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Acrylic Mediums: Add Dimension to Your Paintings

May 23, 2010

acrylic mediumsOne of the drawbacks to acrylic paints is their consistency and finish. Acrylics dry very flat and plastic-y. They lack the solidity and substance of oil paints.

Luckily, there is a great variety of products available that can help us alter the consistency of the paint. Here’s an overview of some of the common mediums.

Acrylic Gel Medium

This is basically paint without pigment. It dries clear on its own, but can be added to paint to help it go further and can be used to make glazes. It is available in matte and gloss, so it also alters the paint’s finish. Gel medium on its own is an excellent glue and can be used to fix objects to your canvas.

Impasto Gel

Use this medium if you want lots of texture. Unlike gel medium, which flattens as it dries, impasto gel will hold its shape and dry in sharp peaks. This means that you can build up layers of texture and brush strokes. You can also use impasto to create a textured ground on your canvas before painting.

Self Leveling Gel

This medium lets you blend your paints and produce flat areas of colour without brush strokes. The paint essentially “levels” itself, making it flat and uniform.

Acrylic Retarder

I’ve mentioned this one before, but it doesn’t hurt to talk about it again! This medium won’t change the finish or texture of your paint, but it will extend its workability. Retarder slows drying time and lets you work the paint longer.

Other Mediums

There is a slew of other mediums available that will add all different textures to your paint. You can get sand and pumice mediums that produce a grainy texture, you can even get mediums with tiny glass beads in them. Check out Golden’s page on acrylic mediums for more information on what is available and how to use them.

And don’t forget to enter to win free drawing supplies!


From → Painting

One Comment
  1. Thanks for sharing this Miranda 🙂

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