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
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.
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.
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