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Old 08-28-2010, 06:12 AM
MG_NYC MG_NYC is offline
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W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

I've never been big on using slowed-down drying for acrylics, but thought I may give it a try. The two obvious choices (well, for me) were W&N and Golden.

I was told that W&N's "Slow Drying Medium", at least in its current version, is too new to have much of a track record. No one at Pearl had used it yet. It's definitely viscous--much more so than Golden's equivalent "Retarder." I'd love to find opinions on relative drying times, gloss vs matte, etc.

I was just wondering if there was an outside chance that anyone knew a bit about the two. Or at least about the W&N medium.
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:22 AM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjwjx3Ktugg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647
couple of links for you
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:43 PM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by benchs
Thanks for the links, Ben. I guess everything is on Youtube these days, so that should have been no surprise. Very brief mention of the W&N "Slow Drying Medium" but I haven't seen anything elsewhere.

Not sure if I'd go with the method in the other thread. I'm pretty sure the medium has no acrylic binder in it, unlike the other mediums. So spraying a layer on a painting could be asking for problems with adherence....I dunno. I was apprehensive about mixing it with paint for that reason, but counting on rubbing paint through the layer of retardant seems risky.

However, this was the context that got me interested... I saw mention of doing this in some decrorative flower painting book and thought it might be worth a look. I consistently run into places on paintings where I need a hazy background or whatever, and my normal acrylic 'drafting' approach is not well suited.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:56 PM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

I use the new W&N mediums, the slow dry mediums says that using at a ratio of 1:1 doubles drying time, I never use it in a ratio more than that and have had no problems with it. I use the slow dry and the glaze medium together without problem too, a bonus for me is that if you use their new paints with the medium there's no colour shift from wet to dry which makes building colour through multiple glazes easy.
The W&N site has lots of info about the mediums and a few videos of them too http://www.winsornewton.com/products/acrylic-colours/
Hope this helps
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:14 AM
MG_NYC MG_NYC is offline
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMcC
I use the new W&N mediums, the slow dry mediums says that using at a ratio of 1:1 doubles drying time, I never use it in a ratio more than that and have had no problems with it. I use the slow dry and the glaze medium together without problem too, a bonus for me is that if you use their new paints with the medium there's no colour shift from wet to dry which makes building colour through multiple glazes easy.
The W&N site has lots of info about the mediums and a few videos of them too http://www.winsornewton.com/products/acrylic-colours/
Hope this helps
Thanks, Andy. After reading a bit, my main concern was adhesion. I had also heard of problems with the final surface not hardening completely. So I'm not sure I'd trust either retarder until after thorough tests.

I've been using mostly Golden heavy body acrylics, but some W&N as well. I'll have to check the color shift thing, and perhaps try all W&N on a painting to see if it helps. But given the mix, that's not a present factor for me; I could use the Golden retarder if it has any advantages. I doubt that either have any actual acrylic base, so the concern about adhesion and hardening of the acrylic surface probably apply to both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMcC
Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it - Dali
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Two great quotes. I was just looking at Dali's second Madonna of the Port of Light again. Amazing work.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:49 PM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Generally, there is a difference between a "slow dry medium" and a "retarder" for acrylics.

Retarders for acrylics have been around for quite a while and I find them thick, sticky and annoying. You have to be careful about how much retarder you mix with your paints. If you use too much, your paint may never dry completely. After trying retarders briefly several years ago, I abandoned them completely. They may have been improved since I tried them, but I have had no desire to try them again.

A more recent development in acrylics is a "slow dry medium." I have not tried the one made by W&N, but I have tried the Liquitex version, Slow Dri Medium. As the title implies, it is a medium and it will help to slow the drying time of your acrylic paints. I either mix it into my paints or I will sometimes put a thin coat of the Slow Dri Medium onto the painting surface, then paint into it with my paints. Either method works well and I've never had problems with the paint not drying or not hardening properly. But I do paint fairly thinly and don't pile on thick layers of paint, so it may work out differently for others. As with most acrylic mediums, the more of the Slow Dri Medium you mix with your paints, the more transparent they become.

