View Full Version : Holbein Duos and Acrylics

10-07-2010, 04:59 PM
Well I ventured into what the instructions said you could do and combined Holbein duos with acrylics. I was very happy because some of the duos are VERY expensive and I had a wide color range for mixing with the acrylics.
This is my first try. I worked on a pumice mix surface. I heard that some like to work oils on wallis paper, but intead of paying the high price I made my own. The acrylics seem to give an even quicker drying effect than the duos alone. We will see how the painting holds up. It has been a couple of months now. No problems yet. lol. Derek

Hummel's 14x18 approx.


10-08-2010, 09:09 PM
Cool work! I'm glad to hear someone has tried Duos with acrylics--I didn't buy any Holbein Duos ...yet...thank you for posting!

10-09-2010, 07:04 PM
Thanks Karen: Glad you stopped in .It was getting lonely out here. :)

10-12-2010, 11:18 PM
Derek you sure get around. I think I have seen this one before but it is a good one.Once again you take something we pass every day withoput a thought and make something wonderful out of it. Jen

10-23-2010, 09:18 PM
What kind of drying time did you get when mixing the Holbein's with acrylic? I'd be interested to hear what ratio you use and how it affected your drying times.

10-29-2010, 03:43 PM
Hi Shannon and Jen. Thanks Jen.

Shannon, did you like the painting??? lol
I used about a 50/50 mix and the paint was dry to the "touch" in about 2 hours..... I will not varnish this one for a while.(About 3 months?). BUT: and here is the important thing; if you paint on a sanded surface (pumice), the drying time is faster. That is what I used.

12-26-2010, 01:05 PM
Hey, I'm new to the forum, but nice work there, love the subtle blending of those real pretty colors in the foreground. I'm about to get back into my WMs and it's nice to see that they can produce these kinds of delicate colors that I see in your painting.

I usually paint on balsa wood after throwing on a few coats of gesso and then lightly sanding, what is this pumice surface you are talking about? I am just about to start a thread asking for advice about other good supports for the WMs, perhaps cheaper than always using the balsawood, but I want archivally sound too.

And yes I like the painting :).

01-11-2011, 03:19 PM
Hello everyone, I am the newest newby here and I come from the pastel forum. Tried pastels for many months and then give it up because it is too messy, too much dust and basically the painting will never "dry" by which I mean that even years later you cna smudge it by accident, and that alone is a turn off to me.
anyway, I have been experimenting with acrylics and now I am about to order and try Duo WMO for the first time, and my idea is just what Derek did, I would like to do an underpainting with acrylic (me too have a large range of shades of colors, $$$) and on top of that go with WMO to obtain great blending with no rush for the fear of too fast drying time (read acrylic. LOL) Pumice surface is a very grained surface usually used with pastels because of the great "tooth" (texture) holds the pastel dust much better and allow more layers of it. we also use sand paper like paper but just like Derek did, one can create his own pastel board by mixing pumice or marble dust with gesso and prime the surface of your choice.
Derek, it is a great relief to see what you did and accomplished!
As I said, I want to try the exact same thing, I will try on regular canvas and board as well as other surfaces....
hopefully I will be able to obtain something half as nice!!!

01-17-2011, 09:00 AM
I do have a question / comment that is sort of a cross reference from another thread, but germane to this discussion.

I was looking at canvas preparation methods (sanding / gesso / sanding) and posed the question why use gesso and not just prep the canvas in acrylic paint - since I was given that advice at an art store. I was given a very good answer about biding the paint and how it will technically work; however, you will most likely see delamination, cracking later.

Does this happen when painting a background in acrylic or mixing acrylic / WSO? I would think painting a background in acrylic is the exact same and preparing the canvas with acrylic, but I am not sure in mixing the paint before application.

I guess the question is most relevant to the artist who posted the amazing piece in the beginning of the thread - what is your experience? Had this painting held up well as it's cured?

01-17-2011, 10:11 AM
I see a couple of questions here - one dealing with acrylics in relation to putting a ground on the canvas and one involving the mixing of acrylics and WMOs.

The basic concept is to provide a mechanical or chemical bond between paint layers. In painting and glazing, the "fat over lean" rule in part ensures a chemical bond, as the extra drying oil (linseed) in the over-layers will bond with the still-curing under-layers.

Traditional gesso was flake white, linseed oil and whiting (AKA ground limestone, AKA powdered chalk) over an initial layer of natural collagen glue (rabbit skin glue, for the purists, which is chemically the same as hide glue). The flake white and whiting made for a matte or rough surface, which provided the mechanical bond.

Modern gesso is acrylic emulsion, titanium white and just about any useful powder the manufacturer can come up with, including whiting, but also silica powder (AKA fine sand). The resulting matte or rough finish provides the mechanical bond.

A straight glossy acrylic background should probably be roughed up with sandpaper or wetordry.

For the second question, you can mix water-based acrylic emulsions, including traditional acrylic artist's paints and acrylic mediums, with WMOs. Such a mix should adhere to straight acrylic backgrounds, just as acrylic paints adhere when placing them over dried acrylic layers.

The Lukas Berlin (WMO) fast-dry medium (Berlin Medium #3 in Europe) is an acrylic emulsion. "Fast" is an understatement -- a mix including Berlin fast-dry will seriously thicken within five minutes and be dry to the touch in 15... pretty much like the original acrylic artist paints of the late 1950s.

Acrylic mixes are strong adhesives -- in construction, when concrete additions are made to existing cured concrete, an acrylic bonding agent is sprayed onto the old concrete and mixed into the new.

01-17-2011, 10:21 AM
Thank you very much for the information. I don't want to hijack this thread in a digression, but would you be so kind as to quickly comment on canvas prep to create a nice smooth surface? You can PM me if you like or post on the canvas prep thread -


Thank you very much.

01-23-2011, 12:17 AM
Found this on a Holbein site:

For artists using transparent water color, gouache. and acrylic, blending with Duo will result in a variety of differing results. (When mixing with acrylic, add a few drops of water to avoid separation.)
it also mentioned: Acrylics on DUO surface, to thin Duo with water and roughen surface.

I love the DUO paints tried several brands they are my favorite, and have mixed up to 25 percent acrylic with them with out any problem.