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Atelier Interactive Student Survey

Art students from selected schools are checking out Atelier Interactive Artists' Acrylic and Mediums. See what they have to say about the paint and join in the discussion if you like.


There are (150) Comments, Comments are now closed for this discussion?
  1. comment_1_4130

    Jennifer commented on November 9, 2007, at 7:37 am.

    Many students from the colleges and universities across the USA have been involved in our Student Paint Trials. By partaking in this survey, selected art students were able to fully explore Interactive and its mediums. These students produced highly original works on surfaces such as canvas, panel and paper, and utilized creative techniques such as blending, layering and revealing to render pieces with depth and sophistication.

    If your college or university would like to participate in a Student Trial Program, please contact Jennifer at or by calling 1-800-257-8278.

    Below are paintings from some of these students: Angelo Armagno (The School of the Visual Arts, NY, NY); Joanna Babb, Willie Murphy, Kellie Newsome and Deedra Sutherland (Troy University, Troy, AL); Maria Carmona and Alicia Torres (MDC-InterAmerican, Miami, FL).

  2. comment_2_4130

    AlexanderP commented on December 7, 2007, at 11:34 am.

    Hi There, My name is Alex P. and I am a Third Year art student at the Curtin University Department of Art in Perth, Western Australia. Although I have focused mostly on painting this year, I also do a mixture of projection short films and drawing. Well currently, as you know, I am participating in the Atelier Interactice Student Survey, so over the next few weeks you will hear about my blogs and experience with the Atelier Interactive range from past and present, which I have really come to enjoy this year, but unfortunately due to the expensive nature of paints, I have run out! So kudos, to the owner at Atelier for providing the opportunity for me to share my work as well as paints that otherwise I cant afford.

    OK, a little background on me and my love hate relationship with paints: I grew up appreciating the figurative constructs in paintings and although some may view the figurative painting as limiting, I enjoy the discipline and patience suggested by this type of work. Originally in high school, my experiences with paints stemmed from oil paints. Over the last few years though, I have developed a nasty case of a respiratory problem akin to asthma due to the solvents in oil paints. Even a small whiff of them would have me running for my emergency stash of medication which eventually resulted in a even nastier 'rebound' effect. Remember the painful sensation of water accidently going up the nasal passages when swimming? Multiply that by 10. Resultingly, I switched over to Atelier Acrylics and found my symptoms to have improved heaps. Although the plastic like smell of Acrylics still bothers me slightly, I found that it has been the most tolerable compromise between my hypoallergy and my desire to paint. I dislike doing sketchy experimenting paintings, beyond colour swatches. I my prefer method of learning the properties of Acrylic is actually through the process of painting a major painting. Over the next few weeks after I receive the student survey paints, I will hopefully, put up pics of my painting steps and observations, rather than just a finished pic of a painting. Thanks for reading this introduction this far for now. I'l talk technique later. Talk to you soon. Alex P.7/Dec/07

  3. comment_3_4130

    AlexanderP commented on December 8, 2007, at 9:14 pm.

    Hi there folks, although I still havent got round to receiving the Interactive paints, I thought I'll post up an acrylic sketch I have done loosely, hence giving you an idea of what I paint. I enjoy exaggerating artificial colour schemes, stylised realism and mixing loose and tight brushwork. The portrait of Ryan is tighter with more time spent on it, but I still consider it a sketch. As the work was completed with normal Acrylics (not the interactive range), some of my impressions of the paint include: dries out too quickly compared to my prefered taste, dull dried finish, harder to blend due to time constraints of its drying, dries two shades darker and generally keeps you on your feet. Hopefully, when I begin using the interactive range I will be able to prove to myself that it will correct many of the frustrations associated with Acrylics in general. Alex P. 8/12/07

  4. comment_4_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on December 11, 2007, at 3:51 pm.

    Dear Alex

    This is getting interesting, because you have a very high skill level using “old” Atelier. if you look at the leaflet Old & New Techniques you’ll see that Fast Medium allows you to keep going with fast drying layering techniques if you want to – or you can explore the new techniques while continuing to layer.

    You’ll get more done wet-in-wet blending and you may need to set the painting aside for a while between layers to cure a bit before proceeding, but you will probably want to go on layering. Dampening first to get the values in balance will be a big plus, but I don’t know myself how the rest will go. There is someone in Dallas doing figure painting who is “happy about it”, but you are on your own really and I hope the new paint will give you new areas to explore and allow you to develop more oil paint-like techniques into your paintings.

