View Full Version : mediums...

02-15-2000, 02:47 PM
All the art catalogs have pages devoted to acrylics, and all the associated mediums used with them.

02-15-2000, 03:33 PM
That's kind of a fun thing about acrylics, you can put almost anything in it. Rocks, feathers, sand...! Winsor & Newton makes a 'flow improver' that's pretty nice. Liquitex has a huge line of mediums, called texture gels. Some are modeling pastes and some have give the appearance of little glass beads or lava rock and some have different grades of sand. There a quite a few, but can't remember the rest of them.
Hope this helps,


02-15-2000, 05:37 PM
I used the retarding medium to slow drying time but found that this caused 'drag'. Don't bother with it anymore. Liquitex makes an acrylic slow-dry medium that I like. It is very thin...like water..and gives the paint a wonderful transparency. You can use it by just dipping your brush into the medium on one side and the paint on the other side then blend together..or you can mix a couple drops into the paint.

I had a friend who only used water in her acrylic paintings (she did paint rather thick) and the paintings have cracked and peeled in places.

02-16-2000, 12:27 AM
what mediums would one use with acrylics? and why? just curious. i always thought water was the only thing to use. like watercolor and gouache.

02-16-2000, 06:52 AM
Water is a solvent; and is to acrylics what turpentine is to oil. If you use too much water the paint will break down and not have enough binding power (in oil you can brush the paint of the canvas when this happens). Too much water (I think) makes the colors look dull - I used a retarding glossy medium; just a few drops. Also used gel a lot.

I think the funky mediums are best avoided for regular paintings, but maybe I will try some of that for easter egg decorations http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif(that, and other decorative work is where I use acrylics these days).

Drew Davis
02-16-2000, 08:36 AM
There are all kinds of mediums for acrylics. Take a look at Golden's web site. They have some pretty good descriptions of the various sorts of products and what they're intended for.


Mediums are used for the same thing as in oil painting -- to alter the consistency of the paint. Usually, that's to make it thinner, more transparent, for glazing. Gloss and matte mediums allow you to control the gloss of the surface. Gels make the paint stiffer, if you want heavy texture. Retarder slows down the drying of acrylic. Acrylic mediums can also be used as glue for collage, or as a size for your support. Some of them can also double as varnishes. Then, there are the "special effect" ones with stuff in them, like sand, glass beads, mica flakes for iridescence, pumice for very toothy pastel grounds, and so on.

One of the big advantages of acrylic is its versatility.

02-21-2000, 11:07 AM
water & retarder are additives and they don't add to a paint film, just modify the workability. As stated above, too much water (or Retarder) can hurt the overall film formation because you extend the individual polymer molecules farther than it is allowable in order to form a complete film. I fond Acrylic Glazing Liquid to be a good overall medium to blend with if you need more open time with acrylics. If you are just extending try Soft Gel Gloss thinned with water 2:1. This allows a little more open time than a Polymer MEdium or the gel without water, but doesn't stay tacky too long so you can paint over the layers rather quickly.

Thicker gels allow you to extend the pigment (most costliest part of paint) and adjust the paint to exactly what you prefer the paint to feel like.