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Old 10-25-2017, 12:20 PM
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ronart ronart is offline
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open acrylic ?

is it better to use open acrylic for plain air painting ? all my acrylics are golden heavy. thanks

ronnie
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:05 PM
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westcoast_Mike westcoast_Mike is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

The Mrs uses Liquitex heavy body. She mists them and if it is really warm will also use a Sta-Wet pallet.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:05 PM
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Re: open acrylic ?

I like both heavy body and Golden Open acrylics at home, less so outdoors.

I like to put the heavy body acrylics on a wet paper towel and spray them. I have 2 sta-wet palettes but the paper dries out unevenly. Hard for me to manage. It is just as easy for me to have a spray bottle handy and change the palette occasionally.

Golden opens do stay open a little longer. They still dry out too quickly in the sun or the wind. Alabama humidity might help. When they do start to dry they get sticky. You can loosen them up a bit with a spray.

In either case, it is mostly a learning curve. It is frustrating in the beginning.

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Old 10-28-2017, 09:12 PM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

I use Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics and they both stay open and can be re-opened better than Golden Open.

Agree that a sta-wet palette works best, but actually don't often use one with acrylics. A handy bottle of water spray with Atelier is mostly what I need.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:45 PM
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maryinasia maryinasia is online now
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Re: open acrylic ?

I like just using old fashioned acrylics. For me, one of the joys of plein air is painting fast and not fussing.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:22 AM
James or Jimmy Jim James or Jimmy Jim is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

I'll give you my 2 cents, based on what I see every year in my workshops. People mostly paint in oils and acrylics (sometimes watercolour and pastels).

What I find almost universally is that acrylic painters squeeze out "baby" puddles and mix "baby" amounts of paint in fear of them drying out and being wasted, which does happen, especially in the sun and the wind.

They spend as much time spraying water and squeezing out more paint than they do looking at the subject, mixing and actually painting. BTW, they all use stay wet palettes.

I always try to be nice and encourage them to get Golden Open or a retardant to slow down the drying, so they can squeeze out more and focus on learning. Another option I suggest is water miscible oils (yes, I know).

Plein air painting can be challenging at the best of times, why make it more difficult.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:08 AM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by James or Jimmy Jim
I'll give you my 2 cents, based on what I see every year in my workshops. People mostly paint in oils and acrylics (sometimes watercolour and pastels).

What I find almost universally is that acrylic painters squeeze out "baby" puddles and mix "baby" amounts of paint in fear of them drying out and being wasted, which does happen, especially in the sun and the wind.

They spend as much time spraying water and squeezing out more paint than they do looking at the subject, mixing and actually painting. BTW, they all use stay wet palettes.

I always try to be nice and encourage them to get Golden Open or a retardant to slow down the drying, so they can squeeze out more and focus on learning. Another option I suggest is water miscible oils (yes, I know).

Plein air painting can be challenging at the best of times, why make it more difficult.
I've got a hunch that you don't really mean to sound as dismissive as it reads. You've painted a verbal picture of the plein air acrylic painter as a one-handed paper hanger. Nothing is farther from the truth as I witness and experience it.

In fact, it's a major adjustment for habitual oil painters to not sit there futzing mixing large piles of a particular color and missing the changing light en plein air! You are correct that it's smarter to mix smaller amounts in acrylics, which is not an odd habit, but an eminently practical one for that medium and it doesn't inhibit a good painter one bit, IME. You can learn (or fail to learn) with either medium equally.

BTW, I did try water oils and didn't find them any better than oils, just easier to clean up. They're still oil paints at heart and dry like oil paints all do, which is not to my particular taste outdoors. YMMV, of course.

I switched mostly to Chroma Atelier Interactive and they are better than Golden Open IMHO. They stay open better, are easily kept open with a spritz of water, and can be re-opened up to about a week later using their Unlocking Medium (or kept open mixing that in with the paint I'm told.)

While I have 2 sta-wet palettes, I find I never use them for my acrylics outdoors, though they would be a boon. Don't seem to really need them. I do use them with Ceracolors, however, which can dry quickly, but stay wet remarkably well, even for weeks in a sealed sta-wet.

