Golden Open Acrylics are a truly unique acrylic paint range. They are formulated with a relaxed set of working characteristics which give them the feature of having a prolonged drying time. This means that they are workable for a similar length of time as a professional Artist oil colour, with the added bonus of one not having to use very abrasive and harmful solvents when working. So you can blend, soften, shade, glaze and use fine detail with your open acrylic colours without any danger of the paint drying too quickly.
As well as the opening up of possibilities with your acrylic colour, it allows the paint to remain on your palette for longer without an annoying and wasteful skin forming on the top. As with oils, thin layers of paint will dry quicker than thicker layers, so you can glaze over the top when the initial layer is dry. Thicker layers are workable for hours, and layers thicker than 1/16” will dry incredibly slowly (again, as one would also expect with oils.) Golden paints recommend that the artist mix Open Acrylics with a Gel Medium for heavy impasto techniques (as otherwise the paint will not fully dry throughout, deeming it relatively unstable and liable to cracking over time). For deep transparent painting techniques the Open Acrylic Gel (gloss) medium will maintain colour strength whilst maintaining consistency, and for thinner glazes and washes the Acrylic Medium (gloss) will allow you to achieve a more fluid consistency, increasing flow, but not weakening the structure of the paint in the same way that adding water would.
The Open Thinner does not contain any binders and allows the artist to maintain and adjust workability of colours on the palette without the use of water mist or a stay wet palette.
Open Acrylic colours can be blended with Golden Acrylics and Gel Mediums to change the opacity of a colour and alter its consistency, whilst simultaneously increasing the drying time. It is not recommended to apply fast drying regular acrylic colour on the top of Open Acrylic colours, as it will be detrimental to the flexibility of the paint film. Instead, as with oils, work wet on wet or wet on dry, but not wet on semi-dry, as this will not allow the painting to dry in a proper and stable manner.
Drying times are very dependent on environmental conditions and individual results can vary. Under ambient conditions of 70ºF/21ºC and 30% RH, OPEN Acrylics will have an average working time that is approximately 10 times longer than the usual acrylic paints. Below is a table showing some test results on gessoed cards:
Paint film thickness: 6 mil (roughly equivalent to a heavy brushstroke)
Use OPEN Mediums and Thinner to control viscosity while maintaining the maximum working time. To accelerate drying time, OPEN Acrylics may be blended with faster drying GOLDEN Acrylics, Gels and Mediums.
Because of the slow drying nature of these paints, it is recommended that work be left to dry for a minimum of 30 days before varnishing. During this period, it is also important to keep the artwork in a dust free environment, as the “tacky” phase of drying can cause small particles to become stuck and sometimes trapped.
The drying time of OPEN Acrylics can be accelerated by increasing airflow, careful use of moderate heat sources such as hair dryers, or controlling the environmental conditions to maintain a higher temperature and low relative humidity. For additional information see the following Application Information Sheet:
Please note - Golden place a high priority on the health and safety of the artists's studio and materials. They feel the artists should be aware of any potential hazards so Golden far surpass the required quantity of health and safety advice on their labels. Their products are not more dangerous, just more fully labelled.
Video 1 - An Introduction to Open Acrylics
Video 2 - Monoprinting using Open Acrylics:
Video 3 - Subtractive Painting techniques using Open Acrylics:
Video 4 - Palette Management with Open Acrylics
Creating a Monotype using Open Acrylics