How to use acrylic gels & mediums: Part 1 (video)

by Will Kemp

in acrylic painting

acrylicgelmediumsDo you feel you should be using mediums?

You’ve probably brought a couple and had a play around, but are you using the right ones?

Or is the overuse of mediums doing more harm than good?

Acrylic mediums can change the consistency of acrylic paint and allow you more flexibility and creative freedom than any other type of paint.

The trick is to use the right ones for the right situation.

What is the difference between gels & mediums?

Gels are usually used thickly, to keep shapes and add texture.

Mediums are pourable and used to thin out paints and give the Acrylics extra working time for blending…

Part 1 Acrylic Gels:

How to read an acrylic gel label

The name is often descriptive of the consistency, binder and lustre finish.

For example:

  • Soft Gel Gloss  – Soft (thinner consistency) gel (binder) gloss (lustre)
  • Regular Gel Matte – Regular (same consistency as regular paint) gel (binder) matte (lustre)
  • Heavy Gel Semi-Gloss – Heavy body (thicker consistency) gel (binder) satin (lustre)

So if you are using a heavy body acrylic and want to make it go further but don’t want to change its consistency, then you can add ‘Regular Gel’ (either in matte, semi-gloss or gloss)

This will increase the volume of your paint without having to use loads of pure pigment. (It will of course dilute the coverage quality of the paint)

The name doesn’t mean that a soft gel will have a soft finish when it has dried. It just means it has a softer consistency, i.e: thinner consistency, it is a bit misleading.

If you think of them in cooking terms mediums are like pouring cream, gels can range from double cream to clotted cream!

In the video tutorial above I demonstrate Regular Gel and Extra Heavy Gel

The 7 main properties of gels and mediums

Consistency: Gels range from soft to extra heavy depending on the finish you are after.
Lustre: Usually you will have a matte, semi-gloss and gloss finish.
Transparency: Glazing liquid can create thin, translucent paint films – ideal for classical painting techniques such as glazing.
Gluing/Laminating: Soft Gel Gloss can be used as a glue substitute for collage effects.
Paint film: Creating a layer of paint than ‘holds together’, if too watery an acrylic paint film can often not hold in a thin layer it can seperate out. Using a medium, such as glazing medium, you can work with thin layers that don’t run, but still have a glass like finish.
Cost: By using a medium to extend the paint you can make the paints go further.
Adding Texture: Instead of using thick paint, you can create texture with a gel and paint on top.

Why are there so many?

Good question, some manufacturers have a huge selection of mediums which can often be overwhelming to choose from, so often you just plum for one, a random choice on instinct and this doesn’t achieve the results you want, so you don’t try any at all.

I use 2.

I’m very keen on trying to keep your painting as simple as possible when you first start because the less you have to worry about technically, the more time you can actually get painting.

I use Soft Gel Gloss & Glazing Liquid Gloss on 90% of my acrylic paintings.

That’s it.

Why?

The Soft Gel Gloss has 2 distinct uses:

1. To dilute the paint consistency yet still keep visible brush marks.
2. Diluted with water to create an isolation coat. An isolation coat helps to separate your painting from a final varnish layer and protect your painting from the atmosphere. (see How to apply an isolation coat)

The Glazing Liquid Gloss is used to help blend edges and achieve very thin glazes when working at an easel.

Pro tip: I use the gloss version of the glazing liquid because on semi gloss and matte versions, the matting agent contained within the medium can sometimes cause a milky finish, especially on very dark, black areas of a painting.

What Are Gels Made Of ?

Gels are made from the binder that is used in the creation of acrylic paints – an acrylic polymer.

So, for example, yellow ochre acrylic paint contains : pigment (yellow ochre) & binder (acrylic polymer)

A gel contains : binder (acrylic polymer) so is essentially a colourless paint.

They come in a variety of textures and consistencies that can be combined with your paint to manipulate the effects you are after.

It’s all about the money.

One of the primary roles of gels and mediums is to extend the paint for economical reasons.

By using artist quality acrylics mixed with a gel (Regular gel or Soft gel would work best) you can effectively create your own ‘home-made’ student range.

A note of caution : although the consistency would be similar to the artist range, the way the paint behaves and feels on the brush is slightly different so I tend to use it like this only for my under-painting.

When mixing the paint with gels there are no limitations to the amount of gel you can add, all that will happen is the paint mixture will become less and less opaque. This would be the same if you diluted the paint with water of course, but with water it would make the consistency thinner whereas with the gel you can maintain the heavy body of the paint.

I prefer to slightly dilute my paints when I’m blocking in local colours to a painting, so I would use Soft gel gloss for this.

This thins the paint consistency from the tube (using GOLDEN heavy body acrylics) yet creates the perfect consistency for my initial ‘lay in’ stage of the painting.

It’s like being your very own mini paint manufacturer!

Pro tip: Archivally the acrylic mediums are very safe, with no discolouration as apposed to oil paint where the more oil added, the slower the drying time and higher the likelihood of  the painting to discolour overtime – due to the extra quantity of oil in the paint film.

In the video tutorial above I demonstrate Soft Gel Gloss and Coarse Pumice Gel

Are you a painter or a pourer?

Different gels have different chemical makeups which affects the way they mix with your paint. If you want the paint to still feel like paint, retain brushstrokes, stay in peaks or texture then a gel with what is technically called a short rheology would be perfect. The ‘rheology thickener’ helps the medium to stay in a fixed shape rather than level out.

So if you want to create a palette knife textural feel to a piece, using an ‘Extra Heavy Body Gel’ would create stiff peaks that hold in a shape.

Other gels have been specifically designed to level out and will never be able to stay in a fixed shape. Clear Tar Gel, as the name suggests, has a very stringy, gloopy texture much like treacle. (sorry about another baking analogy) this is called a long rheology.

So even though 2 gels could have the same thickness and consistency (often referred to as viscosity) they would behave very differently depending on if a ‘rheology thickener’ had been added.

For example:

Self-Leveling Clear Gel and Soft Gel are the same consistency, the Self Leveling Gel will be great for creating a painting where you don’t want to see any visible brush-marks whereas the Soft Gel will help to achieve a more textural effect.

Please note: Clear Tar Gel and Self Leveling Gel are the exceptions to the Gel rule of adding texture and viscosity to your acrylic paint.

 Specialized Gels

Golden produce several specialist Acrylic Gels that add rough or granular texture varying from Pumice Gel that can be great for beach scenes to moulding paste that is brilliant for building surfaces up, it can even be carved into!

