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How To Use Atelier Interactive With Normal Or Traditional Fast Drying Mediums

Atelier Interactive can be used in a “Fast Drying Mode” and in a “Wet Blending Mode.” There are two distinct types of mediums that support these end uses. You choose how you want to paint and choose the appropriate medium. 

Normal Or Traditional Fast Drying Mediums

These come with different consistencies and gloss levels and are similar to other good brands. They can be chosen to modify the paint for special effects.

Thick Mediums Group

  • For thick, glossy impasto: Use Heavy Gel Gloss which is transparent when dry and may be used in any proportion with the paint, but usually roughly 1:1.
  • For a very thick, sharp, under texture: Moulding Paste is usually applied unpigmented in areas requiring a heavy build up and then over painted. (It can be applied over a partly finished painting).

Mid-Viscosity Mediums

You need to choose one of the following mediums to be your basic painting medium to lubricate your paint application. (Unless you are seeking dry brush effects).

For mid-viscosity, glossy paint dilution: Gloss Medium gives a translucent and glossy surface. Water or a wet brush can be used to modify the effect. 

For a mid-viscosity paint dilution with no gloss effect: Use Clear Painting Medium to dilute, spread and edge blend your paint. (A wet brush can be used for further dilution).

For a more fluid dilution: Glazing Liquid (Gloss) maintains sheen without being glossy. It is used for glazing and edge blending and a wet brush can be used for further dilution.  

Binder Medium Is Used For Sealing Surfaces

Binder is the pure acrylic polymer the paint itself is made from. It is fluid but is very concentrated, and is often used to seal a ground to paint on. It prevents absorption of water from the wet paint and has a slicker surface than a gesso ground. It is colourless so it can be painted into whilst it is still wet. It is also used for collage and sometimes mixed with paint for more gloss.


General Varnishing Information - Atelier Interactve & A>2

Varnishing gives “finish” to a painting, as does framing, but should not be considered necessary or compulsory if the painting is to hang indoors. Free Flow paintings lose their vivid matte finish if varnished and can be framed under glass because of their gouache like appearance.

Choosing the wrong varnish effect can be devastating, and when an unfamiliar varnish is being tried out for the first time, it is advisable to prepare sample pieces to check the effect.

Varnish Finishes can be gloss, satin, matte and invisible. Note that matte varnishes are tricky to use.

Solvent Based Varnishes

Solvent based varnishes are mineral turps based and smelly, but are easier to use than water based varnishes.

These solvent based varnishes are called Chroma Varnishes, because they can be used for either acrylic paintings or oil paintings.

The solvent varnishes come in gloss, satin and invisible finishes.  

Acrylic Varnishes

Most acrylic artists tend to use water based acrylic varnishes. For a gloss finish, Atelier Gloss or the Universal Varnish can be diluted 1:1 with water and are easier to apply in the diluted state. One coat will enhance colour contrast without being glossy, and could in fact give the finish to a painting that you find attractive. Two coats will give a low sheen effect, and for a glossy finish, it is faster to apply undiluted coats over the first diluted coat.

For a satin varnish effect when using Satin Varnish, shake the bottle to make sure the flatting agent is well suspended in the liquid. Apply undiluted in one or two coats. 

For a matte finish, consider first the idea of leaving the painting unvarnished. Matte Varnish can be difficult to use and the surface needs to be sealed first with Fast Medium/Fixer or a 1:1 mixture of Binder Medium with water.  When this is dry, the Matte Varnish can be applied in one or two coats. Do not use this varnish on a Free Flow painting.

Be sure to sample the effect before varnishing a painting, because the matte finish is difficult to achieve.

Varnishing Free Flow Paintings 

Although Free Flow acrylics are acrylic based, paintings done with them, especially on paper, resemble water colours or gouache and can be framed under glass as a means of presentation. They really should not be varnished because it spoils the surface finish of the dried paint. The solvent based Invisible Varnish can be experimented with, but be sure not to use more than one coat or you will destroy the look of the painting.