Meantime, please don't help spread the notion - intentionally or inadvertently - that any medium is superior to any other. In the hands and heart of a painter, the medium he/she loves and feels most comfortable with is the one that will produce their best work.

I'm sure Da Vinci would agree. He worked masterfully in charcoal, fresco, oil and egg tempera, as I recall. Or Degas in oil and pencil and pastel. Or Rembrandt. Or Turner. Take your pick and you'll find many masters in many genres who painted with multiple media. And we're none the worse for viewing them.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:30 AM
James or Jimmy Jim James or Jimmy Jim is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

I think we are talking at cross purposes.

First of all, I am not promoting one medium over another. I am simply pointing out an observation from my workshops. I have seen some fantastic work done in both acrylics and water miscible oils, so I don’t knock them as legitimate mediums.

I am talking about “average” painters, trying to learn, struggling with fast drying paint in a challenging, changing setting ... not experts with the medium.

Whenever I try to help someone adjust something on their paintings, most of the paint on their palette is usually already dry. Also, their mixed colour cannot be adjusted, if necessary, if it is already dry. It has to be remixed.

Edit:

I should also say that the shade from an umbrella (or tree, etc.) helps slow drying time a bit (not much). Umbrellas are good beyond that. Painting in shade (palette and canvas/paper in the same light) can minimize perceived colour shifts when viewing paintings inside.

Last edited by James or Jimmy Jim : 11-05-2017 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:27 AM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by James or Jimmy Jim
I think we are talking at cross purposes.

First of all, I am not promoting one medium over another. I am simply pointing out an observation from my workshops. I have seen some fantastic work done in both acrylics and water miscible oils, so I don’t knock them as legitimate mediums.

I am talking about “average” painters, trying to learn, struggling with fast drying paint in a challenging, changing setting ... not experts with the medium.

Whenever I try to help someone adjust something on their paintings, most of the paint on their palette is usually already dry. Also, their mixed colour cannot be adjusted, if necessary, if it is already dry. It has to be remixed.
Good to know that what can be read as dismissive tone was not your intention.

It does sound as though it can be frustrating to you as an instructor to deal with your students' acrylics. I can well understand that, especially for an oil enthusiast in drying conditions outdoors. Oils are more predictably slow to dry, while acrylics can vary considerably depending upon conditions.

I've had days when my paints were drying awfully fast (which I know how to control) and even one in which they almost refused to dry! Atelier paints stay open longer when moistened. One day painting on the coast the cool fog was so thick as to be like mist hanging in the air just a hair too light to actually drizzle. My paints simply wouldn't dry. Blew me away, as I'd never experienced that one before. Nor since for that matter.

BTW, I've been playing with Ceracolors, a water-soluble cold wax paint requiring no heat (unless you want to set something permanently.) They are buttery, saturated, come in mostly earth colors like the older pigments, extremely versatile. But most of all, they are easily re-wetted with plain water. You can go back to them for weeks in a sta-wet palette if you desire. You can mix and blend them much like oils. But they are as versatile as acrylics and can mimic oil and watercolor too. To my eyes, the pigments dry the same color without the sometimes acrylic darkening shift. Once set with heat, they don't reopen and they are about as permanent as you can get (wax paintings last at least 2000 years!)

Maybe the answer, which you can ignore if you like, is in instructions before the workshop about which materials might work best, and if a mixed media group, in tips on how to handle the drying issue in advance.

We have a mixed meetup group of plein air painters. Some are oil exclusively, some acrylics, some do pastel, some pencil or charcoal, some watercolor. Then there are those who mix watercolor and pastel. I'll often do a couple of paintings in 3 hours using different media. Since we are not in an instructional situation we just let everyone do their thing and only provide suggestions if asked. I realize that makes it a lot easier to deal with, and that you as an instructor have to cope with something more difficult.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:22 PM
James or Jimmy Jim James or Jimmy Jim is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

I hear you and thanks for your thoughts. Personally, I don’t have strong opinions regarding the types of paint one chooses to work with (ohh … Jimmy speaks good ).

