Thursday, April 29, 2010

52 Painting with thick acrylics

In this video I add light molding paste from Golden Acrylics to my colors. I also add some Golden Open acrylics (a slow drying formula) to prolong painting time. I paint over a full value, full color under paintings (see blog entries 21 and 23).  This experimental formula keeps my acrylic paint thick even when dry.


  1. Hi Brad,
    I noticed you're using Golden Acrylics for your tests. I have a box full of various acrylic paint brands tha ti use primarily for my color studies. I do use Golden but only because I have a bunch I got for free. They seem to dry much faster than othe rbrands for some reason espeially when adding white. They do have a "retarder" medium though which I'm sure would help out with slowing the drying time. I'm sure this would also cause problems with thinning the paint down which is what you ar etrying to avoid though. ANyway, thought I would mention it in case you aren't aware of it.

  2. ok, so I just gave this a bit mor ethought and realized that the rason GOlden dries faster is most likely because it's a much thicker bodied paint. On the back they say 100% acrylic polymer emulsion. I also just realized that the other brands I've used may dry a bit slower but ar ealso a lot thinner consistency.

  3. Matthew,

    Yes, if an acrylic has a lot of water in it it will dry slower and flatter. Golden retarding gel is too jelly-like for me. But the Open acrylics worked pretty well. I am not sure if acrylic paint retains enough of its texture, though. I love the way oils retains the exact texture that you apply, including the track of every brush hair.

    Thanks for the comments. I appreciate your feedback.

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  5. Brad,
    Great post. I have been wary about trying molding paste because I was concerned about the value shift. I was surprised to see that the tinting influence of the paste was barely noticeable.

    A couple questions:
    Are the acrylics with the molding paste stiffer and heavier than oils combined with a putty medium, or is the 'encaustic' feel only due to the paint tacking up?

    Also, although you don't use retarding gel, do you ever mix a retarding additive into your acrylic mediums?

  6. Stephen,

    The acrylic with the light molding paste is thicker than most putties (though if you put enough chalk in a putty it will get extremely thick and gritty). An interesting variation might be to add some chalk to the light molding paste.

    Regarding adding retarding mediums I was using the Golden Open acrylics as a retarding gel. It seemed to work okay although if I were to try it again I might add just the Open acrylics with the light molding paste. It would be interesting to see if it remained workable while maintaining thickness for a longer period.

    Thanks for the questions.


Thanks for your comments!


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