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There are benefits and disadvantages to painting using acrylics en plein air (outside), chiefly having to do with its drying period. Among the advantages of oil paint is that it dries so fast that, unlike oil painting en plein air, you don’t need to work out how to take moist paintings residence. On the flip side, especially when interior painters perth out during the warm days of summer, it may be a struggle to keep the paint from drying out too fast, both on the palette and also about the painting, itself.

What is Acrylic Paint and Why Does it Dry Fast?

Acrylic paint includes pigment suspended in a binder of acrylic polymer emulsion. Water is the car to get its acrylic polymer emulsion and can be made outside and evaporates because the paint dries. As this occurs the binder locks the pigment set up, and the paint creates a film on the outside, known as skinning. This first of two drying phases is known as”dry to the touch.” This occurs quite quickly, and much more rapidly in a warm, humid atmosphere.

The next phase of drying is as soon as the comprehensive layer of paint dries, also, based on Golden Paints, based on the depth of this coating, may take from a couple of days to months or even years for quite thick layers of 1/4″ or more.

Water is also the solvent for acrylic paint. When you add a bit of water to wet acrylic paint, it releases the binder and allows the paint to flow more smoothly. Too much water, though, breaks down the chemical composition, causing the paint to bead and pigment to separate.

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Tips

Here are some tips on how to transport your paints, keep them workable and prevent them from drying out too quickly so you can enjoy the benefits of plein air painting in acrylics.

Always bring along and use a water mister or atomizer. Using a fine spray, spray the paint on your palette periodically to keep it from skinning. This is when the paint develops a solid dry thin layer on the surface under which the paint is still soft. If you disregard this skin and attempt to continue to load your brush with the paint, you will get annoying flakes of dry paint on your brush and ultimately on your painting. A fine mist will keep the paint workable without affecting its viscosity or opacity.

Use a stay-wet palette such as the Masterson Sta-Wet Premium Palette (Buy from Amazon). This palette consists of a cellulose sponge that, when moistened and inserted beneath special palette paper, keeps paint workable for hours when the lid is off, and for a week or more when the lid is closed. The Sta-Wet brand palette paper, Sta-Wet “Pro-Palette” Acrylic Paper (Buy from Amazon), is permeable, cleanable, and reusable. This airtight box is perfect for transporting your wet paints.

The Mijello Artelier Airtight Peel-Off Artist Palette (Buy from Amazon) also keeps acrylic paints wet for weeks. If it does dry on the palette it is easy to peel the paint right off.

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Use professional grade paints rather than student grade paints. Professional grade paints have a higher pigment to binder ratio and tend to stay wet a bit longer than student grade. According to Winsor & Newton, “Professional Acrylic colors stay usable on the palette for marginally longer than a number of other acrylics. This working period was improved by 20% in comparison with the former celebrity quality Winsor & Newton array; Finity. A longer working period makes it possible for artists to have less waste on the palette in addition to a longer period on the canvas for mixing as colors will stay workable on the palette for over 30mins.”

Make sure to prime your support (the surface on which you are painting) well or paint it with an underpainting of acrylic paint so that it absorbs less moisture from your painting. Although you can paint on unprimed paper with acrylic, when painting plein air you don’t want to work on an absorbent surface such as unprimed watercolor paper.

Always carry an umbrella you can set up to block the sun (or the rain) and protect the paints and your painting from direct sunlight. The Guerrilla Painter Shadebuddy Umbrella (Buy from Amazon) is easy to use, stable, and adjustable.

Don’t work in direct sunlight. Keep your painting and your paints out of direct sunlight. Work in the shade or under an umbrella.

Try to keep your paints cool (but above freezing). You might want to keep a cooler in your car to store your paints when you are not using them, or keep your paints in a light-colored container that reflects the light or under a light-colored cloth. Do not keep your acrylic paints in a hot car.

Develop a habit of working thoughtfully, decisively, and quickly when outside. Do compositional studies before beginning your painting. Prepare and prime your canvas ahead of time. Sketch in your composition and values on your support with a soft pencil, charcoal, water-soluble pencil or crayon, or block in shapes and values with a thin glaze of paint.

Paint on small supports of 11″x14″ or less so it’s possible to cover the surface readily and catch what’s important in a fair period of time.
Bring a few tiny supports and operate on many paintings in 1 session. Simplify your essay. Get the significant attributes down and catch the light. Do not believe you need to catch every detail or complete the painting as you would on your studio.

There are a number of distinct mediums which may be added to traditional acrylics to prolong the drying period. Try out Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Buy from Amazon) should you operate in narrow layers, or Liquitex Slow Dri Blending Gel (Buy from Amazon).

Use an aluminum retarder, for example Golden Acrylic Retarder (Buy from Amazon). This is an additive, even however, which means you’ve got to take care to not use too much so it does not ruin the integrity of this paint. Acrylic retarder along with other mediums have a tendency to create acrylic paint more translucent.

Remember to keep your brushes moist so the paint does not dry . Bring together wet paper towels in a ziploc plastic bag into shop your brushes till you’re able to get home and wash them with water and soap.

Try limiting your palette of colours (one or 2 of every primary, plus black and white ) and squeeze onto your palette just what you want. The paint you use and need to blend, the more rapidly you are able to paint and the time that your paint is going to be subjected to the drying effects of heat, sunlight, and atmosphere.

Alternatively, a few artists have a palette of many colours they squeeze into the pockets – one colour per compartment – of a fishing tackle box. Misting the paint and shutting the toolbox lid when not in use retains the paint moist for months.

Avoid painting throughout the middle and hottest aspect of the day once the sun is straight overhead and the most powerful. The mild is more slender and less interesting then, anyhow. Rather, attempt to paint until 10:00 am or after 4:00 pm as it’s cooler and the shadows are more and more intriguing. If you’re an early riser or may paint close to the close of the afternoon, attempt painting in the Golden Hours – the hour only around sunset and sunrise – the photographer’s favorite period, whenever there’s a golden glow throw around the world. You’ll need to paint fast then because the sunlight angle, light, and colours vary quickly.

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There are many distinct brands of oil paint which were developed that extend the drying period. One of these is Golden Open Acrylics (Buy from Amazon). This is a specialist line of acrylics and mediums from Golden paint maker who are formulated to remain wet both on the palette along with the painting, so allowing for many different techniques which are typically harder with acrylics, such as mixing and shading. Since you may carry on working together with all the paint as long as it’s required, there is less paint wasted. These paints may be reactivated when they’ve become tacky until they dry thoroughly. You might even have Golden Open Acrylics Landscape Set (Buy from Amazon) which has a great colour palette for plein air painting. Golden Open Acrylic Mediums (Buy from Amazon) stretch the painting period even farther. They arrive in gloss, matte, or gel and may also be used with regular acrylics to impede their drying time. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics (Buy from Amazon) is just another oil paint which has lately been created. Unlike spacious acrylics, interactive acrylics dry at precisely the exact same rate as traditional acrylics and may be utilized in precisely the exact same manner. But, interactive acrylics may be reactivated using a mist of water out of the water sprayer, that the Atelier Fine Mist Water Sprayer (Buy from Amazon), when sticky or using a mist of Unlocking Formula when warm. It’s ideal to use distilled water using the water sprayer when at all possible.

You may also combine these slower-drying paints and paints using routine acrylics to prolong the drying days of their typical acrylics marginally, even though the effects won’t be the same as though you used the slower-drying paints independently.

Especially if utilizing traditional acrylics, be coordinated together with your own materials and setup in order to don’t waste precious time searching for an item or obtaining something you forgot while your own paints tender in your palette.