    The fact that you can’t use oils is unfortunate at your age and maybe Atelier Interactive will be the answer.


    Old & New Techniques

  5. comment_5_4130

    AlexanderP commented on December 30, 2007, at 10:35 pm.

    Alexander P again. Hope everyone has had a safe and productive Christmas. Ok. I just got the paints and this is a quick still life study painted with the Interactive range. My impressions of the paint compared to old atelier: Fully compatible with other acrylics when mixed, great colour strength, nice consistency. Ok its true. the paints do rewet after you spray it when it gets gluggy. A+ bonus. The only frustration has got to do with that you have to wait till the water penetrates the gluggy paint fully before mixing it through and through before getting a smooth consistency-although it really only takes a short time- I'm just being impatient really. Paint quality is quiet decent after rehydration. Also careful to spray only as much as you need or else it'll turn to a watercolour! The tonal shift upon drying is less noticeable is this new range. Cheers to that!

  6. comment_6_4130

    Dan commented on January 26, 2008, at 12:30 pm.

    Hi, my name is Hector Perez, am a student from the University of Arizona. I tend to do realistic works of art in arcylics. lately I been using biblical or mythology stories to paint like David vs. Goliath and Icarus. I have tested the atelier paints in a small piece of paper for fun, and they work great. I use mostly Winstor & Newton acrylic paint and Golden, and Atelier is up there in quality with Golden. By next week, hopefully I should have some pictures of a new painting am doing using Atelier paint.

  7. comment_7_4130

    Lauren Wilson commented on January 26, 2008, at 2:00 pm.

    Hello there! I'm Lauren, and I'm a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I jumped at the chance to try out a new product, even if I am not a huge fan of acrylic paints. I got my set of paints in last week and I'm not only impressed by the large jar sizes, but by the brilliant pigments contained therein. I'm minutes away from starting my very first painting using your product, I will let you all know how it goes!
    Also, a question. The material that came with my paints said this is a three-month trial. Does that mean I have to send the paints back after three months is over? Or is that the deadline to send in feedback?

  8. comment_8_4130

    Jennifer commented on February 1, 2008, at 1:20 am.

    Hi Lauren! Glad you like the paints so far. The three month trial is to give you enough time to explore Interactive and to provide feedback. You do not need to send the paint back to us afterwards.

  9. comment_9_4130

    Dan commented on February 1, 2008, at 1:32 pm.

    I been using the atelier products this week and testing out the slow and binder medium. The slow dry medium is better use in small amount, too much and it makes the paint watery which is easily rubbed off when adding another layer on top of it. I prefer Liquitex Slow-Dri blending medium and gel; it doesn’t break down the paint or leaves it like water.
    The binder medium I used it like acrylic matte medium, it works well to seal a layer of paint. I mix it with acrylic to test it out and it does leave a nice glossy surface but I spray it water many times because it would dry rapidly. When I added to the canvas that way it would pick up a layer of paint underneath leaving streaks, which is something I wouldn’t recommend doing.
    Otherwise, the acrylics work fine and could be mix with other brands also.

  10. comment_10_4130

    nhopkin commented on February 5, 2008, at 2:44 am.


    I am a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, studying Illustration. Here is an image that I did about Greed. Based on the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. Instead of man reaching for God he is reaching for a gold coin. First, I prepared the surface with some texture, then moved in on the painting. Honestly before I tried these paints, i hated acrylic. But now I really do enjoy it. You can stop working for a couple of hours and then come back to the painting and just pick right up again, like you could with oils. The drying time is extended greatly and that makes it worth it all on it own.

  11. comment_11_4130

    Dan commented on February 5, 2008, at 12:22 pm.

    Okay, I have 3 images ready of a painting am doing. Its not done yet, am re-working the background until it works for me. I have the 1st step with the Atelier paint and middle progress.

  12. comment_12_4130

    tpursch commented on February 5, 2008, at 1:36 pm.

    Hi everyone,

    My mane is Teri and I attend the University of Arizona as a Studio Art Major. My current area of focus is painting.

    First, I would like to extend my appreciation for all the great paints.