Liquid Mediums, such as Acrylic Glazing liquid gloss are great for increasing the working time of Acrylics and make blending that little bit easier.

golden acrylic retarder and glazing liquid

golden acrylic soft gel gloss

 

Video demonstrating Acrylic Glazing Medium & Acrylic Retarder

{ 132 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexa Venter May 26, 2012

Hi there
For my art project i want to create a painting of autumn trees and leaves, yet i want the leaves and ground to be create a texture and stand out from the rest of the peice. is this possible to do with a tar gel? and if so, how should it be applied?
kind regards

Reply

Will Kemp May 27, 2012

Hi Alexa,

It might be a bit tricky with the tar gel because it has been specifically designed to level out and will never be able to stay in a fixed, hard shape. You would be better using a heavy gel which can hold peaks and shapes. You might also look at the pumice gels which will add a texture that could create some nice effects for the ground.

Hope this helps,
Will

Reply

MERYL WILLIAMS July 8, 2012

i have been sending to USA for many of the Golden mediums and gels however most of them have become so thck/hard that they are (apart from delving to bottom of lg container) have become basically unusable. obviously an expensive exercise to loose so many. is there a way to ‘dilute’ ‘reconstitute the mediums like soft gel ,matte and reguular gel for instance

Reply

Will Kemp July 8, 2012

Hi Meryl,
What a shame! I don’t personally know of anyway to ‘reactivate a gel’ some of the more recent ‘open acrylics’ from Golden can be worked into again once they are dry but most of the gels and mediums dry by evaporation so as soon as they have been exposed to the air and have dried hard can’t be diluted again.

Hope this helps,
Will

Reply

Caroline Jones November 9, 2012

Hi Will

I’m currently taking adult education classes in painting and drawing, and am doing quite a lot of painting at home now. I’ve recently embarked on a project to paint in acrylics a series of seascapes – crashing waves on the beach, stormy skies, that sort of thing. I’m finding that I’m having trouble making the white colours really ‘pop’. I’m using Titanium white but find that when I add it to the painting, in the whitest parts of the sea foam, or the clouds, it’s not really coming out as white as I would like. I mentioned this briefly to my tutor this week and she suggested a gel medium but, having read your article, I have no idea if (a) this is the solution or (b) which one to use? Do you have any suggestions?

Reply

Will Kemp November 9, 2012

Hi Caroline,

Thanks for dropping by, the Gel medium won’t make a difference to the ‘white’ of your white. What it will do is add texture to your piece but won’t make the white ‘pop’.

Are you using artist quality white? As using student quality is much more tranlucent and it will make it harder for you to achieve that ‘pure white’ effect.

An investment in artist quality white is one of the best things you can do to instantly improve your acrylic paintings.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

chantelle November 16, 2012

Hi Will,
Quick question, I was just at the art store and they told me that I couldn’t paint over leveling gel, that the paint would not bind?
is this true? could I sand and gesso before?
I don’t want to buy a new canvas…
thanks for your help

Reply

Will Kemp November 17, 2012

Hi Chantelle,

Yeah, it would be worth giving it a light sand, then Gesso it, then the paint has something to adhere to.

The only draw back is the paint might slide around a bit as you have lost the ‘tooth’ of the canvas.

I’ve written a post about Painting over a painting, the pros and cons – it might be worth a read.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Susan Weinschenk November 19, 2012

Thanks for this great post, Will. I am working on collages that are made from card stock photos that are torn and glued, and then I apply some paint on parts of the collage. Someone suggested that i use a palette knife and apply a gel coating on top of the entire surface when I’m done. I can’t figure out, though, what the purpose of that would be?

Reply

Will Kemp November 19, 2012

Hi Susan,
You can use a gel coating to bring all the elements together in a unified film, so it is just for aesthetic reasons than anything else.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Jadeane moore December 31, 2012

I need to know what is a good sealer for art journal pages… I will be using acrylic paints, water colors, and ink and stamps…. I am overwhelmed with all the products out there… Thanks for your help.
jadeane Moore

Reply

Will Kemp January 2, 2013

Hi Jadeane,

It depends how heavy duty the paper of your journal is, the Soft Gel gloss might be to liquid for your artwork and you run the risk of it buckling your paper or it running over the edges.

Have you ever tried a spray varnish? Winsor & Newton, along with other manufacturers, make an Artist all purpose Spray Varnish that can be applied to all sorts of craft work including paper and acrylics, it is non-removable but the benefits are, it be applied in fine layers (so it doesn’t get too wet) and it’s more controllable. This should help prevent pages sticking together (a gloss finish would be the most suitable for non stickiness but it depends on the aesthetic finish you’re after, it comes in a matt finish also.

I would try it out on a couple of test pieces first, (it’s rrp in the u.k is around £10 for 400ml)

Hope this helps,

Will

Reply

elena January 9, 2013

Hi,i have question about the soft gel gloss.Is it ok if i wet sand it?Thanks in advance!

Reply

Will Kemp January 11, 2013

Hi elena,

Personally I wouldn’t sand it, it would ruin the finish and take off the gloss, but it depends why you want to sand it? There won’t be any harm in sanding it if it’s to create a rough texture for your painting.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

john January 13, 2013

Is it ok if I use soft gel instead of glazing liquid? Thanks for all the extremely helpful lessons!

Reply

Will Kemp January 15, 2013

Hi John,

You can use Soft Gel Gloss to extend the paint and the drying time slightly. The glazing liquid just has a more liquid consistency and is a bit more ‘gluey’, so feels like it has a bit more hold in thinner layers.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Berenice February 14, 2013

Hi, I am making a collage for my husband for our 10 year anniversary, I am using regular pictures, which kind of acrylic gel do you recommend?
Thanks.

Reply

Will Kemp February 17, 2013

Hey Berenice,

Nice to hear from you.

The acrylic medium that can also be used to great effect for collage techniques is “Golden – Soft Gel Gloss”. Instead of diluting it with water you use it neat, straight from the tub.
This will be perfect to seal the pictures as well, it really is a magic medium!
Either paint both sides of the image you want to collage with the medium and attach to the surface you’re working on or cover the surface with a coat of medium, stick your image on, wait for it to dry and then cover with another layer of medium to seal it.
It is surprisingly sticky and is also available as a Matte medium which might give a better look for your anniversary present.
The only thing to be careful of is buckling. If the paper is very thin you might get slight buckling. Try it with a test piece first.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Will

Reply

shakeel May 16, 2013

Hi,

Can you explain why retarders are used and before painting in canvas is there anything we have to apply in the canvas board

Reply

Will Kemp May 22, 2013

Hey Shakeel,

To answer your questions:

Why retarders are used?

To increase the working time of the acrylic paint, it stays wetter for longer.

