Art Supplies - Shop Talk about Mediums

As a frequent visitor to a number of online art communities - I read supply question and advice multiple times a day. It's truly the number one area of discussion for those new to art, all the way up to those more experienced in the craft.

I consider the type of art that I do mixed media, which means what it says, I use many different mediums when I create. I have made a few choices along the way. One was the choice between oil paint or acrylic. I chose acrylic because of how versatile it is with collage and other mediums plus I hate smelly cleanup and I'm not a fan of the unhealthy solvents used with oil. What many new artists don't realize about acrylic paint is that the polymer resin used as a binder in acrylic paint is an adhesive. Yup, that means you can use acrylic paint as a glue. Acrylic paint is waterproof when dry and speaking of drying...basic acrylic paint can dry incredibly quickly.

When I started I was so heavy handed with water. Literally I would have a puddle of watery paint floating on my surface. I didn't love the result but I couldn't be stopped! It worked for a time, but soon I was yearning for a more finished result. Enter A.G.L. Yes, I'm going to go all Rachel Ray and E.V.O.O. on ya'll. Acrylic Glazing Liquid is my medium of choice, I think I could live without every other medium if I HAD to, just don't take away my gloss AGL!

Many companies make glazing liquid. You can even by the stuff at Home Depot and the like. Debbie Travis' rocked the medium in the day, maybe you could borrow some from her. I try not to be brand specific in my advice. I don't love saying, THIS IS THE ONLY BRAND YOU SHOULD USE! BUT, I'm going to do it here. Don't waste your time and money with the other stuff; Golden brand Acrylic Glazing Liquid in Gloss is the best. THE BEST! I'd stake my 3.78 litre jug on it.

So what does this stuff do.
  • It turns any paint into a glaze. Thin, transparent washes of color that you build and build layer upon layer to produce depth and smooth transition.
  • Extends working time just enough for me. Now this is up to the user. I like an extended working time to a point. Don't stay wet for ages...I hate that. Other's love it. Me not so much and because of this Golden is just right for my patience level. Let me blend, let me move the paint where I want and then make it stay, cuz I'm going to move on and forget about it. I find with my face work having a longer working time essential.
  • Dries translucent with a crystal clarity. It gives depth to your work.
  • I use this as my adhesive ALL the time. I did the She Art course with Christy Tomlinson and used AGL in place of Mod Podge and had amazing results. I use it in my art journal every day and I use the Gloss finish. Every Art Journal soon learns that gloss is not a medium type they want in Art Journaling as it often results in pages stuck together. Not so with AGL. Just ensure the page is dry before closing the book and I've never heard the crackle of sticky pages from it.
  • I use it over my watercolor crayons instead of water. Because of it's ability to blend color and create smooth transitions the results are delicious!
The biggest benefit for me has been an increase quality in the finish of my work. There is a smoothness and a depth and a brightness that comes with using this product. I was introduced to AGL last summer by Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen in a course I took from them and I've never looked back. Ya, the best product related advice I've yet to receive in my journey with art.

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