Golden makes a slow drying medium for its line of Open Acrylics and it works very much like the Liquitex Slow Dri Medium. I believe it's called Golden Open Medium or something very close to that. You can use it with regular acrylics as well as with their Open line of paints.

I think it's best to read the instructions on each product carefully to be sure you are using it according to recommended practices. Also, check out the companies' web sites for further information.

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Last edited by BeeCeeEss : 08-30-2010 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:52 AM
MG_NYC MG_NYC is offline
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeCeeEss
Generally, there is a difference between a "slow dry medium" and a "retarder" for acrylics.

Retarders for acrylics have been around for quite a while and I find them thick, sticky and annoying. You have to be careful about how much retarder you mix with your paints. If you use too much, your paint may never dry completely. .
...
A more recent development in acrylics is a "slow dry medium." I have not tried the one made by W&N, but I have tried the Liquitex version, Slow Dri Medium. As the title implies, it is a medium and it will help to slow the drying time of your acrylic paints. I either mix it into my paints or I will sometimes put a thin coat of the Slow Dri Medium onto the painting surface, then paint into it with my paints. Either method works well and I've never had problems with the paint not drying or not hardening properly.
...
Beverly
Thanks for your comments, Beverly. The latter application (blending layer) is what I was looking for.

I have been circling around a similar conclusion regarding retarders. As far as I know, the term usually implies that there is no acrylic resin, so spreading a film of retarder onto a large surface would seem to be asking for adhesion problems.

On the other hand, I haven't been able to find out if W&N's "Slow Drying Medium" has any resin either. I'm told that W&N doesn't give out that info, but that's hard to believe...you'd have to know in order to gauge usage.

I know that there are ties between Liquitex and W&N, so maybe the similar names are an indicator that the W&N product can be used as a blending layer. I'm skeptical though. And though I appreciate your experience with Liquitex, I'm not anxious to use that brand again just yet.

I did get a reply from Golden, who recommended trying their "Glazing Liquid," which apparently contains both resin and retardant. That's a possibility.

I initially thought this was going to be a simple thing to research and resolve. A silly assumption on my part, evidently. <g> I'm especially surprised that W&N doesn't make more specific info available.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:49 PM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
...

I know that there are ties between Liquitex and W&N, so maybe the similar names are an indicator that the W&N product can be used as a blending layer. I'm skeptical though. And though I appreciate your experience with Liquitex, I'm not anxious to use that brand again just yet.

Personally, I hate Liquitex paints, but I know there are loads of folks who use them and love them. The only Liquitex products I use are the Slow Dri Medium (which I regard highly) and their Flow Aid (only because I could buy a bottle locally when I needed one fast).


Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp

I did get a reply from Golden, who recommended trying their "Glazing Liquid," which apparently contains both resin and retardant. That's a possibility.


As I recall from previous uses, Golden's glazing medium (or liquid) did not provide any significant slowing of drying time for me. But, again, that may be due to the thin layers I generally paint in. I think their soft gel medium would be more effective as a blending layer. I have used it much as I do the Liquitex Slow Dri Medium, either mixed with my paints or applied to the canvas first, then painted into. I am a big fan of Golden products. I have used their paints for many years and loved them. Only recently have I strayed when I began using M. Graham Acrylics--and love them even more!

Best wishes,

Beverly
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:34 AM
MG_NYC MG_NYC is offline
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeCeeEss
Personally, I hate Liquitex paints, but I know there are loads of folks who use them and love them. The only Liquitex products I use are the Slow Dri Medium (which I regard highly) and their Flow Aid (only because I could buy a bottle locally when I needed one fast).
Ah, that's a better endorsement for their Slow-Dri mediums then. <g> I noticed something called "Slow-Dri Blending Liquid" at DickBlick.com. Is that what you're using? I believe there are a couple gels also, but I didn't see anything just called 'Slow-Dri Medium.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeCeeEss
As I recall from previous uses, Golden's glazing medium (or liquid) did not provide any significant slowing of drying time for me. But, again, that may be due to the thin layers I generally paint in. I think their soft gel medium would be more effective as a blending layer. I have used it much as I do the Liquitex Slow Dri Medium, either mixed with my paints or applied to the canvas first, then painted into. I am a big fan of Golden products. I have used their paints for many years and loved them. Only recently have I strayed when I began using M. Graham Acrylics--and love them even more!

