Mark Golden on Paint

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OPEN just about ready for its debut!

27 June, 2008 (16:12) | Paint Ideas

We are just on the verge of our introduction of the new GOLDEN OPEN Acrylic to our retailers in North America.  It should start arriving in stores by the first or second week in July.  I am so excited with the response to this new product… this paint truly feels like no other paint.  I believe OPEN will provide a unique opportunity for artists to rethink what they can do with the acrylic medium.  We have for years talked about a system of products that all work with one another, from our Heavy Body colors to our Fluids, from our Matte to our Gloss Acrylics and all of the choices of both Gels and Fluid Mediums;  OPEN will extend that range of what can be done with acrylic into another dimension, that of time.

I must admit, acrylic painters who love the fast drying time of our traditional acrylic offerings will have  adjustments to make.  OPEN will take some getting used to for folks who love the ability to lay a color down and almost immediately begin to apply another coat or glaze or even wash.  Artists who love to build up thick impasto areas with the acrylic might not even need this sort of product.  OPEN will just not work the same way, thick areas will remain wait for weeks.  I do believe once you’ve played with the product for some time, you’ll find methods of exploration and use of this material that are going to push all our limits.

 Artists with experience in other media, including watercolor and oil seem to readily understand the working properties of this material.  It is not an oil replacement.  It feels very different from oils.  It does not have the buttery quality of tubed oils, nor does it have the pigment load of oils.  But artists who begin to play with this material will find some significant similarities to the movement and behavior of oils.

Artists who work in watercolor will find the ability of the colors to be lifted for some time after they are placed down will also find some very attractive properties.

I am most excited though about hearing the experiences of artists who begin to explore this product.  It will be an incredibly exciting time here! I can’t wait for this next phase to begin, as I know we will truly learn the what this product is capable of once it gets into our communities hands…… can’t wait




Comment from Matt Ramada
Time: June 27, 2008, 4:30 pm

This is very exciting news. I’ve seen products that claim to open acrylic drying time to more “oil-like” time frames, but getting a line of the product from a trusted company makes me have faith in the possibilities that this could represent. I will definately be giving this a run for it’s money as soon as it hits the shelves. I’m looking forward to it!

Comment from Ramesh
Time: June 30, 2008, 1:10 pm

I am too, eager to use this and see how long can I leave the paint on palette before it turns tacky. I have few questions and hope you can answer.
1) Is Open Acrylic just a mixture of retarder and regular Acrylic?
This question may be too intrusive and I am not sure how much you can reveal :-)

2) Do the Munsel’s code of standard Acrylic apply to Open Acrylic?

3) Why there are just a subset of colors in Open line?


Comment from Mark
Time: June 30, 2008, 1:44 pm

Ramesh, great questions and not too revealing. You can get to a point where if you add about 50% retarder to mixture of paint you can get your drying pretty slowed to match the OPEN, but at that point your film will be a mess and you’ve diluted that paints considerably, well beyond the pigment to binder ratio of the OPEN formulation. The OPEN Acrylic’s unique properties come from a combination of wet edge agents, plus humectants that absorb water from the atmosphere as well as a new acrylic binder capable of forming a very durable film.

The Munsel codes on our color charts online will apply to the OPEN products

Your last question is the toughest! You know we a color addicts here so we were all pitching for a much broader line, but the reality of the scope of all work for all the formulations, the need to check compatibility for all our other products and the need to see the acceptance of these products, we were reluctant to start off with more than 40 colors. As we were testing the products with artists we continued to ask for their most important colors, so hopefully we got it close to right on this first go round. I’d love to hear what colors you’d like to see for future introductions.

Comment from Bjorn
Time: July 3, 2008, 4:20 am

Your new line sounds exciting & I’m looking forward to experimenting with it. I was about to begin a new Commision a 6’x4′ of water lilies. Maybe I’ll wait until I can try your new line. Do you ever plan on offering mail order? Since I moved to Asheville, NC from NY, Golden Colors seem to be scarce around these parts –the competitors simply don’t cut it. (Imagine if only Monet had access to your amazing products!)

Comment from Ramesh
Time: July 3, 2008, 9:29 am

>Mark said,
>I’d love to hear what colors you’d like to see for future introductions.

I am happy with the currently published subset of colors, do not think need any more, and I am not experienced in colors and get confused with too many colors, so smaller the better. You guys with knowledge of chemicals and science should know what constitutes essential set of colors and have more faith in your judgment.

*Like regular Acrylic, does these colors darken on getting dry?


Comment from Mark
Time: July 3, 2008, 5:39 pm

Bjorn, the products have just started to hit the store shelves and the listings on various websites. Check out our website for OPEN and you’ll see all the early shops to have taken on the paint. It’s a pretty extensive list as our retailers are also very excited about the product.

Comment from Mark
Time: July 3, 2008, 5:44 pm

Ramesh, Good question about color change. I believe every waterborne acrylic I’ve ever seen has some signficant color change from wet to dry. In the light value colors it is meaningless. It is also less important in those very opaque colors like Cadmiums, or a Chrome Green Oxide. But in the very deep transparent colors like the Quinacridones or the Phthalos, there is typically a signficant change. I do think the new OPEN is an improvement on this shift, but it is still there. I’ve seen so many brands claim no shift on drying and it just isn’t the case. Even when we’ve experimented with water white acrylics, we still see a shift upon drying.

