I was thrilled when Golden came out with the OPEN paints with their slower and controlled drying times, and my enthusiasm has never lessened. I have been taking wonderful oil painting classes With Scott Nickerson at Colorest in Red Bank, New Jersey. With Scott's help I have always been able to use similar techniques to the oil painters and achieve similar results.
However, I never used oil paints themselves. Finally I had the opportunity to take a two day workshop to actually use oil paints and try them for myself. The workshop was given for Gamblling Paints by Anna Fox Ryan at Colorest in Red Bank, New Jersey. This was great because now I understand, through first hand experience, the properties of oil paint and the various mediums and techniques that I am emulating with OPEN acrylics.
In my previous posts I have described how I have arranged the new Golden modern paint set into a standard pallet set up, similar to what was used during the oil painting workshop. I keep the pallet in an airtight container between sessions. Since the Golden OPEN acrylics are slow drying, I can use the same paint and pallet for weeks while working on the same painting. I have numerous containers, and dedicate one container to each of the paintings that I am simultaneously working on. By doing this, I always have the color pools for that specific paints available as the work evolves.
It was now time to put other learnings from the oil class to use. I learned that with oils, you can control the drying time by choosing the appropriate medium. I also enjoyed the various techniques of painting with a pallet knife with the oils. I decided to translate this to my paints, as i really enjoy knife painting.
Golden OPEN acrylic paints dry VERY slowly in a thick application, which is why they stay workable on the pallet for a long time. In a thin application they will dry relatively fast to be painted over gently, but can also be reworked if brushed into for quite a while.
This makes heavy impasto with a pallet knife with OPEN paints difficult in that it will be so slow drying. The approach that i am exploring for flexible knife painting is to control the drying time of my thicker mixtures so that they will dry in a similar period of time to my thinner applications of OPEN paints. In this way, I can work either thick or thin. The way I am doing this for a thick pallet knife application, is to mix my paint with the appropriate mixtures of mediums.
To do this I have experimented with mixing Golden OPEN mediums (both fluid and gel), which are slow drying, with regular Golden mediums (both fluid and gels), which are fast drying. Depending on the mixture of the two I can control the drying time of the medium mixtures. You can see some of my test mixtures on the following panel.
In subsequent blog posts, i will share the progress on a specific knife based painting.