    My painting style moves from abstract to imaginative realism. The goal of my current series of paintings to engage in a visual examination and exploration of the absurdity of life as expressed or elucidated through existentialist ideals. I achieve this through a juxtaposition of contrary shapes, colors, or subject matter in order to jolt the viewers out of a state of the mundane and cause them to ask why or what they are seeing. My goal is not to shock but to engage the viewers and cause them to reconsider their general preconceived ideals of reality.

    As far as techniques go, I work heavily with glazes and resist techniques using various under painting styles depending upon the results desired.

    Golden paints and mediums are the paints I have been using and now use in combination with the interactive paints.

    I find the interactive paints very useful when I need to engage in wipe-back techniques. I also like that they have a longer open time. In Tucson Arizona, the humidity levels are generally very low; accordingly increasing the open time with acrylic paints is a real boon.

    I have attached some images of paintings executed in traditional acrylics and in combination traditional acrylic/interactive and finally interactive paint.

  13. comment_13_4130

    Dan commented on February 7, 2008, at 10:58 am.

    I have re-work the background and the figure a bit, using heavy glazes and thick layers of paint of just atelier paint. The fast dry medium I didn't like to much because it will pull the bottom layer of paint while adding the new one on top, it works better if you spray multiple times. Am including a full picture of the painting and a close up.

  14. comment_14_4130

    Jennifer commented on February 8, 2008, at 3:55 pm.

    Hi Dan - great painting! Love the sky, very expressive. How big is this piece?
    A couple things to consider while you are exploring...
    You are in such a dry environment that you may benefit from a new medium we've created, called Thick Slow Medium. I'll get a bottle of it to you. It's more of a gel so you can keep painting impasto without it becoming watery. I've found a little can go a long way in Pennsylvania! Of course, you can also just use Interactive straight from the tube, if you find that using Slow Medium is too slow and Fast Medium is too fast.
    You also mentioned using the Binder Medium like a matte medium. If you mix it directly with the paint, it will make Interactive act like a conventional acrylic and dry quickly. That would why you had to use the water sprayer so much and the layer dry rapidly.
    Last but not least, if you find your paint lifting, like when you applied the Fast Medium on top, you want to make sure the underlayers are touch dry. If they are still juicy, those layers may pull up like you said. Sometimes I use a hair dryer to get my layers to dry faster.

  15. comment_15_4130

    Kimmy commented on February 8, 2008, at 4:47 pm.

    Hi everyone, my name is Kimberley and I go to SVA. I don't have much to report yet cause I've only used the paints twice so far. But so far so good...I usually use acrylic as my underpainting and then go to oils for my detail. I like the interactive paints so far because I can play with them longer and I get a lot more into the painting right away... my favorite part is the spray bottle. Hopefully I will get used to this new type of acrylics soon and depend less on oils....

  16. comment_16_4130

    Dan commented on February 9, 2008, at 5:35 am.

    The painting is a small piece 11.5 by 11.5 inches, I usually do a small piece to warm up before I do a bigger one. I also been using the atelier paints with other brands combine in a bigger canvas and I like the way atelier holds up. I just started using the unlocking formula, which I was weary at first since its a new product; but I have started to like. I spray it on the canvas but it does need to be brush back up to the area am working, because it runs down unlocking other areas where I didnt want open. The thick slow medium you mention sounds good, it sounds similar to the gel blending medium which holds up very well. I was also meaning to ask if Atelier makes Mars Black or any other black??
    I included a link which shows my past art work from the U of A, just so you can view what type of art I do.

  17. comment_17_4130

    Dan commented on February 9, 2008, at 8:31 am.

  18. comment_18_4130

    celopez commented on February 9, 2008, at 1:59 pm.

    Hello! My name is Claudia. I am a student at the University of Arizona. I am studying psychology and studio art. I started painting at a young age mainly with oils and watercolors. I am also currently very interested in combined media and sculpture. I used to paint mainly portraits of landscapes and wildlife. However, since I started at the university I have been struggling with painting in a more conceptual way. I am still at the experimental level of trying to find my style of painting. I started painting with acrylics only a few years ago and am still experimenting with them as well. I am really looking forward towards what experiences I may gain through painting with the atelier interactive acrylic paints. I was a little late with introducing myself since the semester only began a few weeks ago. I should be starting to paint pretty soon though!

