Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ACRYLIC PAINTS: How to Slow-Down, Speed-Up or Reverse the Drying Time

Part 1.

Oh, the ecstasy, or the agony, of painting with acrylics paints.

Some painters love acrylics because they dry so fast. But many other painters feel that acrylic paints dry faster than they can paint. Or even think!

So if fast-drying acrylics make you feel rushed, here are a few essential tips to help you slow down and paint the way oil painters do.

Yes, it is possible to work at your own pace and interact with acrylic paints. And yes, you can have the freedom to work wet-in-wet, scrape off areas and complete an idea without racing against time. Or you can stop at any stage and complete the work by overpainting.

First, the tool you must have is a fine-mist water sprayer. Acrylic paints are a water-based medium, and so atomized water is the easiest way to compensate for evaporation, both on your palette and on your painting.

If you want to blend colors, just keep them moist with a little spritz from your spray bottle, and blend away. Any size spray bottle will do the job.

Second, be sure to use a Sta-Wet Palette box. Available in various sizes, it comes with a flat sponge and disposable palette sheets, plus a top cover for airtight storage. Simply wet the sponge and a palette sheet, and squeeze out your acrylic paint colors. This creates a high humidity environment to keep your paints blendable and workable. If the palette sheet appears to be drying out, mist it with just enough water to keep your paints nice and moist.

Basically, you are now ready for a relaxed acrylic painting session. But before you begin painting, there are a few other factors to consider:

Think about the absorbency of your painting surface. An absorbent surface will dry acrylic paints faster than one that is less absorbent.

For this reason, painters who work on raw canvas sometimes wet the front with water, and even keep the reverse side wet too with a moist cloth or sponge.

Gessoed canvas is less absorbent than raw. And if you allow early layers of colors to dry, the surface will become increasingly less absorbent, and the drying-time will continue to slow-down.

Be aware that a highly absorbent surface will allow the paints to flow, which may or may not be what you want. Also keep in mind that spraying with water tends to flatten your brush strokes. (The best way to retain those precious brush marks and impasto strokes is to let them dry completely.) And remember that too much water can dilute the binders in acrylic paints and thus weaken cohesion.

Too much dilution won’t be a problem if you keep your acrylics wet not with water but with a slow-drying acrylic medium. The best of these new products include Golden OPEN Acrylic Medium, Atelier Interactive Slow Medium and Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Fluid Medium.

We’ll discuss these and other recent innovations in acrylic painting in Part 2, coming soon.

Visit the BINDERS website at!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This Week @ BINDERS - September 14-20


Lotsa action this week at BINDERS: Several Art Classes are underway, and Ann Elser kicks-off two NEW! six-week courses. “Kaleidoscope - A Gathering of Artist Friends,” shows its colors in the Limelight Gallery. And our burnin’ Back-To-School Fall Sale is just bustin’ with bargains!

Monday, September 14:
Guided Open Studio with Kay Powell
10:30am-2pm • Every Monday
Fee: $15/session. No sign up needed. Please pay the instructor.

Guided Open Studio with Kay Powell
6:30-8:30pm - see details above.

Tuesday, September 15:

Painting - Design and Technique with Charles Y. Walls
6 sessions, Tuesdays, September 8-October 20 (no class on Sept.29) • 1-4pm • Fee: $140 per 6 session series

Painting - Design and Technique with Charles Y. Walls
6-8:30pm - see details above

NEW! Bookmaking with Anne Elser
6 sessions, Weekly on Tuesdays, Sept 15-Oct 20 • 6-8:30pm • Fee: $140
Sign up now!

Wednesday, September 16:
3 Day Watercolor Workshop with Judy Greenberg
3 sessions, Wednesdays, Sept. 9, 16, 23 • 9:30am-2:30pm • Fee: $200

NEW! Copperplate Calligraphy with Anne Elser
6 sessions, weekly on Wednesdays, Sept 16-Oct 21 • 6-8:30pm • Fee: $140
Sign up now!

Thursday, September 17:
No classes today.

Friday, September 18:

No classes today.

Saturday, September 19:

NEW! Art Outside the Box for Teens with Miss Emily
1-3pm • Fee: $50 (includes supplies) • Sign up now!

Chinese Brush Art with Gail Racy
11am-2pm • 8 sessions, Saturdays Sept. 5 - Oct. 10 • Fee: $150

Sunday, September 20:
No classes today.

See all upcoming Art Classes and Workshops at BINDERS

Please note: Classes on this schedule are in our Atlanta store unless otherwise indicated. For more information please email us or call 404.237.6331 ext. 203.


Kaleidoscope - a Gathering of Artists Kay Powell and Friends

Showing until September 29

Visit the BINDERS website at!