Acrylic Paints And Mediums

Acrylic Paints, Mediums And Supplies by Jill Saur

Water-based acrylic paint, developed in 1956, is composed of pigment particles dispersed in an acrylic polymer emulsion. There are three main components in any acrylic paint - pigment, binder and vehicle:

  1. Pigment - pigments are granular solids which give paint its color. They are milled to a tiny particle size and do not dissolve, but remain suspended in the paint. Pigments can be organic, inorganic, natural and synthetic. They have little or no affinity for the surface to which they are applied
  2. Binder - a binder is the substance that keeps pigment in place after the paint dries. Acrylic paint has acrylic polymer as its binder and this forms a film after the water has evaporated
  3. Vehicle - Water is the vehicle for water-based acrylic and when combined with the binder, it creates a polymer emulsion. Once the water leaves the system through evaporation or absorption, the paint dries, creating a stable clear polymer film full of trapped colored pigment particles. – Liquitex

“Acrylics should never be thinned with more than 25% water. Why? Too much water will upset the balance and spread the acrylic polymer too thinly so the molecules can't reconnect properly to form a stable film. Instead, you should dilute with an acrylic medium, which is essentially the same as the paint but without the color pigment. This way you are adding more of the acrylic/water emulsion to keep the formula and film stable.” – Liquitex. 

I’ve seen videos on YouTube of people spraying copious amounts of water into acrylic paint on a canvas to get the paint to run.  This will destabilize the foundation of any painting.

Acrylic paint dries quickly.  Some people find this frustrating but it can be a real benefit compared to oil paint which takes a long time to dry in between applications.  Acrylic paint is permanent.  You can clean up your brushes with soap and water.  Acrylic paint dries a bit darker than when it is applies.  You’ll need to learn to allow for this.

Walk into any art store and your head starts spinning from the array of choices in brands of paint, brushes, canvases and other misc. items.  Here's some great information for you on the professional quality acrylics that I personally use.

Acrylic paint dries far more quickly than oil paint.  It's important to squeeze your acrylic paint on the Masterson Palette.  This specialized palette keeps the paint moist, extending the life of your painting time for weeks!


 Golden Acrylic Products

Golden Heavy Body Acrylic Paints
Those who know me, know that I LOVE GOLDEN HEAVY BODY ACRYLIC PAINTS!  As long as I've been working in the acrylic medium, this brand has been my favorite choice! Golden paints are buttery smooth, extremely high quality, and archival.  Golden paints contain no fillers, extenders, opacifiers, toners, or dyes.  Because some of the paints dry to a glossy finish and others dry to a matt finish, it is important to apply a final varnish when the painting is dry and completely cured.  This will ensure a uniform finish for the entire painting.  

Golden Heavy Body Acrylics retain excellent flexibility when dry, greatly diminishing the possibility of cracking that occurs in other natural and synthetic polymer systems. They also can absorb the constant stress and strain placed on canvas when it is shipped, or as it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity.


Golden Open Acrylic Paints

Open acrylics are acrylics that have a longer blending time.  When painting, you can blend with these paints for about ten to fifteen minutes before they begin to get sticky.  In the sticky stage, they are starting to dry.  You can't go back into them until several hours later when they are completely dry.  Some people really love this paint because it gives them the feel of oil painting.  The benefit of this paint over oil is that the paint dries in about four hours instead of weeks or months.  

Open Acrylics are somewhat runny when you squeeze them out of the tube.  These paints are not suited for palette knife painting.  Instead, they are intended to achieve beautiful blending.

There's a big difference between Open Acrylic and regular Heavy Body Acrylic.  If you're not sure which one is right for you, get one tube of white and black in Open, and one tube of white and black in regular Heavy Body.  Paint two value paintings in each medium and see which type of paint you like the best.



Liquitex Acrylic Paints

Liquitex Heavy Body Artist Acrylic Colors are professional quality acrylics that have an exceptionally smooth, thick, buttery consistency, ideal for traditional painting and palette knife painting.  

A high pigment load produces rich, brilliant, permanent color.  When used for thick and impasto applications and techniques, Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics retain sharp brushstrokes and knife marks.

Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics remain flexible when dry, and thick films remain free of cracks and chips over time.  I use a number of liquitex colors in my palette.  They have some lovely colors that are not available in the Golden line.  Again, personal preference will guide your choices.  I have to grade Liquitex paint second to Golden.  However, several colors in their line are irreplaceable in my palette choice.