Before painting on canvas, is there anything we have to apply in the canvas board?

Not if you’re using acrylics as most boards come pre-primed, you might find this article interesting,

Cheers,

Will

Reply

elena May 28, 2013

Hi! I have been using acrylics to paint on glass. Up to this point I have been using mod podge to “seal” the paint, but am worried that this will wear off over time. On some pieces I have used the mod podge and then a clear acrylic sealant (aerosol), but it doesn’t dry clear and gives the glass a frosted look that I don’t like. My dad bought me a jar of Windsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic Gloss Medium. I added a little bit to my paint for a project that I was working on and like the results I got. The paint was easier to work with and had a raised feel to it. I didn’t use mod podge at all.

My question is, if I mix this into my paint when painting on glass do I need to seal it somehow? I do a lot of wine glasses. I don’t bake them. I also want people to be able to get them wet and not have the design wash off. Help!

Thanks!

Reply

Will Kemp June 4, 2013

Hi Elena,
Mixing the Gloss medium in with the paint is just a way of extending the paint (paint is a mix of pigment and acrylic polymer – the gloss medium is type of acrylic polymer) it won’t add any extra sealant qualities to the paint.

Glass, not being porous, is a difficult surface to paint onto with regular acrylics as the paint has nothing to adhere to, so it is more the surface that you paint onto that will make a difference to the permanence of the paint staying onto the glass.

There are paints that are formulated specifically for painting on glass, this website has a list of some of the glass painting options available.

Hope this helps,
Will

Reply

Darlene Slon May 31, 2013

I have never used any kind of gel medium before. I am wanting to add texture to my canvas and then paint over it. Can you do this and which gel medium would I use? I paint with acrylic paints. Sorry this all foreign to me , so would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Reply

Will Kemp May 31, 2013

Hi Darlene, try a heavy , or extra heavy gel, this will give you the most texture and peaks. Just mix it in with your acrylics, or paint it onto the canvas and then paint your acrylics over the top. you could also use a coarse pumice gel which will add texture, but won’t hold peaks aswell.
Hope this helps,
Will

Reply

Cynthia June 7, 2013

So I’m currently working on two paintings right now. One painting I want is of a glass bottle with an object inside. I want to paint the bottle green, translucent and with a slight shine/gloss so that you can still see the contents of the bottle. What type of medium would you suggest?
Painting number two is of a mountain and snow. I really want the snow and rocks to have a really rough texture with distinct peaks. What type of gel would suggest?
Thank you!

Reply

Will Kemp June 7, 2013

Hi Cynthia,

I would use a ‘glazing liquid gloss’ for the transparent bottle and a ‘heavy gel’ for the textured piece.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Pam July 10, 2013

Hello.
I want to start journaling. I would like to be able to glue paper/magazine type paper to 180 lb hot press paper and seal it. What would be the best all in one medium?
Also, If I want to use a Liquitex Paint Marker or acrylic paint on top of the paper would I seal first or after using the marker or paint?

Reply

Will Kemp July 16, 2013

Hi Pam,

The acrylic medium that can also be used to great effect for collage techniques is “Golden – Soft Gel Gloss”. Instead of diluting it with water you use it neat, straight from the tub.
This will be perfect to seal the pictures as well, it really is a magic medium!
Either paint both sides of the image you want to collage with the medium and attach to the surface you’re working on or cover the surface with a coat of medium, stick your image on, wait for it to dry and then cover with another layer of medium to seal it.
It is surprisingly sticky and is also available as a Matte medium.
The only thing to be careful of is buckling. If the paper is very thin you might get slight buckling. Try it with a test piece first.

I would seal it after using the marker or paint, but the best thing to do is try a few small test pieces, sampling different layers of paper, paint and medium in different orders, to be 100% sure it’s the look you want – before making your journal.

Hope this helps,

Will

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Will

Reply

April August 12, 2013

I just stumbled upon your Youtube channel and .com, I may have lost track (in the plethora of good information here) and missed the answer to my question..

Is there a difference between fluid acrylics vs. acrylic paint + glazing medium?

Thanks.

Reply

Will Kemp August 12, 2013

Hi April,

Pleased you’re enjoying the tutorials, to answer your question:

Is there a difference between fluid acrylics vs acrylic paint + glazing medium?

Yes, the fluid acrylic will have a greater pigment load, so will appear brighter and more saturated in thin applications. Thinned with glazing medium standard acrylic will be less powerful, just like if you were thinning them with water.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

April August 23, 2013

Thanks, Will. That helps a bunch.

Reply

Will September 27, 2013

Hi Will,

I want my Golden Acrylics to look flatter on a painting I am about to start. It has large areas of many Grays / Blacks / dark tones and I don’t want to loose the pigment variation but I do want the finish to be uniform.

My first attempts using Matte Medium mixed in 4:1 (Paint:Medium) look OK but not “Flat”. Should I be using a varnish / Matte Medium coat at the end or should I try and source the Super Loaded Matter Medium (or equivalent?).

Thanks!

Will

Reply

Will Kemp September 27, 2013

Hi Will,

I would go for a Matte varnish after the painting is finished. This is the easiest way to achieve a ‘Flat’ look. It might take a couple of coats, but the Matte Varnish will always give you a more consistent finish across your painting.

Hope this helps,

Will

Reply

Will September 28, 2013

Thanks for much for the response. Just working through the website and learning an awful lot!

Very helpful and have abandoned my experiments in achieving consistent sheen across colours.

Would you go for Varnish above the Medium as a top coat? I see people use both and both can “whiten” the colours; because many colours are similar I don’t want to lose to much definition. Do you recommend the spray or the brush on products (sorry for many questions; its these “technical” aspects of acyrilics above my regular medium that confuse me!).

Will

Reply

Will Kemp October 3, 2013

Hi Will, I would always favour a Varnish, it is the white matting agent in the product that can sometimes give the appearance of a cloud, or misting, but this is only really noticeable in very dark colours.

Application wise, if the surface is reasonable smooth brush application can work well.

Spray can give you the most even finish with no visible brush marks but you’ll have more loss of product, it’s a touch more expensive.

Also, make sure you shake the spray more than you think so it it really well mixed. The best way is to try both and see which finish you personally prefer.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Annette October 17, 2013

Hi Will,
I just recently took up painting and know very little about any of it! I’m using acrylic paints. I really like Louise Mead’s style of painting., they remind me of star trails and I’m wondering how she created the texture in the painting? http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Louise-Mead/49002/Art-Portfolio/Gallery/Whimsical-Birds-Trees/Love-Birds/724897/ She has numerous others with the same technique
It would almost seem she had to do it after she was had completed the painting as the birds and trees don’t ripple around the ridges. Do you just use a transparent gel after you are done and then scrape with a multiple ridged tool? If so what gel would you recommend? Clear of course, but consistency and finish would be? I appreciate your help! So glad I came across your site!

