Golden Open Acrylics Review

painting acrylics open golden imagination imaginative absurd surreal
The Strange Obsessions of Uncle Eugene. 10″ x 8″. Golden Open Acrylics on canvas.

Golden Open acrylics review

I always say: If you want to paint an artwork quickly; use oils. If you want to have a painting ready quickly; use acrylics.

Golden Open acrylic paints review from artist and teacher Kevin McSherry of www.McSherryStudio.com

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.

Testing Golden Open paints

For this Golden Open acrylics review, on both of the artworks pictured above and below, I started out with a ‘brunaille’ or monochrome underpainting with regular acrylics. I then used Open Acrylics paints to glaze the colour. However, because of the detailed natured of these works, I quickly turned to using Open paints just as I would with regular acrylics -working closely and resting my wrist on the surface – 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.  I would have been better to try these out on an alla prima still life or portrait first to get used to them -this says more about me and my impatience than the paints.

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.

They don’t really feel like oils or regular acrylics either; the texture is slightly goopy -sticky- rather than buttery

Conclusion

Although, these are great paints; really, these were the wrong paintings on which to test these colours out. I would have been happier using regular acrylics for both these artworks.

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.  You’ll still need to dispose of waste materials properly (acrylic paint is still a derivative of the plastics industry).

Cost of Golden Open Acrylic Paint

All Golden paints are very good quality materials, so they’re generally dearer than brands of lesser quality. A good comparison is with Winsor & Newton Professional acrylic paint (which I really like and use all the time) on K&M Evans online shop:  Taking Alizarin Crimson in both brands as a marker along with Golden’s own regular Heavy Body paint:
W&N 60ml €12.95
Golden Heavy Body regular acrylics €17.95
Golden OPEN acrylics €17.95

So a fiver more. There’s no difference in price between OPEN and regular heavy body acrylics. I find that it’s hard to say if the price difference between W&N Professional, Sennelier’s Artist Quality acrylics and Golden is worth paying -but as far as I know, none of the others make an acrylics alternative to oils.

However, Golden’s range of additional products such as gels and other additives is second to none -a really comprehensive array of material that none of the other suppliers match.

A note about presentation. Golden does a very good job with their pacakging where the swatch you see on the tube is a smear of the actual paint rather than a printed version. You know what you’re going to get.

Edward-VII’s arrival at Lismore Castle. Painted in Golden Open Acrylics

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 read about Golden Open acrylic paint on their web site here.

Where to buy Golden Open Acrylics

In Dublin, Ireland, you can buy these in Evans’ Art Shop (online and in the shop itself) in Mary’s Abbey, in Dublin’s town centre.

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Portraiture Workshop in Terenure, Dublin. Sunday June 14th

Art classes south Dublin Learn paint oils alla prima style.
Art classes in south Dublin. Learn to paint in oils in the alla prima style.

A full day tutored workshop in painting the portrait. 10.30AM to 4.30PM with a one hour lunch break. 


Painting portraits is challenging but fun -and the right time to start practicing is NOW!

I will guide you through the process in an easily understandable way; and questions are welcome.

We’ll cover the following:
Proportion
The structure of the head.
Mixing skin-tones and tonal values.
Colour temperature.
Composition

€60 SIGN UP HERE

Where is it? 

This event will take place in the upstairs venue of Terenure Sports Club
54 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin 6W, Co. Dublin

Phone:(01) 490 8322

Please bring your own easel. (There are tables for box easels and plenty of chairs) and painting materials

Coffee and tea available.

There a several venues to go for lunch in the surrounding area -and a bar for post-painting refreshments and analysis!

What should I bring? Materials list at this link.

Art classes in south Dublin. Learn to paint in oils in the alla prima style.

portrait oils composition dublin workshop art class
Working out the composition of a portrait in oils at my workshop in Dublin

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshops for the Month of June in Terenure Dublin

Usually, classes in my studio are held on a PER TERM basis. Terms are not split up. However, for the month of June, my regular classes will be finished for the summer and your own schedule is likely to be broken up too. In their place, I will be holding these morning ‘Painting Improvement’ workshops in my studio. 
Each workshop: €30. You can book these individually by clicking on the class of your choice. Bring your own projects (as long as they’re not over A2 size. Booking MUST be made prior to the workshop and please remember: There are ONLY 6 PLACES on each workshop: Book early to avoid disappointment! *

I will help you along with your project with advice, encouragement -and a practical demonstrations.

Bring your paints and a tabletop easel.  Coffee and tea with biscuits at 11AM. Hope to see you there!

Click on THE LINK of your choice below for further information.

There’s a map on this web site to get you here.

Art classes in Dublin, teaching oils, acrylics with small class sizes and friendly environment.. For beginners to intermediate painters who want to improve technique.

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshop. Tuesday June 9
6 Places only. €30

CLICK THIS LINK TO JOIN

Art classes in Dublin, teaching oils, acrylics with small class sizes and friendly environment.. For beginners to intermediate painters who want to improve technique.

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshop. Thursday June 11
6 Places only. €30

CLICK THIS LINK TO JOIN

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshop. Tuesday June 16
6 Places only. €30

CLICK THIS LINK TO JOIN

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshop. Thursday June 18
6 Places only. €30

CLICK THIS LINK TO JOIN

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshop. Tuesday June 23
6 Places only. €30

CLICK THIS LINK TO JOIN

Morning ‘Painting Improvement’ Workshop. Thursday June 25
6 Places only. €30

CLICK THIS LINK TO JOIN

*

  • Art Classes Ireland reserves the right to cancel the workshop if numbers are too low. People who have paid will be refunded in full.
  • Refunds can only be organized where attendees give at least 2 weeks notice to allow time for replacement.