December 2012 Demonstration

Our demonstrator for December was Adria Arch. She demonstrated how to use the latest products that are available in acrylics.

The meeting was held in the Guild Hall, First Congregational Church (middle side door), Sanborn Street, Reading, Wednesday December 12th, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

We have some photographs of the event in case you could not make it there in person. You can click on any of the images on this page to view a larger version of it. Then, use the Back button on your browser to return to this page.

Adria Arch represents Golden Acrylic paints and spent the evening explaining what they are and what we can do with them. Paints are constructed from three things:

  1. Binder
  2. Vehicle
  3. Pigment

1. The binder is what holds the paint together and adheres it to the painting surface when it is dry. In oil paint, the binder is linseed oil. In acrylic paints, the binder is acrylic polymer, a plastic.

2. The vehicle in the paint is the volatile component that makes the paint fluid. In oil paints that is turps or mineral spirits. In acrylic paints it is water.

3. Finally, there is the pigment. That is the same in all paints. The pigment determines the color of the paint.

Adria set up a table with paper and paints and other items to show us.


Adria gets ready to show us how her acrylics work.

The first thing she showed us was the acrylic medium. She put some on a black board to show us that it is white when wet, and is clear when dry.

Acrylic Binder

The acrylic binder is white when wet, and clear when dry.

Next she discussed the vehicle, which is water and the pigments. She handed out a packet with a handpainted color chart of the Golden paints. Since the paint patches are real paint, the colors are true.

Color Chart

This color chart was hand painted at Golden.

There are four different viscosities of the Golden acrylic paints:

  1. Heavy Body
  2. Fluid
  3. Airbrush
  4. Open

The different viscosities of the paint are different from simply thinning the paint with water. Thinning with water dilutes the pigment, but the off-the-shelf thinner viscosity paint has the same amount of pigment as the thicker paint.

The "Heavy Body" paints are similar to the viscosity of oil paint and are intended to be used that way.

Heavy Body

The Heavy Body paint is like oil paints.

The "Fluid" viscosity paint behaves more like watercolor paint.


The Fluid paint is like watercolor.

The "Airbrush" viscosity is very thin, and Adria said that she thinks of it as Acrylic Ink. You can see in the photo how it runs like ink.

Air Brush

Airbrush viscosity is the consistency of ink.

Finally, there is the "Open" paint. The Open paint stays wet about 10 times longer than regular acrylic paint. That allows you to use blending techniques that are not possible with the fast drying acrylics.


The Open paint allows blending techniques.

To demonstrate the usefullness of the Open drying time she demonstrated how to make a monoprint using a device called a "Gelli Plate". It is a soft plastic slab about half an inch thick. You can paint directly on the slab and then transfer the paint from the plate to the paper. These are available from http://www.gelliarts.com/

First, Adria painted the Gelli Plate with some Open acrylics.


Painting the Gelli Plate with paint.

Next, she put the paper down onto the plate.


Put the paper onto the plate.

Pat it gently with the hands.


Gently press the paper down.

Lift up the paper, and you have a print. Adria pulled about three prints off of the plate like that.


Here is the print.

It was an interesting evening with lots of information about acrylic paints, color chart handouts, and free samples.

You can see more about Adria and her work at her web site, www.adriaarch.com/

Adria Arch's Bio

Adria Arch is a recognized painter and art instructor whose work is represented in many corporate and private collections, including the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum; Fidelity Corporation; the Boston Public Library; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Adria is a Golden Certified Working Artist, trained by Golden staff to demonstrate the application of the latest in acrylic-based art products. She has taught painting, drawing, and printmaking at colleges, museums, and art centers around Boston. Her work was recently featured in a solo show at the Danforth Museum of Art and will be shown at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Massachusetts, in the summer of 2013.

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Last updated October 30, 2016