View Full Version : Acrylic Impasto

05-24-2001, 10:52 AM
I'm an chemist, not a painter. I bought a canvas and paints 6 weeks ago and produced 4 oil paintings. My goal is to paint like Tom Thomson of the group of seven, as I have spent lots of time in northern Ontario where many of their images come from. Hence I have thick gobs of paint, (impasto?), on my canvases.

I am concerned about the fumes involved with oil painting even though I use almost no solvents, and paint right out of the tube, the oil smell bothers me. Therefore I have purchased some Winsor and Newton Finity paints. The drying time is taking some getting used to but it makes me work faster, and looser, which is what the group of seven painters seemed to do. My question is, can I get thick impasto type efects with acrylic? Are there other brands of acrylics ( heavy body by golden) which might be more useful for what I am trying to acomplish? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I will try to get one of my paintings on this site soon for your advise

Thank you

05-24-2001, 05:09 PM
I use "Liquitex Matte Opaque Extender Gel Medium" formerly called, "Gelex"

It is white thick acrylic substance that dries clear. You mix up to about 1/2 and 1/2 with colored pigment, and it holds to a much greater thickness and texture.

I use quite a bit of a painter's knife with some of my acrylic landscape technique...and have found it to be quite handy.


The "Artsmentor"

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

05-24-2001, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the advice, I'll see what the local art suppy store has in terms of gels and give it a try.

05-25-2001, 12:25 AM
Hi, Ivan:

Yes, you can do impasto with acrylics. The paint brand won't really make the difference, though. Impasto is most easily accomplished by use of one of the gel mediums designed for that purpose. Golden makes a couple of good ones: Extra Heavy Gel and High Solid Gel. They have a very good website with lots of info on all of their products. See www:/goldenacrylics.com.

I'll look forward to seeing one of your paintings.


05-27-2001, 08:28 PM
I aslo use many of the gels.
For your technique I also recommend to use
"Professional Grade" acrylics.
The Basics brand has "Beginner Grade"
"Student Grade" and "Professional Grade"
The later is the one that is thicker and buttery. I also use Winsor Newton "Finity" and find them very thick and great if you like to paint impasto style.



Keith Russell
06-09-2001, 09:53 PM

For textural effects in some of my paintings, mostly for planets and the like, I use 'Golden Heavy Body Gel', and even their 'Pumice Gel'.

They are easily applied, and manipulated, with palette knives, the Incredible Nib, etc.

Acrylic paints can be mixed with them before they're applied, or you can paint them once their surface is dry.

I usually mix them to the basic colour before applying them, then airbrush shading over the top, when they are partially dry.


Keith Russell
Synthetic Sky Studios
Science Fiction Fine Art
[email protected]