M. Graham Acrylic Paints

If you want to try some luxurious acrylic paint, pick up a few tubes of M. Graham's vibrant colors!  I'm  happy to see that Dick Blick Materials carries this paint.  It's priced about the same as Golden paint.

I've spoken with the owners of M. Graham & Co. and they're meticulous with the development of each one of their colors.  The texture of their paint is ultra smooth and the colors are robust, yet delicate.  M. Graham paints are made in America.   I'm going to put the quality of this paint on the same level as Golden, if not just a little bit higher.

Here's a quote from their website: "We select the finest example of every pigment from sources all over the world.  To most, this means they are the highest grease.  To us, it means they are the mot beautiful of their kind.  And, after going to such lengths to find them, we wouldn't dream of diluting them.  So, when we make color, we don't use fillers. We don't use extenders.  We don't use adulterants."


Gel Mediums

Gel mediums are used for impasto painting.  Impasto painting is a technique where you apply thick paint to the canvas, preferably with a palette knife, to build texture.  Palette knife painting is one of my favorite methods of applying paint.  The following mediums are among my favorites:

Golden Heavy Gel — Thicker in consistency than Golden Heavy Body Acrylic colors, these gels hold peaks and dries translucent. Blend them with colors to increase body.  It's available in Gloss, Matte, and Semi-Gloss.  This gel is ideal for use palette knife painting.


Golden High Solid Gel — The thickest of the gels, it holds high peaks, and is useful for simulating oil paint behavior. Contains less water and more acrylic solids, so it shrinks less than other gels.  This is also ideal for use in palette knife painting.





To Varnish or Not to Varnish an Acrylic Painting, That is the Question 

I've spent quite a bit of time on the phone this week with technical experts from the two manufacturers of acrylic polymer varnish that I believe are the best on the market.  After speaking with them, I've come to a new conclusion regarding varnishing acrylic painting.  If you've used high quality acrylic paints in your artwork,  It's perfectly fine to NOT varnish your painting.  If you do decide to varnish, proceed with caution and read the manufacturer's website for explicit and thorough instructions. 

You might wonder why I'm writing this article.  Last year, I finished a 36"x48" acrylic painting for a client.  I had spent a copious amount of time painting and in one fell swoop, the acrylic varnish clouded up in one area of the painting.  I was devastated.  My client tells me that they can barely see it, but it was all I could see after it happened.  Just know this can occur on a large painting because the varnish dries quickly.  By the time you brush across the top of the painting and bring your brush down for the next area, the first area is drying.  A large surface is difficult to cover quickly and you can get streaks from the brush marks and you can get clouded areas from inconsistency in the thickness of the varnish. It's much easier to varnish a large painting if it has a lot of texture, like my aspen tree paintings.  And, it's fairly simple to varnish a smaller painting. 

A painting with little or no texture is especially vulnerable to imperfections in the varnish.  I love the look of a gloss or satin varnish on certain paintings.  However, there are other paintings that I've learned look best just the way they are, without varnish.  I recently finished my 30"x40" bear painting and I will not varnish it.  I used the best lightfast paint.  The painting is protected by the quality of the paint alone.

Liquitex polymer varnishes are permanent.  Be careful that you apply them correctly.  If you get any clouding or streaks, you will not be able to correct that.

Please note, varnishing will alter the appearance of your artwork.  Gloss varnish can pop the colors and intensify the hues (which can be desirable if you want that look), satin and matt varnishes can decrease the intensity of the hues. I've spoken with the manufacturers of the highest quality varnishes and it's perfectly fine not to varnish (when you've used the highest quality paints). When you've finished a painting, you may notice that some paint colors have left a sheen and others appear to have a mat finish. Varnishing a painting ensures a unifying finish over the entire painting.  

 Liquitex Acrylic Varnishes

Liquitex Acrylic Varnishes are made from 100% acrylic polymer emulsions and form durable films when dry. They have excellent flexibility and resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet rays. Acrylic polymer varnishes permanently adhere to the surface, and are not removable.  They must be applied meticulously because they are permanent.  If you need to be able to remove the varnish at a later date, use a non-polymer varnish such as Liquitex Soluvar Varnish. Polymer varnishes are not for use with oil paintings. 