Best wishes,

Beverly
I spoke to another knowledgable person at Golden today. She advised checking into Golden Open Acrylic Medium, which was obviously designed to work with their Open series paints (I'm getting more interested in those now). I picked up both the Open medium and the previously mentioned Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid. Just tried a quick test with a medium thickness layer: After two hours the Glazing liquid is still just a slight bit tacky, and would probably open up with water. The heavier ridges on the Open Medium are viscous but still fluid. I also checked the W&N medium that I mentioned. After a day, it's not even thinking about drying. There's obviously no acrylic binder in it. I haven't done any painting with them yet. The intent here was to check adherence by trying to lift the layer with tape, after it dries of course.

The Glazing Liquid has me interested. It's a combo of binder, retardant, and an agent that promotes paint flow. It feels kind of slick. If you still have yours, you may want to give it another look. The Golden tech did say that it would harden faster than the Open Acrylic Medium, but that they could be mixed to control the drying time. I'm probably OK if it slows drying to 5 minutes of workable time, so maybe the straight Glazing Liquid will work for that.

Re brands: I had picked up a couple tubes of M.Graham, and initially thought the gloss was rather nice, but that may also be due to reduced pigment load. W&N's new clear resin seems like a good idea (color doesn't change wet-to-dry), but I'm starting to think that Golden is better overall. Not pleased with W&N's tendency toward separation of resin/pigment. And it's difficult to get info on stuff like the medium mentioned above. They could have saved me the trouble of that test by just stating whether it contained resin. Top-secret, evidently. They do have some nice single-pigment colors that aren't available elsewhere.

Golden, on the other hand, has just about everything W&N has, except the wet-dry-shift resin and a couple pigments. And Golden's tech network has been very forthcoming with info.

BTW, I also picked up a tube of Golden Open series Titanium White. Drying time seems somewhere between their two mediums mentioned above. Definitely extended enough for me without adding any external medium. I may pick up some more. The extended time could end up being a pain sometimes though, and I don't think there's any way to speed it up selectively.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:19 AM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

If I may add twopennyworth to this discussion it is that I use a lot of Golden glazing medium and find that, in addition to its properties in the glazing field, it also allows a degree of blending on the canvas as well as providing an extension to the drying time. I also use it painted neat over a finished painting in order to provide a protective layer before varnishing. That last comment is based on information received from Golden a couple of years ago. It's difficult to know if it works or not but it certainly has not caused any harm
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:41 PM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
Ah, that's a better endorsement for their Slow-Dri mediums then. <g> I noticed something called "Slow-Dri Blending Liquid" at DickBlick.com. Is that what you're using? I believe there are a couple gels also, but I didn't see anything just called 'Slow-Dri Medium.'

Sorry, my bad. I should have typed out the entire name: Liquitex Slow Dri Blending Medium. It is a slightly thick fluid. Liquitex also makes a Slow Dri Blending Gel. I suppose the intention is to use the Slow Dri Blending Medium with fluid or soft body acrylics and use the Slow Dri Blending Gel with standard/heavy body acrylics. I like the thinner stuff and use it with both types of acrylics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
I spoke to another knowledgable person at Golden today. She advised checking into Golden Open Acrylic Medium, which was obviously designed to work with their Open series paints (I'm getting more interested in those now).

The Golden Open Acrylics are very nice but Golden had to compromise with the pigment load to balance it with the "open" characteristics. If they loaded in as much pigment as they have in their regular lines of paints, it made the paints act just like regular acrylics, drying quickly, and they lost that longer blending time. So they cut back on the pigment load to maintain the "open" blending times. They are quite compatible with the regular acrylics and you can mix and combine them as you please. Just note that the more regular acrylic paint you mix into the Open paints, the less blending time you will have. There have been extensive threads written about the new Golden Open paints and you might find them interesting if you do some searches to locate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
I picked up both the Open medium and the previously mentioned Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid. Just tried a quick test with a medium thickness layer: After two hours the Glazing liquid is still just a slight bit tacky, and would probably open up with water. The heavier ridges on the Open Medium are viscous but still fluid. I also checked the W&N medium that I mentioned. After a day, it's not even thinking about drying. There's obviously no acrylic binder in it. I haven't done any painting with them yet. The intent here was to check adherence by trying to lift the layer with tape, after it dries of course.

