Current Shows

Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.


I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How to Extend Regular Acrylics' Working Time

Golden's Open Acrylic Medium

Those of you who read my blog regularly know I'm always looking for ways to get maximum use from my art supplies. And you also know how much I love acrylic paints.

Both "regular" and fluid acrylics dry fast, sometimes too fast, particularly in arid climates with low humidity. (Just try using them for plein air work and you'll see what I mean.)

A few years ago, Golden Paints introduced a great new product line: Golden Open Acrylics. These acrylics handle just like regular acrylics but they stay wet much, much longer. Days longer, in many cases.

If I had a fairy godmother, I'd ask her to transform all my "regular" acrylics into Open Acrylics. But I don't have a fairy godmother. And if you're familiar with Golden's paints, you know they don't come cheap. But there IS a way to enjoy a longer working time without ditching your regular acrylics: just buy a bottle of Open Medium. Add a few drops of it to "regular" acrylics and -- glitter dust, please!!! -- you've got acrylic paints that stay workable significantly longer!

I haven't conducted scientific tests to determine exactly how much longer, but I can say using Open Medium has resulted in an extended working time I didn't have before. My palette is a piece of heavy 4 mil plastic so my paints are probably drying on it faster than they would on my Sta-Wet palette, but they're still considerably wetter an hour or two later than paints not amended with the medium. If I used the Sta-Wet, I bet they'd be viable forever. (I'm exaggerating, of course. But I suspect a month or two would not be unreasonable to expect.)

Open Medium has come in really handy for monoprinting with my Gelli Plate. It allows time to develop surface designs, making printing sessions more leisurely. It also makes blending colors a piece of cake, along with any number of other uses. For students just learning to paint with acrylics, it reduces the frustration many feel when their paints dry faster than they can be manipulated.

Open Medium is now an indispensable tool in my studio. If I were painting plein air I would not leave home without it.

By the way, I am in no way compensated by Golden nor do I have any business relationship with that company. I just happen to like their products!

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards

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