Comment from Matt Ramada
Time: July 3, 2008, 8:53 pm

A quick note on potential colors: I personally feel like no line is complete without the seemingly often underrated Cobalt Teal, and would be trilled to see it in the Open line.

I stopped by my local art supplies store on the way home from work today to find out if they were going to be stocking Open, only to find that it had already been put up on the shelves! I managed to snag a sample pack (the kind woman there was seemed just as excited as I was about the new line, and the fact that I knew about it before I came in seemed to convince her that I would do well with a sample) but curiousity is very overwhelming so I made an impulse buy of about five tubes of paint. With any luck I’ll get to using them soon, and would love to share my experience once I’ve started to formulate my thoughts on them.

Comment from Mark
Time: July 5, 2008, 2:18 pm

Matt, Colbalt Teal would be a great color. I think it will definitely be a hot candidate for future colors!
I look forward to your comments, and great to hear that you were able to get them! As you’ve worked with our product for some time now these colors might take some getting used to. I had some friends try them who initially thought they weren’t very interesting. It has taken them several weeks for them to get back to them with some great results now!

Comment from Ramesh
Time: July 9, 2008, 12:26 pm

I read in newsgroup that Open Acrylic does not become hard when kept in freezer, and the poster let the paint spend night inside freezer and paint was still tender in the morning. This is a great news :-)

Comment from Mark
Time: July 9, 2008, 3:37 pm

Ramesh, I’ve seen the same techniques used. I will share though that the paints would have stayed wet without freezing. Freezing over time will coagulate the acrylic polymer and make it into a cottage cheese consistency. If I didn’t absolutely need to do it for some reason… I wouldn’t. I would just cover the OPEN Acrylic and if necessary put in a wet rag to add moisture… but really this product will stay wet on its own. We will have to do more freezer testing. We do a minimum of 5 freeze/thaw cycles with the product to assure that it can ship during the winter, but that’s the extent of our freezing the product. I love to see how artists have already begun to manipulate the product!

Comment from David Clemons
Time: July 15, 2008, 9:57 am

Are there any recommended techniques for their use that is different than regular acrylic paint application? I’m particularly interested in how they dry. Is it from the outside in? Would there be any issues painting over a partially dried layer? It seems also to me that glazing techniques would have to wait until the surface had tacked up somewhat, which is different than normal fast-drying acrylics. I’m curious if there are any rules to follow, similar to oils’ “fat over lean.” I’ve also heard that the tinting strength in these are not as strong as the same pigments in regular acrylics.

Comment from Mark
Time: July 15, 2008, 12:23 pm

David, several things are different in working with this product. The advantage of ‘regular’ acrylics are that they do dry quickly and allow for quick manipulation of glazes or washes without any worry of lifting up areas underneath. In no way was OPEN seen as a replacement for these valuable products. They feel very different and move differently. I would even suggest that you’d need different brushes when working with the product. I’ve found the typical acrylic brushes tend to scrape the paint. A softer brush tends to allow for better application of the paint. I’d use it anytime you wish to create greater blending of your colors or want to work back into your colors. So many artists have suggested that they need to finish up their paintings in oils. I think the OPEN is a better choice for this purpose. For this there is no comparison to regular acrylics. The fat over lean rules might apply if you’re laying down thick areas of the OPEN Acrylic and then working with the faster drying on top. It won’t give you cracking like in oils but it could create some interesting stress marks as the materials underneath begin to shrink. But truly the OPEN wasn’t intended for working thick, which is something that our Heavy Body Acrylics do so much better. To your last question, you bet… the pigment load of the OPEN is less than that of the Heavy Body Acrylics or Fluid, yet the ratio of the pigment load in OPEN is actually higher then Heavy Body or Fluid. This was necessary to achieve the very different properties of the OPEN product.

Comment from David Clemons
Time: July 15, 2008, 2:43 pm

Thanks. That clears some things up.

“…the pigment load of the OPEN is less… yet the ratio of the pigment load in OPEN is actually higher…”

I’m not sure I understand you here. Are you saying the overall amount of pigment is less, but the ratio of pigment to medium is higher, or more concentrated somehow?

Comment from Mark
Time: July 24, 2008, 10:52 pm

Thanks David, sorry I didn’t make it clear. To get to the balance of properties that we were able to achieve in the OPEN we had to lower the pigment load in the wet paint. But as the volatiles, including water come out of the paint as it begins to dry the ratio of pigment to binder is actually higher than in our other products. The result of this, is the paint on first pass will be more transparent than our Heavy Body or Fluid Acrylic Colors. The balance of properties though allows for a paint with an open time not achievable with our product or any other. By the time we added enough retarder to our own colors to achieve the level of blending of OPEN we had dramatically reduced the pigment load well below that of OPEN. Hope this begins to make some sense!

Comment from David Clemons
Time: July 25, 2008, 9:09 am

Thanks Mark. I get it now. You’re stating what you would have to do to regular acrylics to make them behave like Open. I appreciate the replies.

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