I have tested both the Golden Open medium and the Liquitex Slow Dri Blending Medium in this way, also. Both performed in the same way. If I spread a fairly thick layer of either medium on a surface and left them to dry overnight, the next morning, I found them both still wet. However, if I used them as a thin "paint in" layer, painted onto the painting surface and then painted into with acrylic paints, they were completely dry by the next morning, even the spots where I spread some of the medium beyond the edges of the area I painted. It dried just fine. It leaves a bit of a shine behind, as well. One reason I noticed this is because I often use a dampened paper plate as a mixing palette (to help keep my paints moist during a painting session). I prepare a stack of 3 or 4 wet paper plates with wet paper towels between each layer. After I fill up one paper plate, I can just peel it and the wet paper towel away and have a fresh surface to blend my paints on. This works out quite well, but you have to be sure to use the "coated" paper plates that are labeled "grease resistant". As an experiment, I also tried painting a layer of the Liquitex Slow Dri Blending Medium on this paper plate before I mixed any colors on it. This way, my paints automatically picked up a bit of the medium as I mixed them. If I left this paper plate palette out exposed to the air overnight, the paints would be dry but the areas where the Slow Dri Blending Medium had been spread (but with no paint mixed into it) were still wet. The Golden Open medium did the same thing.

What you describe about the W&N may be the same effect I describe above. Don't be too quick to dismiss it if you haven't tried it with some paints and in thin layers only. You might have a perfectly usable product there, but it just needs a bit more experimentation.

BTW, if I'm in a hurry to get the painting surface dry so I can move on with the next phase, I just use my handy hair dryer--low heat setting. Works great.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
The Glazing Liquid has me interested. It's a combo of binder, retardant, and an agent that promotes paint flow. It feels kind of slick. If you still have yours, you may want to give it another look. The Golden tech did say that it would harden faster than the Open Acrylic Medium, but that they could be mixed to control the drying time. I'm probably OK if it slows drying to 5 minutes of workable time, so maybe the straight Glazing Liquid will work for that.

Now, that sounds very interesting. You're right. I may give my glazing liquid another try and mix in a bit of the Open medium. When I tried it in the past, I was working on watercolor paper. The paper wicks moisture out of the paints and mediums very quickly unless you pre-wet the paper. I'm now working more on gessoed surfaces and the paints behave very differently.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
Re brands: I had picked up a couple tubes of M.Graham, and initially thought the gloss was rather nice, but that may also be due to reduced pigment load.

I haven't noticed any reduced pigment load, but, if I do, I'll just mix in some of my Golden paints to "punch it up" a bit. The creamy working qualities of this paint are unlike any other acrylic paint I've ever tried. And it blends smoothly and quickly with water without making any of those annoying little "worms" or clumps of paint, as many others do. It also flows beautifully off a fine detailing brush, something that is very difficult with many acrylic paints.

But I still have my Golden paints, so I feel I have the best of both worlds and I'm happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
W&N's new clear resin seems like a good idea (color doesn't change wet-to-dry), but I'm starting to think that Golden is better overall. Not pleased with W&N's tendency toward separation of resin/pigment. ...

Good to know. I had tried the older W&N Finity line, but not their newer line. I think I'll stick with my Golden's and M. Grahams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
Golden, on the other hand, has just about everything W&N has, except the wet-dry-shift resin and a couple pigments. And Golden's tech network has been very forthcoming with info.

Yes, they are excellent folks at Golden. Great products, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
BTW, I also picked up a tube of Golden Open series Titanium White. ...
The extended time could end up being a pain sometimes though, and I don't think there's any way to speed it up selectively.