When people inquire about the workshops, I usually have “suggestions" regarding acrylics. That’s the most I can really do. People often have strong feelings about their methods and procedures. My job is to teach them to see, then help them translate what they see onto their (insert surface of choice).
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:37 AM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

Sounds like a great job to me!

Often when I visit a museum exhibition with a friend, I'll point out the technique, the composition, the historical references (painting references, not the life story) in the art work. Usually end up with folks clustering around us to listen and ask questions. I'm not a docent and have no intention, but it does appear that people are hungry to understand.

What I see in museums too often these days is eye-catching (or just dull text) versions of the life story of the artist, or the times in which the artist lived. Lots of folks want to read those more than looking at the pix themselves. But others genuinely want to see it from an artist's viewpoint - the works themselves, not the life style or the textbook history.

One of my favorite instructors online or on PBS when we're lucky is David Dunlop. Whether in his studio or in the field, in 30 minutes you get a well presented lesson in composition, visual perception, color theory, technique, and a demo of an actual painting done very quickly.

Helping people learn to "see" is the best lesson of all. Bravo you!

Last edited by bartc : 11-06-2017 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:03 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

I enjoyed reading this post. So nice to see a polite and informative discussion without anyone over reacting or taking offense. I might link to this page in the future when some other thread starts going down hill on WC as an example of how to behave in a public forum.


I started painting in acrylics back in the late 70s as an illustrator but stopped using them by the mid 80s and haven't really touched them since. All I used were the Liquitex paints. My wife and I are now painting what WE want to paint rather than assignments and are doing that 6 days out of 7 most weeks. Gallery and art festival sales are an important part of the equation but enjoying the journey takes a priority over painting for a particular market. So far so good, coming up on 3 years now since we started this.

She has started using acrylics for some of her work and is enjoying them but does not have very many tubes of quality paints. We do plein air work together during the nice weather. I work mainly in oils and pastels, with some watercolors thrown in there, and have done a few plein air encaustics using a Coleman stove. After watching her work with acrylics, I have decided that I want to give them a try again for studio and plein air work. I also want to get her some professional quality paints to use.

I definitely want something that stays open longer than the Liquitex stuff I used years ago, without having to add excessive amounts of retarder. I have been trying to decide which brand to get for us. I don't really want to try a bit of everything right now, but would rather get a moderate selection of just one brand / type to concentrate on for a while. After reading this thread I have almost decided to go with the Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics rather than the Golden Open I was leaning towards previously.

What other mediums or potions should I get to go with them?

I like the look of a high gloss final varnish as well as satin and matte. I have been using Golden Polymer removable varnishes for the final protective layer. Is there something better from Atelier or should I stick with the Golden?

We both like to do impasto and knife painting as well as more smooth styles. What would you suggest to give the Atelier paints more substance for impasto painting? How long do thick layers (rarely more than 1/4") need to dry before adding a new layer? How about for final varnishing?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions / advice.

Last edited by contumacious : 11-06-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:55 AM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
I definitely want something that stays open longer than the Liquitex stuff I used years ago, without having to add excessive amounts of retarder. I have been trying to decide which brand to get for us. I don't really want to try a bit of everything right now, but would rather get a moderate selection of just one brand / type to concentrate on for a while. After reading this thread I have almost decided to go with the Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics rather than the Golden Open I was leaning towards previously.

What other mediums or potions should I get to go with them?

I like the look of a high gloss final varnish as well as satin and matte. I have been using Golden Polymer removable varnishes for the final protective layer. Is there something better from Atelier or should I stick with the Golden?

