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Winsor & Newton Artists' Acrylic Mediums
Winsor & Newton Artists' Acrylic Mediums

How to Use Winsor & Newton Artists' Acrylic Mediums


Glyn Macey - Posted on 26 May 2010

Every now and again as if by magic a new product appears which totally transforms the way you work. I must admit that when I was asked to test the new Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic Mediums I was sceptical – I’m happy as I am thanks, I thought. But then I tried them and, indeed, my work was transformed.


Firstly this range of mediums is developed to maintain all of the benefits of the Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic colour range. It’s a bold claim, but an accurate one. The Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic colours are the only acrylics to truly have no colour shift (that annoying shift in tone from wet to dry), and the mediums maintain that balance. The usual problem with acrylic mediums is the fact that they are milky when wet, which in turn appears to water down your colour mixes, making it difficult to judge colours accurately. This is no longer a problem as the Artists’ Acrylic Mediums are clear or translucent, which means you can maintain complete control of your colour mixing.


Why bother using mediums at all? Because they raise your game to a whole new level, and by working with mediums and exploring the possibilities, you regain that kind of mad childlike enthusiasm you had at school in your art lesson. I found myself almost starting from scratch to see just what I could do with the paint, and as an artist that was exciting. I found that I could extend the colour, vastly improve the flow (which is something that I had struggled to achieve previously), create brilliant glazes and alter the sheen of the finished work from dead matt to staggeringly intense gloss. Will I continue to use Winsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic Mediums? As long as I can have this much fun, you bet!

Demonstration: Atlantic Shore

Gesso on MDF as a primer
I started with a white gesso primer, which was perfect for adding extra ‘tooth’ to the MDF board. The primer also dried really quickly, which was ideal

Using glazine medium   Using glazing medium 2
Straight away I applied some glazing medium over the sky area. This is perfect for layering colours to create luminous, translucent effects. Again, the glazing medium is completely clear, so no worries about colour change. I should say at this point that I had a choice of working matt or gloss, or in fact both if I was feeling a little crazy, but chose to go glossy for the painting

Gloss gel with acrylic paints
Adding a little Gloss Gel to the Artists’ Acrylic helped me to control the shine of the paint – I was able to keep that shine without changing the buttery texture of the paint itself. This was used in the distant foreshore

How to use artists' modelling paste
Then it was on to my favourite, the modelling paste, which looks so good, you could almost eat the stuff. I added the modelling paste to the near foreshore, using a bit of old card before adding some sand, stones and other items that I tend to collect from the beach

When dry, I scumbled neat colour over the paste to create some fantastic textures

Using artist flow improver
For the sea area I tried out some Flow Improver. This slows down the drying time a little and greatly adds to the ability to paint an acrylic wash in one go, which is no easy task, usually. When dry, I simply spread, washed, flicked, dribbled and spattered additional tints mixed with the Flow Improver

Atlantic Shore by Glyn Macey
Atlantic Shore, Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic and Artists’ Acrylic Mediums, 93⁄4x113⁄4in (25x30cm). When almost finished, I decided that the painting could do with a varnish to pull the whole thing together. Again I had a choice of Matt, Satin or Gloss, so I chose the gloss to create the most jewel-like colour

Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic Mediums are available from all good art shops. For a list of stockists, go to www.winsornewton.com or telephone: 020 8424 3200. Prices are as follows: Flower Improver, 125ml is £5.99; Modelling Paste, 237ml is £9.99; Glazing Medium 125ml is £5.99, Matt and Gloss Gel, 237ml are £9.99, Matt, Gloss and Satin Varnish, 125ml are £5.99, and White and Clear Gesso, 237ml are £7.99.

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1 comments so far...


Sarah Bottjer

02 Dec 2010 21:19

Very interesting demo. I'll definitely be trying some of these effects.

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