Hair dryer

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Old 09-03-2010, 04:09 PM
MG_NYC MG_NYC is offline
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bertschikon
If I may add twopennyworth to this discussion it is that I use a lot of Golden glazing medium and find that, in addition to its properties in the glazing field, it also allows a degree of blending on the canvas as well as providing an extension to the drying time. I also use it painted neat over a finished painting in order to provide a protective layer before varnishing. That last comment is based on information received from Golden a couple of years ago. It's difficult to know if it works or not but it certainly has not caused any harm
Hi Bert,

I had just posted an inquiry about varnishes here after speaking to one of the Golden techs. Golden does have removable final varnishes, but they had recommended first sealing the painting surface with their (non-removable) "Soft Gel" as an iso coat. Interesting conversation here:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...51#post9545351

Glad to hear that you've had good luck using Golden Glazing Medium for blending, as that's the compelling reason for me to use it. Haven't done anything final yet, as I'm still getting the feel of the whole slow-dry process, and trying to determine how adhesion is affected. I did see one or two cautions about that in other threads here re adhesion Open paints, but that may have been shortly after they came out, and there may have been improvements in the interim.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:40 AM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeCeeEss
Now, that sounds very interesting. You're right. I may give my glazing liquid another try and mix in a bit of the Open medium. When I tried it in the past, I was working on watercolor paper. The paper wicks moisture out of the paints and mediums very quickly unless you pre-wet the paper. I'm now working more on gessoed surfaces and the paints behave very differently.
...
Beverly

Hi Beverly, I was away for Labor Day, and didn't get back to checking the mediums until a couple days ago. Hope you're still tuned in.

I confirmed that the W&N Slow Drying "Medium" is not really a medium at all in that it contains no acrylic resin. It's just retardant. I also tested by painting some over canvas paper and it never really dried.

I picked up four different types of slow-drying mediums and gels, all Golden. Sorry that I still don't trust Liquitex enough to try the Slow Dri Blending Medium, but maybe later. The four Golden products that I tried were: Open Gel (Gloss), Open Medium (Matte), Glazing liquid (Gloss) and Glazing Liquid (Satin). They don't make a 'matte' version of the latter, though Satin does end up looking close to the reflective level of the Open Medium Matte.

Kind of medium-thickness stripes for test. All stayed somewhat tacky overnight. The Glazing Liquid Satin did look rather matte overnight except in thicker applications. After two days both the G.L.Satin and Open Medium Matte looked rather matte, though that was not the case while they were still the slightest bit tacky.

Also, as you'd expect, the Open Medium and Gel stayed wet almost twice as long, but the two others were very usable for way longer than I'd normally work with them.

For that reason, I think the Glazing Liquid Satin is probably what I'll use the most. I plan to try an actual painting with it now that I've sort of got a feel for what it does. I did want to get back to you though, to let you know I hadn't forgotten the thread, and your helpful info.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:29 PM
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Re: W&N "Slow Drying Medium" vs Golden "Retarder"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
Hi Beverly, I was away for Labor Day, and didn't get back to checking the mediums until a couple days ago. Hope you're still tuned in.

Yes, still here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp

...

I picked up four different types of slow-drying mediums and gels, all Golden. Sorry that I still don't trust Liquitex enough to try the Slow Dri Blending Medium, but maybe later.

I don't see any need to bother with the Liquitex Slow Dri Blending Medium since you've already got some of the Golden Open Medium. They performed exactly the same in my tests. If you trust Golden, I'd stick with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
The four Golden products that I tried were: Open Gel (Gloss),

They make an Open Gel? Oh, cool! When I tried the Golden Open acrylics, I could only find their thinner Open Medium. The gel version sounds interesting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mxzzyp
...

For that reason, I think the Glazing Liquid Satin is probably what I'll use the most. I plan to try an actual painting with it now that I've sort of got a feel for what it does. I did want to get back to you though, to let you know I hadn't forgotten the thread, and your helpful info.

Well, thank you. I appreciate that info, too. I think you'll find that these mediums, etc. perform a little differently when you start using them in combination with the paints. But that's all part of the fun of learning. I rather like the effect of glazing liquid with acrylics because it makes the colors look so much richer and vibrant. That's reason enough to use it, I think.

Enjoy,

Beverly
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