Reply

Will Kemp October 17, 2013

Hi Annette,

It’s hard for me to say 100% but it looks like a regular or heavy gel, applied with a stiff brush.

Have a look at this page to give you an idea of the different effects of acrylic gels

To be completely sure you can contact Louise direct here.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Annette October 17, 2013

Thanks Will for the quick reply and the link to Golden. just watched the videos they provide. I also sent Louise an email. Not sure why I didn’t think of that in the first place! Looking forward to wandering around your site some more.

Thanks again!

Reply

Will Kemp October 17, 2013

Good one Annette, enjoy exploring the site.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Susan Aglukark October 17, 2013

Hi,

I am a beginner and just started using soft gel matte, it says it is cancer causing, should I be using a mask and cover my hands?

Susan.

Reply

Will Kemp October 17, 2013

Hi Susan,

Under normal use you wouldn’t normally need to wear a mask or cover your hands, here are the Safety Guidelines from Golden Paints:

SECTION 8 – EXPOSURE CONTROL/PERSONAL PROTECTION

RESPIRATORY PROTECTION: None required under normal use. When sanding or spraying, use a
NIOSH P100 dust and mist respirator. If conditions warrant, a vapor respirator for protection against ammonia
may be used.

VENTILATION: General dilution ventilation is recommended at a level sufficient to keep individuals
asymptomatic to inhalation exposure.

PROTECTIVE GLOVES: None required under normal use. For techniques requiring continual hand
exposure, gloves are recommended.

OTHER PROTECTIVE CLOTHING OR EQUIPMENT: None required under normal use.

9
WORK/HYGIENIC PRACTICES: All Golden products should be used in accordance with safe handling
practices, including: do not eat, drink or smoke when working with materials, avoid excessive skin contact,
wash after working with materials.

Hope this helps,

Will

Reply

Calvin Chak October 31, 2013

Hi Will ,

Is there any cheaper substitute for the Golden Clear Tar Gel / Self leveling clear gel ?
It is a bit expensive for experimenting in large quantity in the artwork … so I wonder if there is any other brands or material that resemble their property.

Calvin

Reply

Will Kemp October 31, 2013

Hi Calvin,

The only other self levelling gel I’m aware of is by Tri-Art, but that works out more expensive than the Golden versions.

Will

Reply

Lis November 16, 2013

Hi Will,

Firstly, thank you so much for your helping so
many of us and for this amazing website.
I’m using acrylics for the first time, painting a
sunset and I was thinking to use a clear painting
Medium ( for glazing) to create the reflexion (warm)
over the landscape. My question is, if it doesn’t work can
I paint just with the acrylic paint over a glazing area? And after
glazing can I use a spray varnish?
Sorry if it is a silly question.

Reply

Will Kemp November 17, 2013

Hi Lis,

Nice to hear from you, yes, you can apply a glaze over an area of the painting and then work over the top with thicker paint. Because acrylics dry so quick you can keep on building up the painting using this method. When your painting is finished it is best to apply an isolation coat first, and then you can apply a spray varnish.

Good luck with your sunset!

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Yuliya November 28, 2013

Hi Will,
I am new to acrylic. I wanted to know if I could write on the painting while it is still wet and have the words blend into an image but still be readable . Is there good technique for that? Thank you very much.

Reply

Will Kemp November 28, 2013

Hi Yuliya,

The best way to achieve the kind of images/effects you’re after is to use image transfer techniques. This way you can combine painted surface with printed text. Here’s a video that goes through the acrylic image transfer process.

Hope it helps.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Becky Luke January 8, 2014

Hi Will…I’m new to this acrylic painting gig but I’m very intrigued. You could call me a nap time painter because when my youngest is napping is when I have the time and energy. I just started playing with the golden clear tar gel and have been using it to cover a painting to make a shiny coating. i put two layers on (waited 24 hrs) in between) and noticed it’s not even and feels lumpy. Is this what the final product should look like or did I not wait long enough between applications? I applied it with a 4″ wide paint brush, fyi.

Thank you,
Becky Luke

Reply

Will Kemp January 9, 2014

Hi Becky,

Nap time painter, great idea! The tar gel is usually best applied as a drip or blob and then left to its own devices to move around/settle on the canvas. It has self levelling properties so should find its own level. What is the effect you are trying to achieve?

Will

Reply

andrea January 11, 2014

Hi,
I just finished a painting, and used a really coarse salt to add texture, but a lot of the salt is loosely sitting on the canvas. I want to keep it for texture. Would a self leveling gel be the best method to adhere the salt to the canvas? If so, would I be able to do any glazing on top of the gel afterwards?
Thanks in advance for your advice! Much appreciated.

Reply

Will Kemp January 13, 2014

Hi Andrea, not sure how much of the salt would stay, but a clear self levelling gel would hold it. Just make a small test sample and pour some on. For adding texture with acrylics the ‘Coarse Pumice’ has a salt like texture, but will hold in shape and mix with acrylics.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Ed Addis January 27, 2014

Hi

Thanks for this interesting article. However, I’m still confused! I want to create a splatter effect in which the splattered paint has a stringy web-like consistency, and retains texture. I’ve been trying an acrylic matte medium, but this doesn’t spread enough, and I’ve had to use a palette knife, which doesn’t really produce the desired effect. Diluting the medium too much stops it from drying at all! Is the answer just to use gel, rather than ‘medium’?

Thanks

Reply

Will Kemp January 27, 2014

Hi Ed, you would need to use something like the ‘acrylic tar gel’ this will give that stringy effect you’re after.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Ed Addis January 28, 2014

Many thanks for this Will. I’ll give it a go.

Reply

Danie February 10, 2014

Hi Will!

Stumbled upon your site the other day and I love it! Thank you so much for all of your tips and pointers! I hope to be able to take some of your courses soon! Quick question: What are your thoughts on Liquitex?

