Friday, November 14, 2014

The Art Sherpa's Tips for Acrylic Retardents and Slow Dri mediums

I love acrylic paints. They are able to so so many things for artists. The can look like watercolor or oils. You can do Grisaille or impasto. However for the new painter acrylics fast drying times can be very frustrating. It can take a lot of thought working out those new art skills and often blending is nearly impossible for the fledgeling newborn artist. But like everything in the acrylic paint world, the chemists at the major paint companies have solutions. I am going to talk about Liquitex today because I am personally familiar with their paint lines.
The slowing of Drying times comes down to moisture, blending mediums, and retarders. For moisture you may have seen my love of the misting bottle and it is a great way to slow the drying out of paint. Its dow side is that you can over thin the paint and end up with an unexpected drip or run.
Then there are the Slow Dri medium and gels. I use the medium. You can add as much to your paint as you like without Breaking down the paint. It will however thin it causing it to me be more translucent. Slow Dri medium lends itself to detail work and smooth finishes like you may want in a sky or water. The gel is thicker and lends itself to thick techniques like wet into wet impasto.
There also a suite of Retarders but they do not contain and acrylic resin Binder and be tricky for new painters. However I am a fan of their palette wetting spray for painting in locations that would dry my paint out fast! Anyone in a desert painting outside should always have a bottle.
 If its an option for you go buy golden open acrylics and those are amazing. They do everything oils paints are supposed to do but better. There down side is they are a new product so there are not a lot of painters testing their limits yet. Also they are in the higher price point of paint.
If being able to blend has held you back from achieving your art goals go ahead and get a bottle of Slow-Dri medium. It works in any acrylic paint. It important you do not get frustrated in your painting journey before all the fun starts to happen. Because this dear chickens only gets better and better every painting. Live in Light, Love and Creativity.  See you at the Easel soon!