When it comes to creating a truly exceptional piece of artwork, you should not be limited by your materials. Choosing the right medium is very important because it will affect your final product. If you choose to use acrylic paint, you have the option to use a variety of paint additives that will make your next painting completely unique.
Popular Acrylic Mediums
Acrylic paints are made using a colored pigment and suspending it in an acrylic polymer emulsion. This type of paint was first made available during the 1950s and they remain one of the most popular artistic mediums today. Many artists love acrylic paints because they dry quickly and they can be diluted with water to give them the look of watercolor paints. Another benefit of acrylic paints is that they dry very close to the color at application – this is not always true for watercolor and oil-based paints. Acrylic paints are also very water-resistant once dried.
Though acrylic paints are highly versatile on their own, there are a variety of acrylic mediums – or paint additives – that you can add to your paint to alter certain effects. Below you will find an overview of some of the top acrylic mediums to try for your next painting:
• Acrylic Extender – This type of additive can be mixed into acrylic paints to enhance flow. This allows the artist to achieve smoother strokes and enhanced blending. This additive is generally clear so it won’t affect the color of the paint and it generally comes in a matte finish, though other finishes may be available.
• Acrylic Flow Release – This additive can be mixed with acrylic paints to decrease the surface tension of the paint, increasing the wetting ability. Using this additive you can increase the ability of your paint to soak into porous surfaces like watercolor paper or unprimed canvas.
• Slow-Dry Medium – This type of additive comes in both liquid and gel form and it can be added to acrylic paints o slow the dry time. You can mix this additive with paint at up to a 50% concentration to increase your working time by up to 40%. This additive dries clear and it is water-resistant once it dries.
• Illuminating Medium – This additive can be blended into acrylic paints to increase the intensity of the color. You can add this medium in incremental ratios for varying levels of heightened illumination for up to a total of 40% refractive magnification.
• Acrylic Retarder – This liquid can be added to acrylic paints to increase the open time, allowing the artist to use application techniques that are typically limited to oil paints. This type of additive comes in different strengths, or viscosities, according to your needs.
• Crackle Medium – This type of additive can be applied over acrylic paint to create a crackle pattern. This type of medium comes in both paste and liquid form.
• Glazing Liquid – This additive is ideal for creating glazes and faux finishes on specialty projects such as furniture, walls, and fine air. This glazing liquid slows the dry time for the paint as well, which allows for an extended working period. This medium comes in matte, satin, and gloss finishes.
• Iridescent Medium – This type of medium can be added to acrylic paint to produce a range of metallic or iridescent colors. This medium is opaque when wet but it dries translucent so you only see the iridescent effect on the color.
• Texture Gels – This type of additive can be used to add texture and dimension to acrylic paints. These gels are usually medium viscosity and they contain certain aggregates which can be intermixed to create customized effects.
If you want to experiment with your acrylic paints to see what kind of new and exciting affects you can achieve, consider trying one of the acrylic mediums reviewed above. These mediums are available at most art supply stores or you can order them online.