Questions & Answers

Question and Answers

Acrylic

 

For more information about Daler-Rowney Acrylic ranges, please visit www.daler-rowney.com/content/acrylic

Question:
Can any of the Daler-Rowney Acrylics be used for airbrushing?

Answer:
Our Simply Acrylic and Graduate Acrylic are unlikely to be suitable for airbrush use as the pigment particles may be too large. However, our System 3 Original Acrylic Colours are ideal for this use as they are much more finely dispersed and will maintain their durability even when thinned down. Their colour strength is also considerably stronger. System 3 Original should gradually be thinned with water, about 1 to 1 by volume to produce a milky consistency, to work effortlessly in your airbrush. Our FW Artist's Acrylic Inks are also ideal for airbrushing without the need for thinning and are praised by artists from around the world.

Question:
I use a lot of your discontinued System 3 Antique Brown and was wondering how I can mix a good replacement colour for this by using the existing colours in the range?

Answer:
A close match to Antique Brown can be mixed by using roughly 2 parts Yellow Ochre, 1 part Ultramarine, 1 part Titanium White and a touch of Burnt Sienna, all from the System 3 Original acrylic range.

Question:
Everyone I speak to about varnish or no varnish on acrylic paintings have a different point of view. What would you suggest?

Answer:
As acrylic colours are very durable many artists would choose not to finish off with varnish over them. However, suitable varnishes can be used to change the sheen of the painting or protect from dust and dirt. Framing under glass also provides similar protection.

As acrylic colours are fairly soft, dust and dirt can gradually become ingrained in the painting unless they are protected under varnish or glass. Only removable varnishes such as our Soluble Varnishes for Acrylics or Artists Picture Varnish in Gloss or Matt (or a blend of Gloss and Matt for a medium sheen) should be used. If they themselves become ingrained with dust and dirt they may be removed by a restorer and can then be re-varnished.

Most commercial varnishes are not suitable as they are not usually removable and they may become yellow and brittle as they age. Some also contain powerful solvents that may cause the acrylic colour to smudge or run as the varnish is being applied.

Question:
I would like to use acrylic paint for outdoor use. Do you produce exterior/outdoor acrylic paints?

Answer:
Both our System 3 Acrylic (top specification for students and amateur artists) and Cryla Acrylic (professional artists) Colours are very durable in both internal and exterior conditions, in all weather conditions. System 3 specifically has been widely used for outdoor use due to its economical value and proven results on durability.

Question:
I would like to paint with my acrylic colours on a plastic surface, is this possible?

Answer:
Plastic is not an ideal surface for painting with acrylic colours, especially if it is smooth and shiny. Adhesion can be improved by abrading, etching or roughing surfaces before painting, but it may be best to prime the surface with a White Acrylic Car Spray Primer first. If the paintings are likely to get knocked when wet the application of a suitable varnish may be advisable on top of the finished painting.

Question:
How should I store my acrylic paint tubes to ensure they last as long as possible? Are there special containers I should use?

Answer:
There is no need for anything fancy. Our acrylic colours don’t need any special storage conditions. Just store the tubes in normal indoor conditions. A fairly constant cool temperature is best. They should keep in good condition for at least 10 years. When you replace the cap after use, make sure that the thread is clean so that you get an airtight seal.

At the worst, if stored in quite warm conditions or with large temperature changes you may find a little bit of liquid separation. This will be mainly water and can be discarded. The remaining colour would be slightly more concentrated.

Question:
When using System 3 Fluorescent colours, which I know are fugitive colours, when will it start to fade and how much? Is there any medium that can improve the lightfastness?

Answer:
All common fluorescent pigments are fugitive. In direct sunlight fading can be noticed within a few days. Away from direct sunlight they may last for a few years. Initially the colours lose their brilliance, and then fade away completely. They are not recommended for any professional or permanent art. Unfortunately there are no mediums available that can improve their stability.

Question:
How much water or medium can I add to an acrylic colour before it starts to deteriorate?

Answer:
When thinning down acrylic colours with water, the general rule is not to exceed more than 50% water. If the colour mix has more than 50% water it starts to lose its adhesive properties and will not be durable enough and will most likely start to peel. However, when it comes to acrylic mediums there are no such rules and you can add as much medium as you like to achieve the effects you desire. This is because acrylic mediums are made with acrylic resin as their base, which is the ‘glue’ or binder used in all acrylic colours.

Question:
How long should I wait before I varnish my acrylic painting?

Answer:
Although acrylic is a quick drying media, there are a few factors that will affect the drying time of the painting. When you varnish an acrylic painting you need to be sure that the painting has fully dried all the way through. Although the top layer dries immediately, it will take some time to dry all the way through. This will particularly depend on how thick the layer of paint is and what type of mediums has been used with it. Some environmental factors will play a part as well, such as the humidity levels and the temperature. Taking this into consideration, you should wait at least a week before varnishing, whilst some artist wait up to six week just to be sure. If you a varnish an acrylic painting before it has dried fully you risk trapping moisture under the varnish and may appear cloudy.

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