USING ADDITIVES IN ACRYLICS TO RETARD DRYING

     We have all seen mediums that retard drying time in acrylic paints.  They work, but they can be expensive to buy.  And, what if you run out of medium in the middle of a painting?  Is there anything else that will work?  Anything natural you can use?  Something perhaps lying around your house?

     I was recently watching a youtube video by a UK artist on retarders in acrylics.  It was very interesting indeed.  He likes to use natural products when possible, and so do I.  The products he showed on this video were some old and some new, but all worked.  I will list them for you.

1.  Vegetable Glycerine:  This is often used in food products and is actually made from vegetables.  It is sweet to the taste and very thick.  It greatly retards the drying time of acrylic paints when used full strength.  It can be thinned however.  Only a few drops of this product are necessary to do the job.
Available through Amazon, it costs about $6.00 for a quart. That will last a LONG time!

2.  PVA glue or Elmer's glue:  This acts as a glaze.  Can be used full strength or thinned.  Again it retards the drying time but not as much as glycerine.  Available anywhere.

3.  Egg whites:  This gives a satin finish to acrylic paint which is nice, and can also be used as a glaze, but be sure to throw away any not used in one sitting.  It spoils quickly.

4.  Don't laugh or call me wicked!  I'm just stating facts here.  The next one is KY jelly.  It is actually heavy water.  FYI: It's used in many movies as "drool" around mouths of monsters!  It retards drying time and dries matte.  Rather expensive.

5.  Hair Gel:  Very similar to KY jelly but much less expensive!  If you want a retarder to slow drying this may just be what you're looking for.  Cheap and easy to use!

     One thing you need to know: there is no set formula for using any of these additives as they are all affected by temperature, humidity, etc.  You will need to experiment with them until you find the ones that work best for you, and the formula mixtures that work best with your paints, in your particular climate.  But it does sound like fun and I'm all for finding something that retards drying without using heavy chemicals!  How about you?

I just thought I'd show you a photo of my latest painting.  I am experimenting with adding mop brushes to my tool box as they are reportedly good for blending.  This painting is of a sunrise here in N. Florida and there is extensive blending of the sun colors.  I must say that I am impressed with these brushes and they will definitely stay in my brush bag!  Thank you for looking and have a good week!

"VILANO SUNRISE"
16 x 20
acrylic on stretched canvas






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