Mixing Fluids with other GOLDEN Products
The Fluid Colors can be mixed with most of our other GOLDEN Mediums, Grounds, Gessoes, Gels and other paint lines, including our Heavy Body Acrylics, High Flow Acrylics, High Load Colors, Iridescent Colors, Paste Paints and Matte Acrylics. By blending paint lines of different viscosities, artists can create virtually any paint consistency without sacrificing color strength. The Heavy Body Acrylics can be thinned very effectively with water, but since the Fluids start at a lower viscosity, less water is needed. Remember: the more water added to the acrylics, the greater the subsequent shrinking of the paint layer. Too much water will reduce the binding capability of all of the acrylic paints and also tends to flatten out their sheen.
When used for applications other than staining and washes, we recommend diluting the Fluids with no more than a 1:1 ratio of Fluid Acrylic to water. When using the Fluids specifically for staining and washes, there is no limit to how much water can be added. Film integrity will automatically result when the substrate absorbs the paint mixture. Washes can also be sealed with an acrylic medium to increase overall film strength.
Fluid Acrylics load a brush more evenly than thicker paints, and they also flow consistently off the brush, allowing for longer, more uniform brush strokes. This is one of the key features of the Fluids, resulting from their low viscosity. Artists can lay down thin passages of paint that have high pigment loads; these thin passages would not be possible to achieve by diluting a paint with a higher viscosity.
When a heavier stroke is required, Fluids can be blended with any of the GOLDEN Gels. Soft, Regular, Heavy or Extra-Heavy Gels will all thicken the paint to various extents. Because of the thin consistency and potency of the Fluids, they are the easiest of all the paint systems to incorporate into powerful gel mixtures.
Pours & Puddles
The Fluids can be poured and puddled, dripped and dragged onto the canvas to achieve some unique effects. By altering the speed, the distance from the substrate and nozzle size or shape while pouring, one can control the size and shape of the resulting pour or drip. Working with different Fluid colors together, either simultaneously or at different times, can be an interesting technique.
There are a few GOLDEN mediums that work especially well with the Fluids for various pour/drip/puddle effects. Adding small amounts of GAC-800 to the Fluids can reduce the crazing that occurs. Clear Tar Gel mixes with the Fluids for dripping purposes, and can yield lines that range from spider-web fine to brushstroke thick.
Thick Film Drying Considerations
When paint is being applied in relatively thick films, one must remember that all acrylic paints shrink considerably (approximately 25-40%) upon drying. This tendency, coupled with the thin consistency of the Fluids, will yield surface defects called crazes. Crazing is the result of the tremendous force exerted on the surface of the paint film as the film dries and shrinks. It can appear as rips, tears or valleys that run through the surface of the poured paint. Blending Fluids with GOLDEN Soft, Medium, Heavy or Extra Heavy Gels will significantly help to prevent crazing.
Product Gloss Variance
In keeping with the standards created by our Heavy Body Acrylics, when formulating the Fluid line we consciously decided not to add the flattening agents or opacifiers typically added to other acrylic paints. Such fillers are frequently added to unify the sheen of a line of paints and to make all colors uniformly opaque. We decided that each pigment would be made to its own level of matte or gloss and its own unique degree of opacity or transparency, depending upon its own intrinsic nature. These decisions have allowed our colors to retain their clearest and cleanest quality, especially when used in washes or glazes where their brilliance is displayed. It is always possible to add matting agents and other whitening materials to the product, but once added, it is impossible to take them away.
Because the Fluid Acrylics contain no flattening agents or opacifiers, it is quite evident when looking at our color chart that our colors do vary in gloss. For example, our Ultramarine Blue or Raw Umber appear quite matte, while the Dioxazine Purple and Vat Orange are extremely glossy. Although some artists find this variation problematic, many artists appreciate the nuances of color, sheen, and transparency or opacity that exist within our Fluid line. (For artists desiring a consistent sheen and opacity in a fluid paint line, our Matte Fluids provide this option. See below for more information.)
The Fluid colors retain excellent flexibility when dry, greatly diminishing the likelihood of the cracking that occurs in other natural and synthetic polymer systems. The acrylics can absorb the constant stress and strain placed on canvas when shipped or as it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Please note: acrylics begin to harden at 15 degrees Centigrade or 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and become quite hard at temperatures below freezing. This is especially important to remember when shipping a painting in freezing conditions or when unrolling a painting that has been kept in cold storage. The paint will not spontaneously crack when frozen, but because it will be very brittle, care should be exercised in handling. When a painting has been exposed to such cold conditions, it is important to allow it to warm sufficiently before rolling, unrolling or any other handling occurs.