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My Favorite Mediums

by K. Jo in All about Creating

(No, this is not an advertisement! I am a creature of habit, and I like my usual brand)

There are many reasons that I prefer working in acrylic paints, from drying time to ease of clean up. But my favorite part about using them is the many mediums that can be used with them. From adding texture to a piece to making blending easier, mediums open a whole new realm of possibility in acrylic pieces.

My absolute favorite medium that I’ve tried so far is not actually a medium at all, but an additive. It’s the GOLDEN retarder. 


I usually use GOLDEN Open paints, which have a significantly longer drying time than any other acrylic paint I’ve ever tried. If you’ve ever tried to do wet on wet blending with acrylics, you know the struggle! The Opens are awesome for allowing wet on wet blending, however, the colors are limited compared to their regular heavy body paints. Adding the retarder to the regular paints allows them to be worked easier, but it does slightly dilute the pigments, so extra layers may need to be applied.

My second favorite is the Gloss Glazing Liquid. 


It extends the drying time and spreads the pigments in a very thin layer that travels further than they normally would. If you’ve looked through my pieces on here, the octopus’s lightbulb in Charging is a prime example of using this medium to create the glass effect. It takes many layers, and practice, but I LOVE this stuff.


This one is old hat for anyone who has watched about a million mixed media videos on YouTube (totally not something I do, nope…. Yeah, I do that). It is Extra Heavy Gel. 


I use the matte version, for no particular reason other than that’s the one that I grabbed first. This stuff is amazing! It can be used as a glue, to add texture, and to create areas of interest. I use this in my mixed media pieces only, as I’ve found that the added texture irritates me on my regular acrylic pieces. I think this is because, once it’s on and dry, there is no moving it, and I tend to edit my regular paintings with many layers, so I need the flexibility of a flat canvas.

Stay posted later this week for an example of me using this medium!

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