We both like to do impasto and knife painting as well as more smooth styles. What would you suggest to give the Atelier paints more substance for impasto painting? How long do thick layers (rarely more than 1/4") need to dry before adding a new layer? How about for final varnishing?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions / advice.
OK, some thoughts:
1) I still use up some of my ancient Liquitex and newer heavy body, but they now come in all sorts of viscosities with an incredible line of mediums. One of their best, that replaces the old retarder for me is their Blending Medium, which allows you to blend like oils for a loooonnnnng time. Or you can still use the slower drying mediums instead of the ancient retarder.
2) Mixing Chroma with anything (same for other differently formulated paints with the same titular binder) will impact some of its open character, but not eliminate it. Chroma also comes in a good line up of mediums and colors, though not as extensive as Liquitex. They have a gel medium for impasto. The texture of the main paint is more buttery than Liquitex heavy body. And it will work with Liquitex Blending Medium, BTW.
3) Since you've already tried hot traditional encaustics outdoors (ugh to me, but YMMV), get a small starter set of cold wax Ceracolors to try them out. They sell one with 3 primaries and medium from which you can do a great deal to see if you like this instead. Anything you can do with hot encaustics you can pretty much do with Ceracolors without all the danger, smell and equipment (they also have a heavy body gel). Their line up is still narrow, but wide enough with the necessary warm and cool colors to mix anything you need. They feel terrific, stay open with water very long or reopen if you want until heated, look terrific, and can imitate acrylics, watercolors, oils and hot encaustics. Highly versatile and field worthy. You can paint either light to dark or vice versa, but I notice it's easier to do it the former like watercolor.

Hope that helps with your enviable art life style choices!

BTW, in my car I carry: watercolor field kit with watercolor pencils and inks; acrylics; Ceracolors; oil, water soluble oil and water soluble Charvin pastels; Turner Acryl Gouache; pastel pencils. All of it in kits designed for outdoor painting. Whatever strikes me is what I use, sometimes doing 2 or more media in one sitting. I see no reason to limit oneself, other than to take the time to learn to do reasonably well in any you use.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:07 PM
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Re: open acrylic ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
I enjoyed reading this post. So nice to see a polite and informative discussion without anyone over reacting or taking offense. I might link to this page in the future when some other thread starts going down hill on WC as an example of how to behave in a public forum.


I started painting in acrylics back in the late 70s as an illustrator but stopped using them by the mid 80s and haven't really touched them since. All I used were the Liquitex paints. My wife and I are now painting what WE want to paint rather than assignments and are doing that 6 days out of 7 most weeks. Gallery and art festival sales are an important part of the equation but enjoying the journey takes a priority over painting for a particular market. So far so good, coming up on 3 years now since we started this.

She has started using acrylics for some of her work and is enjoying them but does not have very many tubes of quality paints. We do plein air work together during the nice weather. I work mainly in oils and pastels, with some watercolors thrown in there, and have done a few plein air encaustics using a Coleman stove. After watching her work with acrylics, I have decided that I want to give them a try again for studio and plein air work. I also want to get her some professional quality paints to use.

I definitely want something that stays open longer than the Liquitex stuff I used years ago, without having to add excessive amounts of retarder. I have been trying to decide which brand to get for us. I don't really want to try a bit of everything right now, but would rather get a moderate selection of just one brand / type to concentrate on for a while. After reading this thread I have almost decided to go with the Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics rather than the Golden Open I was leaning towards previously.

What other mediums or potions should I get to go with them?

I like the look of a high gloss final varnish as well as satin and matte. I have been using Golden Polymer removable varnishes for the final protective layer. Is there something better from Atelier or should I stick with the Golden?

We both like to do impasto and knife painting as well as more smooth styles. What would you suggest to give the Atelier paints more substance for impasto painting? How long do thick layers (rarely more than 1/4") need to dry before adding a new layer? How about for final varnishing?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions / advice.

I mainly paint in traditional oils, but also have a set of the Golden Open Acrylic. I enjoy painting with the Open's quite a bit. I would recommend that you try one of the sample set's that can be purchased from blick.com that contains the Open medium to try out, as well as the paint.
The paint is quite fluid out of the tube, and when mixed with the open medium, it is a perfect consistency to paint with. At least for me. I think the key to getting the most out of your "open experience" is to use the medium with the paint.
You mentioned that you enjoy working with thick impastos knifework, and open would not be your first choice here. The opens contain the retarder, and that makes them somewhat more transparent than normal acrylic. I like the transparency, but you won't get thick knifework like with traditional acrylic or oils. Maybe, even try just a bit of the open medium mixed in with your piles of paint, and see if that helps you out.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:10 PM
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ronart ronart is offline
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Re: open acrylic ?

thanks for all reply , i guess it just comes down to whatever works for you, good answers

Ronnie
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