Acrylic Paint Mediums

Versatility of Acrylic

this lens' photo

Acrylic paints are by far the most versatile artist medium available. There are numerous mediums available that can change the properties of acrylic paints for different affects. These can add strength, increase transparency, opacity, viscosity, or texture for more dimensional work. There are even medium for thining paints for airbrushing.There are many useful properties with acrylic paints and mediums. Acrylic polymer emulsions make excellent glues. This property allows for mixed media paintings. Acrylics dry faster than oils but additives can be used to extend working time. These paints can be easily cleaned up with soap and water.


Gloss gel medium


Gloss Gel mediumGloss Gel medium is a very useful and versatile medium. It has the same consistency as heavy body paints and it is typically used as an extender. It increases transparency of paint without thinning it. When paint is blended one to one with gel medium one can aquire the depth and richness of oil paints. For more uses and information, you can visit Liquitex page describing gloss gel medium.

Modeling paste


This is a thick pasty medium. The coarse modeling paste featured in the photo is from Golden. It is translucent up to 1/8″ thick. It dries with a granulated matt finish. It can easily take paint and varnish and the paste mixes well with both fluid acrylics and heavy body paints.

Liquitex String gel


Liquidtex gel is a unique acrylic medium. It is a thick gel that you can mix with acrylic paints to make them stringy. It not only makes paint more viscous but decidingly more stringy. It is a gloss medium and will increase the transparency of the paint mixed in.



There is another facet to acrylic medium versatility.  I use the gloss polymer medium I bought from Dick Blick in the place of at least three types of acrylic medium.  I use it full strength to make paint with powdered micas and minerals, I thin 50/50 to prepare a glaze/wash medium.  Also I thin with less water and it makes for a nice varnish over paintings.  At just under $20 for half a gallon, it is the best purchase I have made yet!

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