I recently started painting again (after – ehm – about 10+ years) and used to use Golden. Which I see, you seem to have an affinity for ;) . However, I now live in a place where Golden is only carried in ONE store at a ridiculous mark up! I don’t mind paying for quality paints, just not DOUBLE the normal cost! Anyway, I picked up some basic colors of artist quality Windsor & Newton, and so far they are okay. But the seem to only carry series 1-3 – even in at their “artist” level (I’m new to this brand as well). However, I did end up purchasing Golden’s soft gel gloss, and regular gel gloss (though I would have preferred regular gel semi-gloss), but when I went to find the Acrylic Glazing Liquid the store didn’t carry it. They did have Liquitex Glazing Medium but I was unsure if this would be equivalent. So I was wondering if you would mind sharing your thoughts. Apologies for the long-winded explanation – I tend to ramble … :)

Best,
Danie

Reply

Will Kemp February 10, 2014

Hi Danie,

Winsor & Newton are a great brand, I use them in my acrylics as well. The Liquitex is just a touch more glossy, but works in exactly the same way.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Danie February 11, 2014

Thank you for such a quick reply! Great to know (reg W&N)! Thanks a bunch :)

Reply

Will Kemp February 11, 2014

You’re welcome Danie,
Cheers,
Will

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Sharon Snell February 12, 2014

I have been working on my first acrylic for a year. I’ve been trying to even out the surface with the gel. Is it possible to use too many layers? There are bumpy areas. I love the transparency. It is glossy too–was that a wrong choice?

Reply

Will Kemp February 12, 2014

Hi Sharon, most gels will be glossy (unless of course they are a matte gel) you can’t really have too many layers, but some thicker gels are more suited to building up layers in thicker paintings, such as heavy gels.

Hope this helps,
Will

Reply

Karen Smith February 26, 2014

I am wondering if you can advise me on how to apply diamond dust to a very large print of Elizabeth Taylor on Canvas.
Would I apply a soft gel mixed with the diamond dust?

Thank you

Reply

Will Kemp February 27, 2014

Hi Karen, mixing in with soft gel would work, just test a small piece first to see if it is the effect you’re after.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Kris March 10, 2014

Hi Will,
I came across to your site by chance and glad I did it. I am trying to attempt to do a mixed media painting for the first time and planning to add some Fimo Soft baked clay for some of the objects I have in mind. Am I right to use a texture paste for the sticking part? Or do I need to mix the texture paste with something so the clay will stay on more securely? Will do it on stretched canvas with acrylic paints.
Thanks a lot.
Kris.

Reply

Will Kemp March 10, 2014

Hi Kris,

To attach the Fimo to your canvas glue is going to be your best friend. You could also experiment with a ‘Hard Molding Paste’, this will dry to a hard surface but can also be carved into after it has dried. This video shows a demonstration of the different qualities of the Molding Pastes.

Hope it helps,

Will

Reply

CHERYL March 13, 2014

WOW! I AM LEARNING SO MUCH FROM YOUR DEMOS ON GOLDEN MEDIUMS. WAS CONFUSED AT FIRST WHEN I WENT TO GOLDEN’S WEBSITE. SO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS! YIKES! THE OPEN ACRYLIC GEL I WANT TO TRY AND THE GLAZING LIQUID AS I HOPE IT MIGHT ASSIST ME IN LEARNING HOW TO BLEND BETTER. I HAVE THE SOFT GEL AND JUST STARTED TO TRY IT. LOVE IT HOW IT MIXES IN WITH THE ACRYLICS. VERY EASY TO WORK WITH.

NOW IF I COULD ONLY DRAW AND PAINT LIKE YOU, I MOSTLY DO MIXED MEDIA AND LOVE DOING ALTERED BOOKS.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE PAINTERS WAS REMBRANDT, I SAW ONE OF HIS PAINTINGS YEARS AGO AND WAS AMAZED AT HOW REAL ONE OF HIS CLOSE- UP FACIAL PORTRAITS WAS. DON’T REMEMBER THE NAME, IT WAS A MAN’S FACE AND LOOKED SO REAL LIKE IT COULD STEP OUT OF THE PICTURE FRAME.

ANYWAYS, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP ON PAINTING. I AM NEW TO YOUR WEBSITE AND AM ENJOYING IT IMMENSELY.

Reply

Will Kemp March 14, 2014

Pleased to hear the article helped Sheryl, enjoy exploring the site.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

CHERYL March 13, 2014

JUST REMEMBERED THE OTHER PAINTINGS THAT I AM IN AWE OF ARE ALL THE IMPRESSIONISTS PAINTERS.

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Deborah Pope March 15, 2014

Hello Will, I am so happy I found your site! your knowledge is a tremendous help in wading through the plethora of gels, mediums and other additives. Saves so much frustration, time and also money. My question is about Acrylic Flow Enhancer. What does it do, when would you use it? Some other artist on the web says that not using it is the biggest mistake acrylic painters make. (!) Would you please help with this?
Many thanks!

Reply

Will Kemp March 18, 2014

Hi Deborah, pleased you’ve been enjoying the tutorials. Acrylic flow release breaks down the surface tension of the acrylic and creates really nice staining effects. A few drops in your paint can aid with a more flowing line if you’re painting in more of a watercolour style. Here is a video demonstrating the acrylic flow release on a raw canvas.

Hope this helps,

Will

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Abena March 25, 2014

Hi! Fantastic article! and page!
I’m trying to make a sculpture with wax and trap tinier objects inside the wax however, it’s not as clear as I’d like it to be and the objects don’t show inside!
Do you have any idea if gels can be made into hard molds in the shape of a ball?? or would you use something else?
Thanks!

Reply

Will Kemp March 25, 2014

Abena, the best thing to use for clear spheres would be a resin, poured in once you have created a mould, you might find this video of interest that goes through the process of creating a resin sphere.

Hope it helps,

Will

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CHERYL March 26, 2014

CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT RESIN? HOW TO MIX WITH ACRYLICS? AND IDEAS AND EXAMPLES ON BEST WAY TO USE.

THANKS WILL!

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Will Kemp March 27, 2014

Hi Cheryl, you wouldn’t mix the resin with the acrylics, its just handy for embedding objects in clear spheres.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Sandi Brown April 14, 2014

Hi, i am new to here and to ‘art’. I want to use glass jars and give a dipped, dripped effect. Which mediums, paints, sealants would be best??

Thank you in advance :)

Reply

Will Kemp April 14, 2014

Hi Sandi, ‘acrylic tar gel’ would give you a stringy, dripped effect. Here’s a video demo, the video also shows ‘acrylic fluid paints’ which can also be dripped. Hope it helps,
Cheers,
Will

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Donna Bavely April 17, 2014

Hi Will,

I’ve been reading a variety of answers to my question and I would like to hear the right one… I was just at Michael’s searching for clear gel/glosses to use as a finish over oil paintings. I’m using Golden products, and these particular Gels were amongst the oil materials so I assumed they could be used as an oil “finish,” not necessarily a medium (which was not my intention anyways). Yes, I’ve read oil and acrylic gels do NOT mix. However, if my oil is fully dry, is there any harm (furthermore, will it “enhance”) if I sparingly use the gel over top? I got Glass Bead Gel (which I think would look cool over a large abstract oil painting I did – basically a gradient from blue to yellow. I also bought Regular Gel. I’d love to throw either on top to make it look more textured, glossy, and professional. Is this a “no-no”? Please advise. Thanks so much!

