How to work with Golden Open Acrylics

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop experimenting with Golden Open Acrylics by Chris Cozen.

These open acrylics were created to remain workable for longer periods of time than the regular heavy body and fluid acrylics. They are formulated with an optimum balance of pigment load and 100% acrylic polymer dispersion to produce a paint with a uniquely relaxed set of working characteristics and a versatility that allows artists to explore a wider range of techniques such as portraiture and landscape painting that rely on softening, shading, glazing and creating fine detail. They remain wet on the palette for extended periods and you can mix them with any other Golden mediums and paints to reduce their open time or you can mix them with specially formulated Open Mediums to keep them workable for the maximum time. There is even an Open Thinner which will make the paint workable again once it has begun to dry.

These paints are rich, creamy, buttery and simply luscious. There were many OMG’s and Ooohs and Aaaghs from participants using these for the first time in the workshop. There were a few near “When Harry Met Sally” moments!!! They are just YUMMY! They behave a little bit like oils although dry with less sheen / gloss however once they are cured you can varnish with a gloss.

You can use them in so many ways, thickly applied as in the picture I painted above (Village Church) or very thinly applied in this delicate picture (Pink Weave) or anywhere in between. Even applied thinly in this painting it is still creamy enough that you can scrape out shapes, so I used a sharp end of a brush in this picture to scrape out lines across and lines on the weave pattern and also the little squares running along the top (I used a little rubber tipped tool for that). You can also use stamps in the wet paint and use the paint to ink (paint) stamps also. It is so versatile and such a joy to work with.

You can also use a dry brush to scumble the paint onto the canvas creating a very delicate background as in this picture – Peaceful Mountain – and then using the palette knife applying thick strokes to create the mountains. Later on I used some stamps to apply the Chinese symbols with black ink and then with Golden fluid Iridescent Gold Deep as a shadow. I used a stencil and a cosmetic sponge with gold deep to add a very subtle moon.

The workability of these paints also is of great help when creating landscapes and especially painting plein air. It makes it easy to blend and continue to create movement and make adjustments. You will see below a landscape I created during the class (Vibrant Sky) – so not plein air but classroom experimentation!

Last but not least, I tried a technique with Chris’s help on Gesso Board where I put some very bold strokes of thick paint in the center and then blended out with a dry brush towards the edges and then took a piece of parchment paper and pressed on the bold paint and pulled up and off and then transferred what was on the paper back onto the painting in a different place which created very interesting and soft effects and also used a sharp tool to stratch out lines to make a web like effect (Freestyle).

So much fun and so many different techniques to try. Hope you have some fun trying these out. Let me know how you get on.

To see Chris Cozen’s schedule for workshops visit her website

2 thoughts on “How to work with Golden Open Acrylics”

  1. I received my painting today – I love it, thank you so much [and well packaged]. Love your colours – every painting you do seems to have a mastery of colour and form. You have a gift Vanessa! Regards, David

    1. David, So glad you received the painting safe and sound and it has now found a new home. Please enjoy and thank you for your support and appreciation of my work. With much gratitude, Vanessa

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