How to test and analyze your acrylic mediums

What’s the best brand of acrylic paints?

I get asked that question a lot when I teach acrylic workshops.

When I was an undergraduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a professor I liked and respected touted a particular brand of acrylics as the “best.” So, I took her word for it and started using that brand over others. But there are lots of excellent brands out there and once I became a bit more experienced, I got curious about what made different brands of paint different.

The truth is there are a number of good paints out there and rather than telling you about the merits of each, I thought I’d show you how I test acrylic mediums in my own studio. The results are always interesting. And this empowers you to make your own informed choices about what will work best for you.

Share in the comments below what brands you like to use? Do you stick with one brand for everything? Do you mix and match?
Have you ever had a really (or really great) bad experience with a particular paint or medium? Do tell!

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Discover New Ways to Use Pouring Medium

In many of my pieces I use Liquitex Pouring Medium.  This material can be poured on for a crystal clear, glossy surface or tinted with acrylic inks to create a multi-layered effect.  I’ve been working with it for years and am always excited to show you new techniques!

I’ve created several videos in the past where I talk about this “effect medium” (as Liquitex calls it), answer your questions, and experiment in real-time.

In these videos you’ll learn:

  • how to use Liquitex Pouring Medium to finish your paintings with a smooth, clear, glossy finish.
  • how to tint the pouring medium with acrylic inks
  • vital tips and tricks
  • answers to questions from artists just like you!

 

Watch all 13 videos by clicking “play” on the playlist below!

 

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Using Acrylic Pouring Medium as a Non-Toxic Resin-Like Coat

I try to keep everything in my studio non-toxic and was excited when I developed this method for creating a resin look without using highly toxic epoxy resins.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBAzfxWKMHY?rel=0

 

Here I answer some specific questions I got from an artist in Guatemala on drying time with the pouring medium in different climates. Also, about adding gold leaf or other metal leaf in pouring medium. I got cut off but don’t worry, it continues in the next video.

 

Continuation of questions in previous video about using Pouring medium with inks and spray paint:

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Worst Mistake Acrylic Painters Make

After one of my acrylics talks a few years ago, an artist pulled me aside and said,
“Now, I finally understand why my paintings are falling apart! I wish I had known what you just taught me 10 years ago!”

My heart went out to her. I’ve made more technical mistakes with my art over the years than I care to recount. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing with artists how to build a sound and stable paint film.

I don’t want to hinder anyone’s creative process. That’s the last thing I want! That’s why I offer some sound alternatives here to get the same look without harming the paint film.

Please, please share this info with all your painter friends, artists groups, classes, professors, etc. I’ve found in the 15 years I’ve been teaching this to artists of all levels from those with 40 years experience and paintings in museums to the absolute beginner, only about 5% have ever heard of underbinding. Let’s make sure no more artists have their paintings fall apart by something that could easily be avoided.

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Adding Texture to Your Paintings Using Ceramic Stucco & Flexible Modeling Paste

When I first switched over from oils to acrylics years ago – I was always trying to get away from the “plastic-y” look they had.

Then I discovered the array of gels and pastes that could take the standard paint texture from creamy to stiff to sandy to matte.

The two I show you in this video are still in my all-time favorites list.

Hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts! Have you used these before? What are your favorite acrylic gels? Any techniques you’d like to share?

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