Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Golden Acrylics

The demo at TVAL was quite amazing.  Chris Cozen is a technical encyclopedia.  I knew that Golden was the cutting edge on new acrylic products and applications, but they have left Liquitex in the dust.  Many, many grounds, gels, mediums and textures.  What stood out for me ...

A ground called fiber paste that contains paper fiber.  When applied to canvas or panel, it feathers out with a deckled edge like watercolor paper and becomes a ground for drawing media ... pencil, conte, pastel, oil pastel. So, a way to combine drawing with painting in some new, truly mixed media applications.

The Golden Opens, GO's, of course.  The finish on them is quite unlike conventional acrylics.  They have a soft, satin, pearlized sheen.  Quite lovely, even an encaustic look.  The open time makes them workable for many hours and makes worries about acrylic drying in your brush a thing of the past.

Digital grounds that can be applied to any surface to make it printable on your digital computer.  Print on cheese cloth, tin foil, lace ... anything.  It's an unbelievable boon for collage artists to incorporate photos or background images/layers into their work.

Just some new info I didn't know about when to use matte medium and when to use gloss ... and why one might choose one weight medium or gel over another.

Something else I didn't know, mix acrylic with a medium or gel to extend it until the final layer ... then move to pure pigment.  It cuts the cost of using acrylic considerably because mediums cost less than pigment.

One thing I guess I did know, that I'm an oil painter at heart.  More than the few examples I mention above, acrylic has become an amazing, versatile product. But nothing I saw tonight had the glow of oil paint.  Cool textures, innovative applications, wonderful mixed media choices - yes ... but when you want the patina of an old master painting you will have to get out the oil paint.  But, that's me.  If your interests lie with what acrylic has to offer there is no limit to the applications Golden has developed.  For contemporary work it is very tempting.  I'm getting some of that fiber paste!  I want to try to combine drawing media on the fiber gorund with fluid acrylic washes ... especially for life drawing.

It was a wonderful presentation and I have so much more to share with my acrylic students.  Thank you Golden and Chris Cozen.

TVAL is going to have a 5 hour workshop on the GO's, with Chris, so if oil painters have been wondering ... it would be great for travel studies.  Maybe even more portable and easier to use than water miscible oils.  I am going to try a few of the GO's.

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