  19. comment_19_4130

    alexdecosta commented on February 11, 2008, at 7:47 am.

    Hey my name is Alex and I am currently a student at SVA. I really like the interactive acrylic ballin. They mix really well. I haven't really used alot of the mediums tho, some of the fast stuff cuz they do dry really quickly. I've done a couple pieces with them. this is the one i'm currently working on wif does acrylics. My painting style is usually very loose but tightened up alittle bit since being at SVA. and since i started using the interactive acrylics i've def been using the acrylics more than oils.

  20. comment_20_4130

    stupendousMan commented on February 11, 2008, at 2:06 pm.

    Howdy! my name is Matt - I'm painting buddies with Kimberly :) at SVA (and also alex?) i have just started using Interactiv acrylics - I am too impatient to use oil but sometimes I need to go back and paint *into* dried areas, which Interactiv lets you do. I'll try to get some work up soon. I look forward to seeing work from other schools as well

  21. comment_21_4130

    Jennifer commented on February 13, 2008, at 1:58 pm.

    Hey there Dan -
    Interactive has a very cool range of Blacks - Carbon and Mars, as well as Red Black, Green Black, Brown Black and Blue Black, which are awesome for chiaroscuro effects. I'm sending you some tubes, along with a bottle of the Thick Slow Medium, so you can provide some feedback. Also when you are spraying water or the Unlocking Formula, you should only need to spray enough so your surface feels slick like wet paint again. I do about 2-3 sprays about 8-12" away. If you get really close and spray a lot, the paint will obviously run, which sometimes is cool but other times not quite the look I was going for!

    Hey Alex - neat painting! What inspired it?

  22. comment_22_4130

    Dan commented on February 13, 2008, at 3:45 pm.

    I am looking forward to using those. One thing I notice with the Burnt Umber Atelier paint is when its mix with white it gives me a grayish brown. Winsor & Newton Burnt Umber when mix with white gives me the desire color scheme of skin tone. I added more white to the mix of the Atelier burnt umber and it gave me a nice gray color. That’s the only difference I notice from both brands so far.

  23. comment_23_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on February 13, 2008, at 4:39 pm.

    Here is a new Information sheet I have written that outlines how to use Interactive for
    1. New slow, wet-in-wet techniques and
    2. Old fast wet-over-dry techniques.

  24. comment_24_4130

    AlexanderP commented on February 19, 2008, at 3:49 am.

    Hi There folks,

    Its Alexander P again, from Australia. Its nice to see so many posts since I've been here last. I was beginning to think I was the only one out there! Ahh the student life: uni, re-enrolment and working to death to earn your up keep. I'm sure many of you will understand and forgive the hiatus.

    Here are some recent snaps of a large work in progress based on a poetry I wrote called 'The Copper Man', using the wonderful Atelier Interactive Paints, within an artificial colour scheme.

  25. comment_25_4130

    Dan commented on February 21, 2008, at 9:28 am.

    I got the new paints in today along with the thick slow which I plan on using in the next painting. Am about to finish one painting that is a mix of Golden/Winsor&Newton/Atelier. A good part of it is Atelier paints, I used them more because the colors were more vibrant and easier to blend. The painting is a master study I started back in Dec.07 of Caravaggio's Taking of Christ, its not an original painting of mine; I did it to learn how he did glazes and his painting techniques. Its done in acrylic paint and its about maybe a week from being done.

  26. comment_26_4130

    ella commented on February 25, 2008, at 5:01 pm.

    Hi ,am Ella, finishing my third year at Curtin Uni in Western Australia. it has been really interesting to read your comments so far, only severe technical problems have kept me computer silent up til now. I have been a traditional oil painter loving the qualities of the paint that allow you to play and move over the surface. However having read the blurb on the Atelier acrylics i am interested to give them a go and see what the malleability and the colour is like compared to oils. i will post some of my work when i can import it

  27. comment_27_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on February 26, 2008, at 5:15 pm.

    I recently added a comment to the Commonly asked Interactive questions article that covers:
    The use of Binder and Fast Medium to seal layers,
    The effect humidity can have on Interactive and
    How to use Slow Medium and Interactive to control tonal change.

    I think you will find the information helpful
    (It is comment 12)


  28. comment_28_4130

    AlexanderP commented on March 12, 2008, at 9:14 pm.

