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Question about Golden Fluid Acrylics

Discussion in 'Paints' started by pshit, Sep 29, 2021.


  1. pshit

    pshit Double Actioner

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    I'm new to airbrushing. I have little knowledge on how mix and use paint. Several years ago a bought some Golden Fluid Acrylics. I want to use them since paint is expensive. I have a big bottle of Carbon Black and a smaller one of Titanium White. Is it designed to be used in airbrushing if I add some Airbrush medium or water?

    I want something easy to use that doesn't clog the airbrush easily. If I add lots of medium is it possible to obtain a paint similar to the Golden High Flow because I really like it but it's expensive to practice.
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  2. DaveG

    DaveG Airbush Analyst Very Likeable!

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    You should be able to thin it you without much issue. Use some medium, and add a little water to the mix - and you should be good to go. The black will be easier, the white may still give you tip dry issues before it gets so thin it won;t cover any longer...
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  3. pshit

    pshit Double Actioner

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    Is it really necessary to have 20 colors or just the primary ones are enough?
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  4. Kim McCann

    Kim McCann Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    High flow is a re-brand of Golden's Airbrush Colors. About 2013 they changed the name and a few of the colors, because they wanted to reach the pen and brush marker market.

    Golden High flow is interchangeable with their old Airbrush Colors and uses the same mediums, transparent extender and GAC900 if working on cloth or textiles.

    Generally GHF works straight out of the bottle even in detail brushes, but I'd recommend reducing the white with their airbrush medium or water with a touch of flow aid.

    Golden paints are amazing for particle size and pigment density and are my second favorite line of paints.

    The only downside to them is rapid crosslinking so erasing or sgraffo techniques don't work so well.

    Their performance on hard surfaces and lightfastness is unparalleled in my experience.

    They are a great place to start.

    Golden liquif acrylics are much, much thicker and must be thinned with golden Airbrush medium at about 2 to 1 to go through a detail Airbrush.
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  5. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Dave G and Kim explained everything, I think. I only use this brand - no need to own all colors, you can easily mix whatever you need with only a few of them. I often use it without any medium or water, right out of the bottle.
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  6. pshit

    pshit Double Actioner

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    The paint I have is at least 10 years old. Does it changes something or the paint is still good to paint with?
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  7. Nessus

    Nessus Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Depends on the conditions under which it was kept. Temperature extremes and direct sunlight will degrade or outright ruin the paint, but if it's been kept away from such things, it can last a very long time in my experience.

    Some say paint goes bad in a year or two and should be replaced, but I've got paints from everywhere from the early 90s on up that still work perfectly, so I suspect those folks are used to storing their paints under more "rugged" conditions.

    I've used Golden High flow and fluid colors a lot. I'd second what Kim posted. They're not my absolute favorite in terms of sprayabilty, but they're very high on the list, and they have amazing color density and vibrance.

    I highly recommend investing in some fluid media and other additives like retarder and flow improver. An unsung secret of acrylics is that with a very minor investment in modifiers like these, you can make damn near anything from cheap craft paint, to house paint, to art colors and model paints do whatever you want.

    You can go a looooong way with just primaries. It just comes at the cost of skill/labor in terms of learning and remembering mixing formulas to create other colors, but if you're okay with the extra effort, you can save a huge amount of money (and space) by just buying primaries in larger bottles instead of a whole bunch of smaller bottles of specific colors.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  8. Nessus

    Nessus Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Oh: IMO main caveat with mixing primaries: you want 6 primaries, not 3. Plus black and white, or course.

    Thing is, there's no such thing as a "pure" primary, so you actually want 2 blues, 2 reds, and 2 yellows. A blue that leans slightly towards purple, and a blue that leans green. A red that leans purple, and a red that leans orange. A yellow that leans green, and a yellow that leans orange. We're talking very slight biases: as close to "pure" as you can get on either side.