The following information is taken directly from the Liquitex website.  Please read carefully:


  • Our 100% acrylic polymer archival permanent varnishes are non-removable and are for exclusive use on acrylics
  • Each has excellent leveling properties, is durable, resists chemicals, water and discoloration (yellowing, non-fogging), flexible, permanent and translucent when wet, transparent when dry
  • The water-based acrylic formulas dry to a non-tacky, hard surface that is resistant to dirt retention, copes with humidity, heat and ultraviolet light and depending upon substrate, allow moisture to pass through
  • For interior and exterior use
  • You have four sheen options - High Gloss, Gloss, Satin and Matte


  • Our solvent-based archival removable varnishes protect your acrylic or oil painting surface and can be removed periodically to lift away trapped surface dirt without damaging the paint underneath. Follow our guide 'Soluvar Varnish Removal' for this
  • Once the surface is clean, a new coat of Soluvar may be reapplied
  • Each has excellent leveling properties, is durable, non-yellowing, flexible and translucent when wet, transparent when dry. They will not crack as your surface expands and contracts during temperature and humidity changes
  • For interior and exterior use
  • You have two sheen options – Gloss and Matte

Liquitex Acrylic Polymer Varnish comes in four finishes.  Personal preference should guide your choice.  NEVER SHAKE YOUR VARNISH, it's a great way to ruin your painting.

Gloss Varnish — This water-resistant varnish delivers permanent, highly-durable protection that is flexible and non-yellowing when dry. A 100% acrylic polymer varnish, Liquitex Gloss Varnish is water-soluble when wet and can be thinned. Non-removable.

Matte Varnish — This medium viscosity varnish provides a satiny, non-glare, low-sheen final coat that intensifies dull colors without drastically reducing color depth. A 100% acrylic polymer varnish, Liquitex Matte Varnish is water-soluble when wet and can be thinned. Non-removable.

High Gloss Varnish — This low viscosity, permanent water-based varnish produces a high-gloss, clear finish. Translucent when wet, and clear when dry, it increases the gloss, depth, and intensity of colors. 

Satin Varnish — Final, clear, non-yellowing varnish has a satin finish that leans more toward a matt finish. 


Permanent varnish

  • Before varnishing, ensure paint surface is fully dry (72 hours-two weeks depending on thickness) and your space is well ventilated and dust-free.
  • Choose your desired format and sheen. Always do a test before applying to your work
  • Place the work to be varnished flat on a table - do not varnish vertically
  • Stir varnish gently before use (to avoid bubbles) or shake spray can well. Do not thin with water
  • Use a clean wide, flat soft-hair brush/pad/airbrush/spray to apply. Apply in long even strokes/mists to cover the surface top to bottom while moving from one side to the other
  • When using Liquitex Matte or Satin Varnish, apply no more than 1-2 thin coats as thick applications may result in cloudiness when dry. If more than 2 coats are desired, first varnish with Gloss Varnish to the desired thickness and apply Matte or Satin Varnish as the final coat
  • Allow at least three hours dry time between coats
  • Thin coats are better than one thick coat which will take longer to dry, may dry cloudy, drip or sag during application and has a greater chance of showing brush strokes when dry
  • Avoid vigorous over-brushing as it may result in a cloudy finish. While working, inspect the varnish layer at all angles for bubbles. Even them out immediately
  • Once you leave an area, don’t go back over it. If you do, you risk dragging partially dry resin into wet, which will dry cloudy over dark colors. If any areas were missed, allow to dry completely and re-varnish

Removable varnish (Solvent formula that needs ventilation to apply)

  • If working with acrylics, allow paint to completely dry (72 hours-2 weeks depending on thickness) before moving to the varnish stage. If working with oils, leave to dry for 6-12 months, depending upon oil film thickness
  • Choose your desired format and sheen. Always do a test before applying to your work
  • Place the work to be varnished flat on a table - do not varnish vertically
  • First apply 1-2 layers of Gloss Medium as a permanent isolation barrier
  • Avoid vigorous over-brushing as it may result in a cloudy finish
  • Leave 1-3 hours between coats and three days after last coat
  • Stir Soluvar gently before use (to avoid bubbles), or shake can vigorously. Liquid Soluvar can be thinned with up to 25% mineral spirits - use ‘true’ mineral spirits, not odorless. Be aware that thinned varnish is more susceptible to producing bubbles so be gentle with your application
  • Apply 1-2 layers of Soluvar with a wide, flat soft-hair brush/pad/spray, leaving 24 hours between coats
  • Apply in long even strokes/mists to cover the surface top to bottom while moving from one side to the other. While working, inspect the varnish layer at all angles for bubbles. Even them out immediately
  • Once you leave an area, don’t go back over it. If you do, you risk dragging partially dry resin into wet, which will dry cloudy over dark colors. If any areas were missed, allow to dry completely and re-varnish
  • When you want to remove your Soluvar layer, use a lint-free rag dampened with mineral spirits to gently clean the surface of dirt and varnish. Leave to dry thoroughly and reapply 


