Where we talk Acrylics…

…and how they dry so quickly and what you can do about it.

Stick around – for the next few weeks we talk nothing but acrylics mediums. I’ll show you lots of acrylics mediums and how you can use them and what effects you can create. The possibilities are exciting!

Over Here Share ©2012 Lezley Davidson


Welcome to Art Answers and Ampersands volume 13 with Lezley Davidson and Peeling Onions.

Now Ghanesh from Chicago [cool Chicago] asks:

“My acrylics dry too quickly they dry my palette and they dry on the canvas how can I increase their how can I increase the drying time without having to go to something like oils?”

Okay this is a common question. Some people consider acrylics like an oil, a water-based oil, but they’re not. They’re actually much closer to a watercolour. They’re a polymer medium that is water-based and it dries out through evaporation, the same as watercolour.  So in order to increase the drying time you have to stop it from evaporating. Which is kind of difficult.

So what you can use is something called a glazing medium or slow dry medium,okay they’re basically it retarders- it’s also called Retarder. They retard the drying time by adding a medium like it’s really mucousy and it retards evaporation of the water molecules in the paint but it doesn’t work incredibly well. It will increase your drying time by about one half which you’re like – “woohoo that’s great!” but if your acrylics are drying in 20 minutes it gives you an extra 10 minutes.

So you’re not been able to get you know blendy blending techniques that you would with oil paint acrylics just don’t work like that. If you want to try that you can go for product called Golden Open it works magically, chemically different from regular acrylics. It cleans up with soap and water like an acrylic but if you use it thicker  – like it doesn’t work as well when it’s been thinned down – you have to use their thinners, but they’ll generally stay open and blendable for your entire painting session – even for a couple hours. If you have a big blob, like they work at the best when they’re about a 16th of an inch thick which is a little … you know it’s not a glaze by any means it’s a thickish amount paint that goes on. They will stay wet overnight even. You’ll get a skin over them but they’ll stay wet on your palate for overnight.

Another thing when acrylics dry in your palette you can spray them with water and put them in the fridge or the freezer on colds retards evaporation, so putting it into the fridge or freezer will slow down the drying time it also cover it so is it with the mister. There is also palette spray which is basically like misting a retarder over your paint. So all of those will help with the drying time it is good whatever you want.

I’d also consider looking into the types of techniques that work better with acrylic which require.. scumbling, and dry brushing and glazing that work with the quick drying aspects of the paint itself. Okay so that is some help with the quick drying acrylics.

This coming month all of March and April is going to be acrylics month months months anyway I’m going to be experimenting with a variety of mediums and throwing up video demos about all the different acrylic mediums that there are and the effects that you can get with them so come back, stay tuned check it out, videos – wooo!.

If you like this podcast please head over to iTunes and give us comments or a rating. Please subscribe or go to the website Peeling or and leave me a question – Doooo it.

I’d love that. Thanks, and I will see guys next week.

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Discussion (2) ¬

    K L Kho says:

    You can also use Open acrylic medium with regular (non-Open) acrylic paint to extend drying time. A lot better than retarder because there is no limit on how much you can use.

    That’s a great tip – thanks!!

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