View Full Version : How to 'draw' with acrylic paints? X-posted

02-11-2010, 03:04 PM
Hello fellow painters,

I'm looking for advice....I also posted this question on the Multi Media forum. I've quickly perused the links here and 'how-to's' and may have missed info that already exists on my question....but here goes.....

I'm thinking maybe there is a medium or gel or something that I could to add to my paint that would allow me to put it in a squeeze bottle and draw with it. I'm not sure, at this point, what consistancy I'm after. Anyone who has done this or tried it, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

I currently use Liquitex & Golden HB and 'Open' paints so would like something that would still be compatible with those.

Thanks in advance for any advice you have for me!

Charlie's Mum
02-11-2010, 03:11 PM
Lori - look in the Information Kiosk, classrooms Index for Howard's thread about mediums - (Idylbrush) .... and if he doesn't pop in here, PM him cos I'm sure he can help you! :D

Edit - the thread is here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=593059)

02-11-2010, 04:05 PM
Thanks Maureen! I'll do some reading and hopefully find my answer! :thumbsup:

02-11-2010, 04:28 PM
There are some acrylics that come in squeeze bottles. They might work.

The types of acrylics you mention are thicker. If you want to thin them down, and experiment with different consistencies, you can stir in a thin medium (various companies make them), or water, or a combination of the two. Barclay Sheaks likes to use a 50:50 mix of water and medium for this.

Da Vinci and Golden are among the companies that make fluid acrylics. Nova Color acrylics are fairly thin or creamy.

I have tried using acrylic inks in squeeze bottles. The consistency is watery. You can get very fine lines if you use squeeze bottles that have a narrow tube at the end. These sorts of bottles are used by silk painters (among others). Jacquard is one company that makes them.

02-11-2010, 04:33 PM
Thinning down heavy body acrylics can involve a lot of stirring. The more-liquid or creamy acrylics are easier to mix and thin down.

It's a bit like the difference between stirring dough in with water to make it thinner vs stirring pancake batter in with water, or stirring milk with water -- it's easier to get a smooth, even mixture with the lower-viscosity acrylics.

It can certainly be done with the higher-viscosity acrylics, but it often involves more time.

02-11-2010, 04:37 PM
Try thinning them with liquid medium or airbrush medium or a combination of both. A bit of flow enhancer and distilled water wouldn't damage anything either.

Liquid acrylics work very well for this application as well.

I use a guta bottle with the SS tips to draw with and they are a charm.

Guta Bottles (http://www.dickblick.com/products/squeeze-bottle-with-tips/)

squeeze bottles (http://www.dickblick.com/products/plastic-squeeze-bottles/)

02-11-2010, 04:41 PM
You can also draw with the thicker paints, but it's different.

You can use cake and pastry decorator bags and nozzles. Some people just use a sturdy Ziploc bag and cut the corner off.

You can get raised lines this way.

You can also get some interesting sculptural effects.

Rick G
02-11-2010, 05:38 PM
You can use airbrush acrylics to draw with. They can even be used in technical drafting pens. Here's some info from Golden's website that may be of use:


02-11-2010, 05:40 PM
I'm thinking maybe there is a medium or gel or something that I could to add to my paint that would allow me to put it in a squeeze bottle and draw with it. I'm not sure, at this point, what consistancy I'm after.
Okay, well as long as it's just being squeezed from a bottle then good ol' water can work.

Mediums or additives are worth trying comparatively, with or without also adding water, as this might give better results depending on the viscosity you end up with, especially if you're looking for a very particular effect.

Although it might seem unrelated this post (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8431011#post8431011) by a representative of Golden from a recent thread has a few things worth considering.


02-11-2010, 09:16 PM
I took the elmers glue bottle cap and fit it on "apple barrel" and "my studio" brands paint. They draw fairly smooth without too much hastle. They are a lower grade paint though.

Also look at "pouring medium" from liquitex and "tar gel" from golden.
This was done with this process generaly:

02-12-2010, 10:14 AM
Wow! Thanks everybody! Lot's of great answers/advice. Just what I was after....now off I go to do some shopping and experiments. :D

Ribeyesmile - Yes, that's very much what I'm after! Thanks for posting that example.

02-12-2010, 10:37 AM
Hi ElleZee, for reference you can also try the two book by Rheni Tauchid (fellow Canuck from Kingston, Ont)on Acrylics. She demonstrates in both books various mediums that give awesome effects. http://tri-art.ca/en/whatsnew/acrylicsbook/

02-12-2010, 07:02 PM
I use Golden fluid to paint with squeeze bottles, the consistency is just perfect, the paint does not level off. You can use some tar gel also but must mix the paint in the gel 24 hours before using the mix if you want to avoid bubbles.

02-12-2010, 11:29 PM
Lori, I use squeeze bottles a lot. Bearing in mind that I'm a fairly new painter, (I'm a glass artist, usually), I do have some advice that may help you.

You have to decide if you want to end up with texture after you squeeze...that's a big part of the decision making process. You also have to think about the ratio of color to medium, as well as the cost of supplies. Although you can just sqeeze out fluid paint....it's pricey. And I don't like the flip-top container to work from. I'm using sqeeze bottles that I got at a dollar store, they have a nice small hole, they're soft enough to be able to sqeeze with some control, and they have nice little pop-on caps.

I'm still playing with formulas, but I'm learning fast. I've found that it's MUCH easier to mix the paint/medium in a plastic (dollar store, 500ml) measuring cup and then carefully pour it into the bottle. I mix 24 hours before use; even with careful mixing you will get bubbles, with are...distressing.

I'm using all sorts of paints at this point, soft body, fluid, airbrush, heavy body, etc., and I'm using primarily Golden Tar Gel, a bit of medium gloss gel, and water. The consistency that I try for is pourable, but just pourable. That's because I want texture. This is the sort of thing that I'm doing (24x36"):


This is the third painting that I'd done at that point, I have a lot more now, but haven't photographed them.

Where in MB are you??? I'm a former Winnipeger myself!