Golden Acrylic Polymer Varnishes

I've been experimenting with Golden Satin Acrylic Polymer Varnish this week.  This isn't a permanent varnish.  It's intended to go over a permanent isolation layer.  The following is information taken directly from the Golden website:


GOLDEN Polymer Varnish with UVLS (Ultra Violet Light Stabilizers) is a water-based acrylic polymer varnish formulated to provide additional protection from ultraviolet radiation. This helps delay the inevitable fading that occurs in materials that may be fugitive in nature.

Polymer Varnish is designed as a topcoat for acrylic paints and offers a removable protective surface to the relatively soft acrylic paint layer. It has a harder film than most acrylic paints, which diminishes the susceptibility of the surface to dust and dirt, and provides increased protection from scratching, marring and moisture. It has adequate flexibility to withstand normal handling conditions, including loose rolling. Do not use for oil paintings. For interior use only. The product is not recommended for use on furniture or other surfaces subject to physical contact during use. 

Polymer Varnish remains soluble in alkaline solvents, such as ammonia. This means the varnish can be easily removed; taking with it any accumulated surface contamination without damaging the painting surface. The use of such a removable varnish provides a valuable tool to anyone trying to restore or clean a painting.

Polymer Varnish (Gloss) dries to a highly reflective finish. Polymer Varnish (Satin) offers moderate reflection, similar to most matte varnishes. The Matte is exceptionally flat. The different finishes can be intermixed, or used sequentially, to achieve the desired sheen. Note: Polymer Varnish (Satin) and (Matte) will lighten dark value colors, which is typical of non-gloss varnishes.


Prior to actual use, it is very important to experiment with Golden varnishes on test pieces to become aware of how they perform and how they alter the surface appearance of paintings. For best results, apply to a test piece that is similar in composition as the artwork to be varnished. This will help ensure that all variables are accounted for, and a successful varnish application will be achieved.


Only intended for acrylic paintings, do not use on oil paintings.

For future conservation and varnish removal purposes we recommend the use of an isolation coat prior to varnishing. An isolation coat is a permanent, non-removable coating that serves to physically separate the paint surface from the removable varnish. This will help protect the surface if the varnish is ever removed and make future cleaning and conservation easier to avoid working directly on top of the pigmented part of the work. Therefore, even if painted with delicate washes or large areas of colors that could potentially bleed, a clear barrier would safely cover the painted surface. It will also seal absorbent areas, which will result in a more even application of the varnish. In the event that no varnish gets applied, the isolation coat serves to decrease the water sensitivity of the paint surface, affording protection during routine cleaning/dusting.

Given the current state of conservation science, we feel the use of an isolation coat provides the most protection. However, isolation coats are also significant and permanent additions to a painting and inevitably will cause changes in the painting"s surface qualities. Whether these changes are acceptable is an aesthetic decision that each artist needs to make after sufficient testing. In addition, since it is non-removable, any mistakes or problems during this procedure cannot be easily corrected and there is always an element of risk that needs to be considered. We strongly encourage the artist to practice these procedures thoroughly so they feel confident and become familiar with any unforeseen problems. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proper use or application of an isolation coat, please call Golden"s Technical Support Department at (800) 959-6543.

For brush application, the appropriate isolating medium can be made by diluting Golden Soft Gel Gloss with water (2 parts by volume Soft Gel Gloss to 1 part water). If a spray application is desired, a 2:1 mixture of Golden GAC-500 to Trasnparent Airbrush Extender can be applied with an airbrush, touch-up spray unit or commercial spray equipment. The absorbency of the surface will dictate the number of isolation layers required. For relatively non-absorbent surfaces, as is the case with a uniform paint layer, one coat brush applied or two coats spray applied are recommended. For more absorbent surfaces, which tend to be very matte, it is recommended to apply sufficient isolation coats to achieve a satin sheen on the surface. This may require two or more brush applied coats or three or more spray applications.

