Re: Question for those using acrylics for portraits
There is so much you can do with acrylics but indeed they dry fast. Myself I use mostly open acrylics for portraits as you have a hour or so for blending instead of just 2 minutes. With regular acrylics the building up of paint layers , overpainting and glazing is easy because of the short drying time, especially well suited for people with less patience. Do use quite a bit of acrylic medium (matt or glossy) and not only water would be my advice. A mixture of 50% medium and 50% water will work quite well generally. Using water only as "medium" will tend to dull the colors but is fine when sketching or working very quickly as nothing beats good quality acrylic colors in my opinion with the exception of soft pastel.
The real (and I think biggest) challenge with Acrylics is the very short time you have for blending so you have to work fast. What also works nice and acceptable to soften edges is to use a dry brush technigue.
I never use retarders and when desired I use Open Acrylics for areas requiring a bit more blending then possible with regular Acrylics. The various Gel mediums (there are many !!) are nice to experiment with and the possibilities are endless ....
I like acrylics :-), Walter