    This seems minor yet complicated, but it will make your color mixing life much, MUCH easier. Using a primary that leans away from the color you're trying to mix will have you pulling your hair out, while using one that leans toward will make everything easy.
  9. AlaskaJason

    AlaskaJason Young Tutorling

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    There are actually five primaries, they normally go by the abbreviation CMYK i.e. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (which is Black & White). These truly make every color its the reason they have been used in color printers since color printing was a thing. I love my Golden High Flow to death. I also love my Schmincke inks but lately I have found Holbein Inks and man are they nice. They even state right in the description that they were formulated to be good for up to a 0.10 diameter aperture right out the bottle and boy howdy do they perform. I can run them straight out the bottle in my 0.15mm Infinity, its just insane how good Japanese craftmanship is.
  10. Nessus

    Nessus Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Primary color systems are a can of worms. Which is best actually depends an a bunch of "if/then" procedural questions about the project and media in question.

    CMY functions on how transparent colors filter one another when overlayed. Printers favor CMYK* because the inks used are transparent. CMY tries to work upward from a platonic ideal of colored light. It capitalizes on the fact that transparent inks/paints are less subtractive than opaque ones (duh) to try to make a system that functions a little closer in the abstract to what you'd get with pure light (where colors are additive: mixing makes them brighter instead of darker). This doesn't mean it gets more accurate end results, it just means the process of getting those accurate results can borrow some ideas/math more directly from our understanding of light. This makes it more predictable in an abstract absolute sense (essential for a professional printer)... but also causes it to break down the less transparent (i.e. more subtractive) your colors are.

    Opaque paints are purely reflective, and thus absolutely subtractive: their color behavior does not really follow pure light models. This is why RGB was developed and used for millennia before CMY, and continues to be used after. It's not accurate to the physics of light, but it's not trying to be: it's meant to model the behavior of subtractive pigments, not pure light. It sidesteps the problems CMYK runs into when trying to combine purely subtractive color.

    If you want to get mathematically pure about light all by itself, neither is an accurate model. Both are to some degree attempts to pour alphabet soup into a typesetter's drawer. There's a minimum of around 1/6 of the visible spectrum that cannot be reproduced by any given 3-primary system, and which colors are outside the gamut change depending on what 3 colors your system uses. This gets "fun" (read: cursed) when you're talking about digital art, digital photography, and print reproduction of traditional art (all of which are restricted to 3-color gamuts).

    So broadly speaking: CMYK for transparent color, RGB for opaque color. CMY if you're layering transparent on top of opaques. Glazes made from reduced opaques can go either way, not depending on the colors, but depending on the surface optics of the pigment particles (thinned opaque is not physically the same as transparent). So keep a scratch surface handy as you paint, and prototype/test your glaze or transparent mixes on your underlying colors there first.

    And remember: perfect color reproduction is for printers and monitor calibration. You are a painter: you pick the colors for other people to worry about reproducing.

    *CMY is the primary color system. CMYK is the printing color system. The difference is in whether or not you're spending money on ink. CMY is still subtractive in practice, so in printing it's cheaper to use black ink to darken rather than layer on thicker color, but if you're only talking color in abstract then you can layer away.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  11. AlaskaJason

    AlaskaJason Young Tutorling

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    I was taught color theory via the Munsell color system. Which honestly gives you a really good understanding of color via the idea that all colors are made of three parts, Hue, Value and Chroma. Hue being the color like Cyan, Magenta & Yellow. Value is how light or dark the color is variable with with and black. Finally Chroma is the saturation of the color or how intense it is. Also learned a lot of the psychology of color from the old Josef Albers book "Interaction of Color" it delves into why our brains see colors in the way we do, and ways colors can trick our brains stuff like gestalt theory and the like.
  12. kjart

    kjart Needle-chuck Ninja

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    i've been using golden fluid acrylics for 18+ years , great paint for canvas,textile.leather.paper. (DO NOT work for automotive)
    great for t-shirts if you add Gac900 and heatset the paint with an iron,
    you mix the paint 50/50 with Golden airbrushmedium,water should not be added, if you don't wanna paint gouache that is
    i spary them with my 0,2 mm tip iwata with no issues,
    paint hold up for years no problem,, they tend to dry up in the bottle though,,after few years,,,
    all in all a very versatile paint.

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