Creative Techniques: High Flow Acrylics

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How exciting is this! As an experimental painter I’ve often played with gels, mediums, heavy body paint and fluids searching for the perfect flow or viscosity for whatever textural effect I had in mind. I’ve mixed my Heavy Body paints with the same color in Fluids and/or Airbrush color to obtain certain viscosities. On many occasions, I’ve attempted to mimic the flow of inks with varying degrees of success. I’ve always enjoyed the feel and “runniness” of inks but not the inherent problem with fading.

golden heavy acrylics

I used to combine airbrush colors and Fluids (along with mediums or GAC’s) searching for that elusive “inky flow”, I just discovered that Golden Artist Colors is now producing a new High Flow Acrylic which will act like ink when wet, but will dry like regular acrylic paint. They created a very thin and free-flowing paint by adding film levelers, retarders and flow improvers to create this incredible paint.

They have produced 49 colors (Iridescents and Fluorescents too!) and when they appear in my district I will be buying them and adding them to my arsenal of paints and tools. The Airbrush colors are now being phased out. The High Flows being a harder, more durable and slightly thicker paint allows for increased performance in a number of areas.

They work well for detail painting with a brush, you can use them in dipping pens, technical pens and for markers. The pigments have been finely grounded so that there should be no clogging issues in small tips and airbrush nozzles. However, fluorescents and Iridescents may clog technical and fountain pens due to larger pigment sizes so if you do use them discard the High Flow paint as soon as possible. For use with pen and ink if the consistency and flow is not proper you can add small amounts of water or add Golden Airbrush Medium to thin and improve flow and leveling, but only enough to achieve a good flow. As always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning and storage.

The new High Flow will be great for pours on large areas where their thin consistency should allow for wonderful flows of colors. Wet in wet techniques should be particularly interesting to create both for the fact that the pigment size and intensity varies between each color as denser, larger pigment particles settle more rapidly than smaller particles.

I’ll talk about High Flows on an absorbent paper surface in my next post.