once it's really dry though, it's the end of the line. No more blending.
- Dry Interactive paint is a bit darker than what comes straight from the tube. It is not a large color shift, but it is noticeable. If you thin the Interactives with water, they will definitely be lighter than the paint straight from the tube while you are working with them. The section I thinned with water dried to a very matte finish. You would need some sort of medium or varnish to even out the sheen when you are done painting. (Unless you're into that kind of thing. :) )
- Covering power seems good. The Interactive label says it won't look "plasticy." It doesn't, but it looks a bit dull to me. (I don't like super glossy paint, but I do like some shine to the finish.)
- Thicker passages applied with a knife were still wet after 45 minutes, but they did form a definite skin. (Remember I didn't add any water spray, and the climate conditions of my test.) It can be re-wetted easily enough, so wet-into-wet blending would probably be practical if you are determined enough.
Would I recommend them? It depends. If you're happy with your current brand of acrylic, and have adapted your working methods to fit, then I'd say stay with what you have. If you're a bit frustrated with your current paints, and are looking for a paint that lets you get back "into" it, then these Interactives might be worth a try. As for me, I think I will be looking into oil and alkyd paints. They just seem to fit my style of working better. For health and safety reasons, I wanted to try to find something that was water-based, but I think with some planning and normal precautions I can get along with oils pretty well. I just have to remember not to eat or drink or breathe the stuff. :)
Thanks for all your help during my search. I really appreciate it!!! :D
02-22-2007, 07:20 AM
I have been using interactive for some months in a coastal, humid environment and find that these have a much longer open time than other brands I have tried. Even the pallette can be stored overnight in a plastic bag into which I have sprayed water. Next day no skin has formed and the paint is completely workable. Unlike a wet palette, the paint has not been watered down.
For colour, however it is hard to beat Golden so I have taken to using the Interactive Titanium white and tinting with Golden where it can be used - best of both worlds.
The comment about lack of gloss is true and seems to require a gloss additive to overcome - perhaps someone else has another solution.
02-22-2007, 02:56 PM
Someone I know mixes the liquitex varnish with her paints to extend the working time as soon as she puts the paint out on the palette. If you thin the paints with water, they will dry even faster. I have a glazing medium that I've been using as a retarder, and i think the varnish keeps the paint workable longer.
02-22-2007, 09:32 PM
I'm on my second painting using Interactives. The 1st painting started off well with them, but when I tried to place my glazes the underpaint lifted right of!!!! Not good, so I switched to WN Galleria to finish the piece. This 2nd piece, no glazing, and they work well, blends nicely, has an oil paint feel to them, and I'm liking them a lot. I have noticed that if the heat is on and lowers thr humidity in the house it does affect the open time, but this is even worse w/ regular acrylics. You just have to forget about the way you've used acrylics in the past because we've adapted our painting techniques to the materials we use, like glazing.
02-23-2007, 07:16 AM
After looking up some more techniques here at WC, I did some more experimenting (muhuahahah!) with some Golden acrylics I picked up. I found that if I laid down a layer of gloss medium over my test canvasboard first, it made a world of difference with the paint's working time. I mixed a little bit of retarder with the paint itself, and misted it now and then with an old perfume dispenser filled with distilled water. I was very surprised at the improvement in working time. If I just kept misting it, it stayed wet pretty much as long as I cared to work with it. I don't care for the dullish appearance of the dried acrylic though. I would hate to keep putting a layer of gloss medium over the paint just so I can make out the true depth of the color I have, and if I mix gloss medium with the paint to start with, I keep ending up with glazes, not opaque passages. I know Golden's paints are duller in some pigments more than other because of the high pigment load, but I'm scratching my head at a way to get a shinier finish without sacrificing opacity. Hmmm...
03-15-2007, 07:39 PM
I'm on my second painting using Interactives. The 1st painting started off well with them, but when I tried to place my glazes the underpaint lifted right of!!!!
Jackie, if you paint thinly and then apply more thin glazes, your Interactive paint may lift. To avoid this, I'd seal that layer with a coat of Binder medium. Of course, the paint could lift too, depending on what surface your painting on and how you primed.
As many others have said, the heat and humidity all affect how quickly any paint, including Interactive, dries. Adding their Slow Medium extends the open time without having to rehydrate.
Michael, did you get any Interactive mediums with your paint? Water should rehydrate your paint for the first few hours or so. The Unlocking Formula is used to get back into your work after it's been touch dry for a longer period. Sometimes if you paint very thinly or on paper, you'll need the Unlocking Formula sooner rather than later. I know if I spray the Unlocking Formula on my paintings, I can continue to blend wet-in-wet until the painting has cured. That's usually about 5-7 days.
I'm an artist, who also works for Chroma, so that's why I know about this paint.
Regarding the sheen: Depending on what mediums I add or how much water I use, the sheen always varies. That's why I just varnish my cured Interactive paintings. I find that when a painting is finished, I can actually see what sheen the painting needs: a moodier piece looks better with a matte varnish and my brighter, colorful pieces look better glossier. Maybe I'm lazy, but I'd rather address sheens at the end! During the painting process I'm in another zone thinking about other things.
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