Reply

Will Kemp April 19, 2014

Hi Donna, an acrylic gel (or acrylic paint) over an oil painting is a professional no-no.

Traditional oil paints dry by oxidization, when the oil reacts with oxygen in the air and even though they may feel dry to the touch the ‘curing process’ can take many months if not years depending on the thickness of the paint application. You can read more about varnishing an oil painting here.

Hope this helps,
Will

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CHERYL April 19, 2014

HI DONNA,

I KNOW WILL ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION, HAVE TO TELL YOU THO, I AM A NEWBIE TO OIL, AND I LOVE IT BUT IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS WAITING FOR IT TO DRY. I AM USED TO ACRYLICS WHICH DRY PRACTICALLY INSTANTLY.

I HAVE BEEN EXPERIMENTING WITH GOLDEN PRODUCTS LATELY AND TRIED THE GLASS BEAD GEL AND LOVED IT! I DO MOSTLY MIXED MEDIA AND ALTERED BOOKS. HAVE YOU EXPERIMENTED WITH THE GLASS BEAD GEL YET?

ANY TIPS OUT THERE HOW TO GET OIL TO DRY FASTER? CAN YOU USE A HEAT GUN, OR IS THAT A NO-NO ALSO?? I AM SURE WILL WILL LET ME KNOW. HA! HA!

THANKS!

Reply

Will Kemp April 19, 2014

Hi Cheryl, the best way to improve the drying time of oils is to mix in a ‘Alykd medium’ such as Liquin from Winsor & Newton. This can help to increase the drying time by 50%.

Hope this helps,
Will

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CHERYL April 20, 2014

THANKS WILL, I JUST BOUGHT SOME OF THE LIQUIN AND IT DOES HELP DRY FASTER, I JUST GET IMPATIENT. IT DRIES SO MUCH MORE SLOWLY THAN ACRYLIC.

WILL, DO U EVER PAINT WITH GOUACHE? I LOVE THE BRIGHT COLORS, AND READ THAT IT IS SO VERSATILE, THAT U CAN DRY BRUSH? LIKE AN ACRYLIC. I READ THAT ON THE WINSOR & NEWTON WEBSITE. ALSO, THAT U CAN LAYER WITH IT.

I LOVE TO EXPERIMENT WITH EVERYTHING.

THANKS,
CHERYL

Reply

Will Kemp April 22, 2014

Hi Cheryl, I have worked with Gouache in the past but tend to prefer a more textured, painterly approach of acrylics and oils.

Cheers,
Will

Shelly April 25, 2014

Hi Will and Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

I am a volume framer not an artist. I have been experimenting with Liquitex gel medium. Applied with a stiff brush thus giving a paper print the illusion of a painting. The Matt gels have been too cloudy (diminishing the artists’ work) and the Gloss is too shiny (at some angles you cant even see the artwork). I have been trying to create a mixture of the two but no luck. Any suggestions?

Thank you
Shelly

Reply

Will Kemp April 27, 2014

Hi Shelly,

I would go for a satin giclee varnish, you can get specialist varnishes for giclee prints that hold onto the print really well and will give a nice lustre. In the UK Lion Picture framing do a satin product designed for giclee canvas prints.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Will

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Shishu May 6, 2014

Hello Will!!
Greetings! Here i am, again with a question. :)
I need to work with Fluid acrylic, but In India we cannot find one. I do not want to use water to thin my heavy body paint and ruin the quality. Can i use some medium to get the desired effect still keep the strength of the pigment. Is “Airbrush medium” suitable for the purpose? It would be nice if you could suggest some mediums or other workaround to solve the matter.

Reply

Will Kemp May 7, 2014

Hi Shishu, using water won’t ruin the quality, it will just dilute the intensity of the pigment. If you use a medium it will keep a more solid consistency, but will still be the same level of intensity as if you dilute with water.

Cheers,
Will

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Ramsey May 13, 2014

Hi Will,

Thanks for the very informative site and feedback on the comments section. I have been experimenting with acrylic transfers for the last couple weeks, all black and white from a laser jet printer. Thus far I’ve had good results cutting out the image and applying a thin coat of Omnigel medium texture transfer gel to wood, stone and textures plastic. In all cases I brushed a thin layer of the gel to the area outside the image so the whole thing had a consistent finish. Next I really want to transfer a black and white photo to a motorcycle gas tank I am designing. Do you think this process can work with an automotive base (Acrylic Enamel) and Urethane based clear coat? Also, if it can be done, is it possible to sand or wet sand the whole or outside area to diminish the “lift” of the edge? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.you have already been of great help!
Cheers,
Ramsey

Reply

Will Kemp May 15, 2014

Hi Ramsey,

Pleased you’ve been enjoying the site, in terms of Image transfer, I haven’t personally used the process onto metal, tends to be more porous surfaces such as canvas or paper, here are a couple of different method using Golden Acrylic gels. They will stick to metal, but are susceptible to ‘lifting off’ as you mentioned and peeling if scratched/rubbed too hard. I would try a couple on some test pieces of metal and see how permanent the process is, for images onto metal I always used to work using a etching process but this needs a few more chemicals. Here’s another method you might find of interest

Hope they help,
Will

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Natasha May 21, 2014

Hi Will

Finding your site very helpful so thank you!

I am about to start a big commission which involves really large canvas’s that I am having the frames made and the canvas stretched for me. I know I’ll need to prime these but unfortunately actual gesso is quite pricy here in Zambia (if you can get it at all) so wondered if you offered an alternative way of priming my canvas’s before putting on the background color??

Thank you for your time
Natasha

Reply

Will Kemp May 21, 2014

Hi Natasha, if you’re working with acrylics you don’t need to use gesso, you can apply the paint straight to the canvas, it will just give you a different effect.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Cindy May 30, 2014

I do collage paintings and have always used a liquid medium for my glue. This time I used Mod Podge, just to try it, but now I’m concerned about how to do the final topcoat. I’ve looked high and low on the internet to see if I can use Golden Top Coat. Most comments said to use acrylic polyurethane, but the has no UV protection. I worry there may be some chemical reaction with the Mod Podge! This is a nice paper painting and I don’t want to ruin it. Any comments? Help!

