Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Frugality is Golden

Art Journal page, March 2014
While we're on the subject of not buying unnecessary art supplies, I thought I'd share this information with you.

I've only recently (since early 2013) been using Golden paints and acrylic media.  Before I began doing any "real" painting, they appeared to be way too expensive for my budget.  But eventually I invested in Golden's Fluid Acrylics, and I'm so glad I did.  They're so loaded with pigment that they really go a long way and I believe their qualities are unmatched.  Also, over the last year I've been trying a lot of different gels and mediums and learning their properties and how to use them. 

If you've price-shopped acrylic paint, Golden looks pricey...but only if you're comparing them to Liquitex or Blick's house brand.  Most of the other brands of acrylics are quite a bit more expensive than Golden.  Yet I'm quite sure Golden is the best.  No, this isn't an advertisement for Golden Paints, just a missive to let you know how impressed I am with the company, primarily for what follows.

It took me years to invest in Golden Fluid Acrylics while most artists began using them years ago.  I was still working on fabric back then, still working with dyes, yet many of my textile art pals were buying large quantities of the Fluid Acrylics and thinning them with Golden's Acrylic Flow Release, which breaks the surface tension of the paint and allows it to be used more like dye...more, actually, like Jacquard's Dyn-a-Flo acrylic paint.  I just couldn't go there, couldn't see myself using expensive paint on fabric.

Fast forward to maybe last year, and I've just invested rather heavily in Golden Fluid Acrylics, and Golden changes the name of their airbrush colors and begins marketing them as Hi-Flow Acrylics.  Many of the painters I'm now following are using the Hi-Flow paints extensively because the consistency is almost like ink.  But I'm not about to buy an entire new line of Golden paints when I've only just begun to use the Fluid Acrylics.

So I wondered to myself, and even asked one of my favorite painters, whether using the Acrylic Flow Release with Fluid Acrylics would achieve the same end as using the new Hi-Flow paints.  The painter said it would be an entirely different experience (of course, she is one of Golden's painters-in-residence), but I still wasn't satisfied with that response.  So I called Golden's tech support and was told what I really wanted to hear: 

YES, you can use Flow Release with Fluid Acrylics for a higher flowing paint, but a better solution to having to buy a new line of paint would be to use Golden's Airbrush Transparent Extender with the Fluid Acrylics.  This would work fine for the small amount of use I anticipate for ink-like paint in my work.  He cautioned, "Just don't expect to cover large areas of a canvas or paper with a layer of paint that is absolutely consistent in color across that area."  Which isn't something I would do anyway.

So I'm passing this information on and if you can use it, good.  Golden Paints is extremely forthcoming with tech support about their products, color and mixing charts, and samples.  Helpful in every way, and gracious about your investing in their products. 


Jacki Long said...

♥♥♥♥ this collage Connie, you are masterful!

john said...

Wow! Thanks for the information on what you found out from Golden and from your experience. I have been using Golden for awhile now and love the fluid acrylics. I will look into your other suggestions. :-)

Aussie Jo said...

Thanks you Connie, When I start running out of my acrylics I will replace them with Golden. Good tip with the extender too.

Maggi said...

I too am impressed with the Golden Fluid acrylics and it is good to hear that their tech support was so helpful. It would have been so easy to encourage to buy the new products.

Susan Christensen said...

Yes, Golden is the best company, isn't it? I began with them from art school, and never looked back. A couple years ago the little local craft store was having a sale on Liquitex acrylics so I purchased some - no comparison! happy painting, Connie and thanks for this informative post.

Meg Fowler said...

Golden definitely makes the very best paints. I've used the fluids and the heavy bodies for about 10 years. I have just recently bought their high flow paints. I haven't had much time to play with them, but the little chance I've had, I definitely love them. Thanks for the hint about the air brush fluid to dilute them. That will be my next purchase!

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

I agree. When it comes to art supplies, you definitely get what you pay for. You can go through an awful lot of crappy paint that's more filler than pigment and won't even do what you really want it to. In the long run, it doesn't save all that much. There's nothing as wonderful as good supplies!

I haven't contacted Golden's tech support in years, but I had a similarly positive experience. I've heard nothing but good about them as a company. It's good to have this confirmed.

I've used the airbrush medium and really like it. I used it to make the paint sprayable in a spray bottle. It works well for this purpose. I hadn't thought of just using it to create an ink-like consistency for other purposes. Hmmm…! Thanks for that thought….

I look forward to seeing what you do with it.