The isolating layer is of critical importance when applying a matte varnish over an absorbent surface to prevent a cloudy or "frosted" appearance from occurring. This frosted appearance results from the varnish and solvent being absorbed into the support, while the matting agent remains exposed on the surface. While we have carefully selected the matting agent that is in Golden varnishes to be as transparent as possible, it is still a dry particulate material. When the matting agent is deposited onto the surface, and is not a part of a continuous varnish layer, it appears as a white solid. If varnishing water-soluble paints, including watercolor, gouache and tempera, the isolation coat must be sprayed on in very light layers to avoid solubilizing the paints, which could cause loss of distinctness of the underlying image.


POLYMER VARNISHES MUST BE THINNED WITH WATER BEFORE USE. Start with 4 parts varnish to 1 part water for brush, 2 to 1 for spray. Adjust as needed. The varnishes are supplied thicker than meant for application in order to keep the matting solids in the Satin and Matte finishes from settling to the bottom. Thinning the varnishes beforehand will also minimize the risk of foam by allowing any bubbles to release before drying.

Please see the following video for more information: Thinning Polymer Varnish

It is preferable to brush or spray apply Golden varnishes. Other methods, such as sponging or rolling, are not recommended, as they may result in problems such as: foaming, loss of film clarity, non-uniform coverage, excessive film build, sagging, or deposition of materials from the application tool.

Brush Application

Use a high quality bristle brush, such as those made by Purdy or Wooster, or for more control and smoother application, a wide thin flat color-wash brush. The Da Vinci Cosmotop Spin brushes are an example of this type.The size of the piece to be varnished will determine the size of the varnish brush. Work from ashallow container to help control brush loading. The varnish solution should wet only the lower 25-30% of the length of the bristles. It is always best to apply the varnish on a horizontal surface in order to minimize running or sagging. If vertical application cannot be avoided, as with a mural, it is extremely important that the varnish be thinly applied. In either case, it is better to apply two or three thin coats with sufficient drying time in between, rather than one thick coat of varnish. The latter will take longer to cure, staying soft for some time, and could result in drips or a cloudy film. Apply the varnish in a manner that allows it to be brushed out to the most uniform, thinnest film possible. Mentally divide the work into regions to be covered by each loading of the brush. These may be based on a systematic grid-like sequence or may follow natural boundaries of the piece. Maintain an even application by working from the center of each region outward. Lightly overlap into still wet, adjacent sections. When applying a satin or matte varnish, never apply more than two coats. If multiple coats are desired, start with the gloss varnish to build up and establish the multiple layers, then finish with one or two coats of the satin or matte finish. A thick film of these reduced sheen varnishes will result in film cloudiness, and loss of clarity.

Spray Application

The best way to achieve an even coating of varnish is to spray apply. This is particularly true for impasto surfaces. Spray application is required for any surface where the paint film is fragile, such as gouache, and should not be touched by application tools. Spraying is also a useful technique for creating a matte surface. The size of the surface to be sprayed will determine the best type of spray equipment to use. These varnishes can be sprayed from an airbrush, airless or air pressured spray equipment, or refillable aerosol equipment. In preparation for spraying, make sure all equipment is free of dirt. Work in an area free of dust and dirt and keep work off the ground when spraying. Spray three to four light even coats instead of one or two thicker applications, allowing enough time for drying between coats (1-4 hours, until surface is tack free). Release the spray trigger if the motion of the airbrush is stopped during application in order to avoid an uneven build of varnish in one spot. Maintain uniform distance from the surface, and avoid the tendency to use an arcing motion. Make straight passes across the work, changing direction once the spray has cleared the edge of the piece being varnished. Slightly overlap the spray pattern with each pass, until the entire piece has been covered. To aid in achieving a more even application, turn the painting 90 degrees in order to apply the subsequent coat perpendicular to the previous one. A typical spray application lays down a film only 1/6 to 1/4 the thickness of a brush coat application. If maximum protection is required of the varnish layer, apply multiple coats. This is especially important when protecting colorants that are not inherently lightfast, as the thicker the total varnish film, the greater the protection from ultraviolet radiation. Because it is not recommended to apply several coats of a satin or matte finish, underlying layers should be established using a gloss varnish.


Clean all equipment immediately following application. If tools are wet, Golden Polymer Varnish can be removed with water. Ammoniated glass cleaner or a 1:1 solution of household ammonia to water may be use if the varnish has set.

Drying Time

The isolation coat should cure for 1 day before varnishing. When building up multiple coats, allow for 3 - 6 hours in between coats. Gently inspect the surface for tack, which may signify that the coat is not sufficiently dry. Let varnish cure several days before packing or transporting art. During transportation and storage, avoid contact of the surface with packing materials, including glassine, bubble wrap or any other plastic. NEVER STACK PAINTINGS, whether varnished or not.

