GOLDEN Artist Colors started creating Fluid Colors on a custom basis for artists requesting a low viscosity, pigment-saturated paint. Some of these artists wanted to pour, puddle and drip their acrylic paints, others wanted to stain with the acrylics using them as alternatives to watercolours, and others wanted to use the paints for spray application. Many artists were already thinning Heavy Body paints with water to achieve these effects. Although simply adding water or medium to the Heavy Body Acrylics sufficed to meet the needs of most artists, some complained that the resulting paint was not strong enough. These artists desired an undiluted acrylic that would provide optimal tinting strength and coverage.
Eventually, the popularity of the Fluid custom formula reached a point where GOLDEN was able to introduce it as a standard line of product. The Fluid Acrylics are formulated similarly to GOLDEN Heavy Body Acrylics, with the main difference being the viscosity or consistency at which the paints are finished. Hence, the pigment load or colour strength of the Fluid Acrylics is comparable to the Heavy Body Acrylics. In fact, because of the greater levelling of the Fluid Acrylics, some artists believe the Fluids are stronger than the Heavy Body colours.
Mixing Fluids with other GOLDEN Products
The Fluid Colors can be mixed with most of our other GOLDEN Mediums, Grounds, Gessoes, Gels and other paint lines including our Heavy Body Acrylics, High Flow Acrylics, High Load Colors, Iridescent Colors, Paste Paints and Matte Acrylics. By blending paint lines of different viscosities, artists can create virtually any paint consistency without sacrificing colour strength. The Heavy Body Acrylics can be thinned very effectively with water, but since the Fluids start at a lower viscosity, less water is needed. Remember: the more water added to the acrylics, the greater the subsequent shrinking of the paint layer. Too much water will reduce the binding capability of all of the acrylic paints and also tends to flatten out their sheen.
When used for applications other than staining and washes, we recommend diluting the Fluids with no more than a 1:1 ratio of Fluid Acrylic to water. When using the Fluids specifically for staining and washes, there is no limit to how much water can be added. Film integrity will automatically result when the substrate absorbs the paint mixture. Washes can also be sealed with an acrylic medium to increase overall film strength.
Fluid Acrylics load a brush more evenly than thicker paints, and they also flow consistently off the brush, allowing for longer, more uniform brush strokes. This is one of the key features of the Fluids, resulting from their low viscosity. Artists can lay down thin passages of paint that have high pigment loads; these thin passages would not be possible to achieve by diluting paints with a higher viscosity.
When a heavier stroke is required, Fluids can be blended with any of the GOLDEN Gels. Soft, Regular, Heavy or Extra-Heavy Gels will all thicken the paint to various extents. Because of the thin consistency and potency of the Fluids, they are the easiest of all the paint systems to incorporate into powerful gel mixtures.
Pours & Puddles
The Fluids can be poured and puddled, dripped and dragged onto the canvas to achieve some unique effects. By altering the speed, the distance from the substrate and nozzle size or shape while pouring, one can control the size and shape of the resulting pour or drip. Working with different Fluid colours together, either simultaneously or at different times, can be an interesting technique.
There are a few GOLDEN mediums that work especially well with the Fluids for various pour/drip/puddle effects. Adding small amounts of GAC-800 to the Fluids can reduce the crazing that occurs. Clear Tar Gel mixes with the Fluids for dripping purposes and can yield lines that range from spider-web fine to brushstroke thick.
Thick Film Drying Considerations
When the paint is being applied in relatively thick films, one must remember that all acrylic paints shrink considerably (approximately 25-40%) upon drying. This tendency, coupled with the thin consistency of the Fluids, will yield surface defects called crazes. Crazing is the result of the tremendous force exerted on the surface of the paint film as the film dries and shrinks. It can appear as rips, tears or valleys that run through the surface of the poured paint. Blending Fluids with GOLDEN Soft, Medium, Heavy or Extra Heavy Gels will significantly help to prevent crazing.