Reply

Will Kemp May 30, 2014

Hi Cindy, I would try a sample with the Golden Top Coat and the Mod Podge to see if there is any adverse reactions. I can’t imagine there would be, but I don’t personally use Mod Podge within my works so couldn’t say for sure. It’s always best to test first.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Kristen June 8, 2014

Hi Will,

I am painting a night sky, and I want to create a distinction between stars and clouds to show that the stars are further away, while also ensuring that they are the focus of the painting. I know I can do this somewhat with colors, but I was wondering if I used a clear coat of semi-gloss between the layer of stars and the layer of clouds, if there would be an effect (and if it would be a good one!)… If you have any advice, I’d appreciate it!

Kristen

Reply

Will Kemp June 9, 2014

Hi Kristen,

What you need to do is apply a thin, transparent glaze (a thin coat of paint) of a dark colour over the furthest starts in the distance. This will tone them down and give the illusion of them being in the distance.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Vidal June 12, 2014

Hi Will,
I’m finally making the jump into mixed media. Since this is my first time in that arena I was hoping you can give some advice since I enjoy your videos and feel I can trust your opinion. (i normally work with marker, pen/ink, watercolor, oil pastels and digital, haven’t played much with acrylic since college) I would like to create a collage (on canvas) of magazine and newsprint and then paint a semi-transparent image over it. I know I can use gels as a “paste” for the collage onto the canvas; but, my concern is how to paint on top of the collage without it affecting the collaged images. I’m guessing I can clear coat the collage with a gel/medium to protect that image and then go about painting on top of that. Some say it won’t work if I try to paint over the collage’s gel “top coat” as it will act like watercolor on plastic. Others suggest using an airbrush medium on the gel “top coat” instead of a acrylic medium in order to get the translucent effect. Another suggests lightly sanding that “top coat” to get a tooth back for the final image on top. I’m currently out of supplies to try and experiment, so I was wondering what techniques you would suggest before I went out and bought supplies (since I’m embodying the starving artist and all, haha, I need to be very careful what I splurge on). Thanks.

Reply

Will Kemp June 12, 2014

Hi Vidal,

To answer your questions:
I would like to create a collage (on canvas) of magazine and newsprint and then paint a semi-transparent image over it.

I would use soft gel gloss (from golden paints) as both your medium and glue.

How to paint on top of the collage without it affecting the collaged images.

The Soft-gel gloss will form a barrier if you apply a couple of coats onto the collaged images, but you will still be able to paint ontop.

Here’s an article that goes through the process of collaging with soft gel gloss

Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Jim July 19, 2014

In the videos I saw you tried the Open Medium. Does it extend working time with regular acrylics and if so, how much? Could it be used in place of retarder? I often find myself adding a bit more retarder than suggested to extend the working time, and like you said in the videos, water doesn’t work too well when working on canvas for thinning paint out, so I thought Open Medium could be a possible solution to both those problems. Or is there a better alternative? I have considered Open paints alone (haven’t bought anything yet), but I fear they might dry too slow, I prefer slowing them down as needed.

Reply

Will Kemp July 19, 2014

Hi Jim,

Yes, it does extend the drying time of normal acrylics, but it wouldn’t be used in replace of a retarder. You can read some thoughts on OPEN acrylics here. If you add too much retarder it can give the paint a strange texture and feel. Depending on the style of painting you do I often use Acrylic glazing liquid gloss as a medium,as I can add in different quantities to the paint without it changing the feel of the paint drastically.

Cheers
Will

Reply

Jim July 19, 2014

“…but it wouldn’t be used in replace of a retarder.” Does it just not extend it as long?

It’s just, I’d imagined mixing with the Open Mediums, possibly the thicker gel one instead of the liquid one you used, would be like mixing the Regular acrylics with unpigmented Open paints, giving you something in between the regular drying time and Open’s depending on the ratio. Or at least, that was my impression from the things I’ve read on Golden’s site. I’ve never worked with any mediums or anything other than retarders (which I want to cut down on).

Does the Acrylic glazing liquid gloss slow the drying time at all?

Anyways, thank you for the quick reply. Sorry I have so many questions, but I haven’t found many people who’ve worked with such a range of products. It’s also hard to get good art supplies where I live so I like to research my purchases well beforehand.

Reply

Will Kemp July 20, 2014

Hi Jim, yes, the Acrylic glazing medium slows down the drying slightly.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Phyllis Parker September 19, 2014

I used Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel on a 12 x 24 canvas. I wanted to have
really heavy defined peaks and swirls. After the gel dried it seemed that the
gel flattened somewhat and I lost my heavy texture. Is it possible to add another coat
of the gel. Do you have a video of this type of use of the heavy gel so I could learn more about the technique ? Thanks for your
time.

Reply

Will Kemp September 21, 2014

Hi Phyllis, yes you’ll be able to add more layers of the gel, I don’t have a specific video on using the heavy gels for building up texture, You can see some videos here on different uses of molding pastes
Cheers,
Will

Reply

caryl hanks September 22, 2014

good afternoon will,
I didn’t read previous questions. sorry if this is a repeat. but I am using a soft gel in my
acrylic paint instead of water. when I finish and dry can I spray with acrylic varnish??? I love the way it works with get instead of water. thanks will

Reply

Will Kemp September 23, 2014

Hi Caryl, have a read of this article for your varnishing options.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Karen September 23, 2014

thanks for all the great info…i am trying to work with the extra coarse pumice gel and wondered what brush works best..i am making santa beards on corks out of the gel (no comment!) using an inexpensive small brush but doesn’t seem to do the trick adding a nice thick layer. any suggestions?
karen

Reply

Will Kemp September 24, 2014

Hi Karen, I would use a palette knife to move the coarse pumice gel around, good luck with your santa beards!
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Diane September 27, 2014

Hi Will,
I work with wine corks to create what I hope to be long lasting pieces of art. I am looking for a way to seal the cork. My concerns are to keep the red wine color intact and to also preserve the cork itself. I am looking for a matte finish. I tried mod podge matte which did not dry matte at all. My first question is… would Golden Matte Medium do the trick? If not is there something better to try? My second question would be… Is there something I can use over the mod podge to tone it down without sacrificing the pieces look over time. Thank you so much for your help and for this site :) Diane

Reply

Will Kemp September 27, 2014

Hi Diane, I’ve always had good results with the Golden mediums, you’ll be able to achieve a matte finish. The Golden varnishes and mediums are all manufactured to archival standards.
Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Lin Newbery October 16, 2014

Hi Will
Not sure if you can help me, I am new to painting and not very good so have turned my hand to pouring the paint i use acrylic and have also purchased pouring medium but the mix is to thick and will no run on the canvas what can i use to get it to run??