Care and Storage

As Golden Varnishes are removable, it is important that they not be painted over. Paint applied over the varnish would also be potentially removable, and would pose a difficult problem in conservation or restoration attempts.

Only mix as much varnish as is required for a project and use within a week. Storing diluted varnishes for longer periods is not recommended, as this can lead to microbial growth, separation and/or settling of matting solids.


If milkiness or opacity occurs in varnish layer, then

  • if using a satin or matte varnish, and this only occurs over dark colors, this may simply be the nature of such a reduced sheen varnish (caused by the presence of the matting agent). There is no way of applying a satin/matte finish to a dark color without lightening it (the more matte the finish, the more potential for lightening dark areas). To restore the depth of the dark colors, apply a higher gloss to restore some of the sheen.
  • if this is uniform across much of area, regardless of the darkness of the underlying colors, it may be caused by moisture entrapment. High humidity or a damp surface under the varnish layer often causes loss of clarity. Using a warm, forced air source to blow across the surface should help the moisture evaporate, restoring clarity.
  • if varnish is not properly thinned, or is shaken or stirred excessively, air bubbles may become trapped within the dry film, causing a loss of clarity. The varnish must be removed.
  • if a "frosted" area appears, a satin or matte varnish may have been applied over an absorbent surface (this is common for spray applications). The varnish must be removed, the surface sealed to reduce absorbency (apply gloss varnish), followed by application of a reduced sheen varnish.

If reflectance is not uniform, then

  • if surface has varying absorbency, this may result in uneven gloss. Ideally, such a surface would first have isolation coat applied to provide a more uniform surface. However if varnish has already been applied, the surface must be sealed by applying 1 or more additional coats of gloss varnish, followed by the desired sheen varnish.
  • improper mix of varnish. The varnish/solvent mixture was not thoroughly mixed. If different sheens were blended together (gloss with matte), they may not have been thoroughly mixed. If the diluted varnish is used over a long period of time without restirring, it may be separating (matting agents settling). To achieve a uniform finish, start with a fresh mixture of varnish/solvent (thoroughly stirred) and apply another coat (may also consider removing the existing varnish layers).

If brush strokes remain, then

  • the varnish may not have been thinned sufficiently to level during application.
  • the solvent was not compatible with the varnish.
  • if the surface was absorbent, it may have caused the varnish to dry too quickly, and not allow it to level.

When spraying, if the surface is very pebbly or textured, then

  • the varnish may have dried before reaching the surface. This could be caused by insufficient thinning (add more solvent), an extremely dry environment (add humidity, reduce heat, limit air flow) or by excessive air flow (reduce air pressure).

If the varnish is sinking in and not developing sufficient gloss, then

  • the surface is too absorbent. Apply additional coats of isolating layers (only if no varnish is yet applied) or gloss varnish. Excessive dilution of varnish may also result in this problem.

If the varnished surface is too glossy, then

  • apply a satin or matte finish of the same kind of varnish already applied.

If the varnished surface is too matte, then

  • apply a gloss or satin finish of the same kind of varnish already applied.



I had been using a popular brush soap to clean my brushes.  I read an article about this Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer and decided to give it a try to restore the brushes that the brush soap did not thoroughly clean.  

I took eighteen brushes that I had cleaned with brush soap for the duration of their use. Over a period of time, the paint at the base of the brush (that my brush soap didn't remove) hardened the bristles.  I soaked them in Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer.  This product is for brushes that have been used with acrylic and oil paint.  Look at the color of the restorer brush liquid that was dislodged from the brushes!  

This $16.00 16 oz. bottle of cleaner and restorer has saved approximately $800.00 worth of brushes!  Amazing!  Be sure to read the directions on the back of the bottle to determine how long you'll need to soak your brushes.

Dick Blick Art Materials carries this product.  You should be able to find it at other fine art stores.

Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer


Art Tote Bag:  This is the Pittman Field Bag.  It's made by Jerry's Artarama.  The Masterson Palette fits in a compartment under the bag!!!!  The bag is large enough to accommodate paint, brushes, palette, paper towels and lots of other things.  If you order it, be sure to just order the bag.  There is another price for the bag and a watercolor palette and that's more expensive.


In summary, I think you'll find that in the world of paint, you'll get what you pay for!  I always recommend buying art supplies that will set you up for success.  - Jill Saur


© 2013 - Jill Saur, Jill Saur Fine Art LLC.