Thank you so much for my first painting lesson. I feel quite emotional, mostly because I regret that I didn’t do this decades ago! Well, there’s no time like the present…
Susan Calvin

My Thoughts on Golden Open Acrylics Artist Paint

painting acrylics open golden imagination imaginative absurd surreal
Sentinel. 10" x 8". Acrylics on canvas.
I always say: If you want to paint an artwork quickly; use oils. If you want to have a painting ready quickly; use acrylics.

But there's always something to make a lie of every aphorism. Some time ago I bought a set of acrylic colours by the US paint maker Golden. They market these as 'Open Acrylics'. Essentially, they are slow-drying and make them a little more akin to oils in feel and drying-time.

Washing up and dilution is still done with water.

Apparently, even when it seems that they've become unworkable (perhaps the next day), they can be made useable -or 'opened' with an additive that they sell (and which I didn't buy!) So I haven't tested this.

Whatever; this is my first go with these paints.

I started out with a 'brunaille' or monochrome underpainting with regular acrylics and used Open Acrylics paints to glaze the colour. However, I quickly returned to using these paints just as I would with regular acrylics and because of that, I found that the prolonged workability of the paint got in my way as I kept dragging my wrist over the painting and causing smudges.

In their favour, though, all Golden paints are loaded with pigment (Golden don't do student quality paints as far as I know). They're bright and intense and each tube goes a long way.

Although, these are great paints; really, this was the wrong painting on which to test these colours out. I would have been happier using regular acrylics for this art. For me at least, Golden Open Acrylics would come into their own in a more expressive painting -an alla prima painting would have brought out the best in them. They'd be a great alternative to oils paints for those who have a problem with the solvents used in oil painting.

I also might bring them on holiday with me, as acrylics can dry on the brush in the heat of a southern European summer and oils take just as long to set regardless of the weather.

You can buy these in Evans' Art Shop (online and in the shop itself) in Mary's Abbey, in Dublin's town centre.