Lin

Reply

Will Kemp October 17, 2014

Hi Lin, if the medium is too thick you just need to add some water to the mix, stir it together and try pouring it again until you get a nice flow.
Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Lin Newbery October 18, 2014

Hi Will
Thanks for that although i did try to add some water but the paint started to mix. it started out as a gold and black painting but ended up as a shine black with very little gold .
is there a formula for how much water i mix.

Lin

Reply

Will Kemp October 18, 2014

Hi Lin, not really , I would just mix us a few ‘tester mixes’ onto a palette, varying and making note of the different amounts of water added and then test these on some paper/canvas.
Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

maria October 22, 2014

Hey Will,
I was wondering what sort of medium or techniques I should use to create a fog effect on a window or mirror, I am primarily working in acrylics.

Reply

Will Kemp October 23, 2014

Hi Maria, a thin wash of zinc white would do it.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Anna October 31, 2014

Hi, what is the difference between gloss and matte finish in final result? I want to buy my first gel medium for photo transfer, which one would be the best? Soft, regular or heavy? Gloss or matte? Thanks in advance!

Reply

Will Kemp October 31, 2014

Hi Anna,
The Matte will have a non-reflective surface and the Gloss will be shiny and bring out the saturation in the colours. A regular gel medium will work well for image transfers.
Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Jan Shaull October 31, 2014

Hi Will,
I seem to have a bit of a problem. I am late finishing a custom piece of art. This is my first try at painting with Acrylics (Golden) on a Board (Ampersand Gesso board), and it is large (3′x4′) and it’s not going well. The board absorbed the paint as quickly as I put it down, leaving a choppy, chalky appearance. The local art supply store (where I purchased the board) applied an Isolation coat (gloss polymer gel medium). The isolation coat is now dry, and has hot spots, rough areas and is a mess.
Here’s where I could really use your help, Will. I’m wondering if I applied paper with a gel medium (decoupage style), if my painting would stick to it. I usually use Golden acrylics, and then add some shading and details with Pastels sealed with a fixative.
The subject matter is a whimsical/folk art style landscape, that might add some visual interest with texture even if I completely paint over any designs the paper itself might have.
Thoughts, how to, any help at all, please???
Jan

Reply

Will Kemp October 31, 2014

Hi Jan,

Yes, you can use Gel medium as a glue ontop of your painting, it works best if you apply the gel medium to the painting, then apply paper, then apply another coat of medium over the top. This will give a good strong bond to the surface. If you want to apply pastels to the surface you can apply a coat of ‘Acrylic Ground for Pastels’ and then apply the pastel onto that, here’s a video with the pastel ground being applied.

Hope this helps Jan and good luck with the painting!

Cheers,
Will

Reply

sharon October 31, 2014

can anyone tell me if i can use regular mediums with OPEN acrylics, or do i need to buy mediums that are designed specifically for open acrylic paints. i have used mediums for a long time with regular acrylics, but i’d like to experiment with open acrylics, especially for summer outdoor painting. and of course, i’d like to keep expenses and storage at a minimum.

Reply

Will Kemp October 31, 2014

Hi Sharon, yes you can combine the two paints, you don’t need the OPEN mediums, although they will keep them OPEN for longer. You might find this article on OPEN acrylics of interest.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Gabi October 31, 2014

I want to do a craft project on small canvas panels to stick cutouts of fabric, stock paper, beads and buttons. Will gel medium matte, glue all those and if so, how long does it take to dry? Or can I just use mod podge for the fabric & paper and tacky gkue or fabri tac for the buttons & beads?

Reply

Will Kemp October 31, 2014

Hi Gabi, gel medium can work well for papers and thin fabric but I haven’t personally tried with heavier objects such as buttons and beads.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

CHERYL October 31, 2014

HI GABI,

FUNNY U ASK, I JUST USED GOLDEN SOFTGEL (GLOSS) TO GLUE SOME STONES, AND WAS AMAZED AT HOW FAST IT HELD THEM DOWN. IT WORKED BETTER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD. WORKS WELL ON BUTTONS ALSO. PROBABLY WOULD WORK WELL ON JUST ABOUT ANYTHING BECAUSE THESE STONES WERE GOOD SIZE BUT THEY WERE FLAT STONES. I AM GOING TO TRY ON SOME ROUND ONES ALSO. ALSO, I GLUED MY STONES DOWN TO CARDSTOCK, I ASSUME CANVAS WOULD WORK TOO.

Reply

Will Kemp October 31, 2014

Thanks Cheryl,
Will

Reply

CHERYL November 1, 2014

YOU ARE VERY WELCOME WILL. APPRECIATE YOUR QUICK RESPONSES AND YOUR HELP.

Reply

Ashley November 5, 2014

I used xtra heavy gloss medium mixed with white paint to create an all white painting of a series of peaks using a pallet knife. I would like to make the same painting in all black and then a third with alternating rows of gloss and matte peaks (still all black), but of course the white medium turns the black, grey. Are mediums made in non-white colors? Do translucent glosses come in varying luster? Your suggestions would be incredibly welcome. My local art store was stumped

Reply

Will Kemp November 6, 2014

Hi Ashley, all mediums are usually of a white base, and the inclusion into black can cause a slight greying of the colour, but not too much. You can get lustres from gloss, satin and matte, the other option is to paint the painting with the medium you are using but then apply a final varnish using different gloss/matte finishes. The matte will still make the black appear slightly more grey though because the ‘matting agent’ is usually white.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Vincent Lerch November 7, 2014

I just finished a textured painting using the crackle paste . I want to strengthen the paste texture and give a protective coating to the acrylic paint. Would Gloss medium work? If not what would work?
Thanks

Reply

Will Kemp November 8, 2014

Hi Vincent, Soft gel gloss applied as an isolation coat would work.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Erin November 9, 2014

I have used gel meduim as a final layer to create a sort of faux encaustic effect. This still seems sticky long after it has dried, what do I use to stop this?
Thanks for your help and all your information!

Reply

Will Kemp November 14, 2014

Hi Erin, the gel mediums aren’t usually meant as a final layer so this would be why you have a sticky finish to the surface, depending on what medium you have used the surface will become less sticky with time.

Reply

Linda November 12, 2014

I “completed” an acrylic on canvas about 6 months ago and sealed it
with satin spray varnish. Now I see some improvement I’d like to make. Can I paint
over the sealer?

Reply

Will Kemp November 14, 2014

Hi Linda, not ideally because of the shiny finish of the varnish and the lack of adhesion of the paint onto the surface. If the spray was applied lightly you might be able to do it but the paint handling will be very slippy.

Will

Reply

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