    Dear Folks,

    Alexander P. Happy to report that I am very satisfied and pleased with the Atelier Interactive paint so far. The colour vibrancy remains strong after mixing with less of a tonal shift when drying in comparisons to the previous paint which dried within minutes in this boiling weather which can be very frustrating. These new paints take more time to dry and its re-wetable properties are fantastic! I had to be careful to stick to one medium and varnish: Satin Varnish to avoid the different gloss properties of the others when viewed in strong lighting. If colour vibrancy is important to you, I would encourage you to varnish your works with the Atelier Satin Varnish or others depending on what gloss level you prefer, as the varnish does saturate the colours making it richer and more vibrant. Not to mention protecting the paint layer. I am posting up the final stage and final outcome of the painting titled 'The Copper Man', after using Atelier Interactive paints. Any feed back will be appreciated. More paintings to be followed at a later date...

  29. comment_29_4130

    Dan commented on March 22, 2008, at 11:23 am.

    I attacted two pictures, one a finish painting and the 2nd is a new i started recently. For the Taking of Christ i did used all the black that I got recently which work great for the shadows. It did save me the trouble of mixing darker browns or reds and does have a nice shine to it when applied. The thick slow medium is an improvement I believe over the Slow dry medium, the thick gel holds the paint together rather than making it watery. The 2nd painting I will be using more greens and yellows, so far its a mix of Atelier and Golden paints.

  30. comment_30_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on April 10, 2008, at 12:48 pm.

    Hello Students

    Here are a few ideas I have had in regards to the Archival and Interactive student surveys.

    The Archival Oils users have the easier task because they only need to match up their choice of paint and mediums with the way they want to work – for example:

    FAST = Fast White plus the Fast Mediums, which will also be chosen for their consistency.
    SLOW = Standard Titanium White plus Classic Slow Medium.
    Everyone will presumably be pleased that the mediums are odourless.

    The techniques you can develop are all the traditional oil painting techniques – the paint gives you control over drying time and freedom to overpaint without long delays between layers, provided that you use Smooth Gel in your underpaint.

    It seems only natural to choose this modern, easier to use paint unless there is something you don’t like about its consistency.

    It is not likely that a young person will be shocked at the idea of a modern oil paint replacing an old fangled one, in fact if you go back in time to where oil paint was new in 1450 it’s popularity grew quickly because it was easier and much more versatile than fresco and tempera.

    I hope you will find Archival Oils are also easier, and more free and versatile to use than traditional oil paints. Possibly other brands may be “modernised” as the 21st century moves on.

    The Archival Basic Information Sheet has been updated, click the link below to get the new pdf.

    Atelier Interactive is vastly different

    While Archival Oils can be described as a “better mousetrap”, easily adapted to your purpose, Atelier Interactive is a “different mousetrap” and there are many techniques that can be developed which have never been available to artists before. After four years of intensive use, I am still finding out new ways to carry out this painting process.

  31. comment_31_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on April 10, 2008, at 12:50 pm.

    Alex Pui. Perth Western Australia

    I have made earlier comments to you regarding blending, now I think you should check out the section on surface blending in the updated Interactive Info Sheet. It is something I have been doing for ages but have only just found words to describe it, probably because it is so new. “Normal” blending is the main paint application method with oils where the whole wet layer is “blended,” but you can’t do “surface blending” with oils because oil paint forms a skin.

    Click the link below for the updated Interactive Basic Info Sheet


  32. comment_32_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on April 10, 2008, at 12:57 pm.

    Dan. Tucson Arizona

    Quote: Originally posted by Dan

    “I been using the atelier products this week and testing out the slow and binder medium. The slow dry medium is better use in small amount, too much and it makes the paint watery which is easily rubbed off when adding another layer on top of it. I prefer Liquitex Slow-Dri blending medium and gel; it doesn’t break down the paint or leaves it like water.

    The binder medium I used it like acrylic matte medium, it works well to seal a layer of paint. I mix it with acrylic to test it out and it does leave a nice glossy surface but I spray it water many times because it would dry rapidly. When I added to the canvas that way it would pick up a layer of paint underneath leaving streaks, which is something I wouldn’t recommend doing.”

    You and Jezabel (Perth WA) are the most energetic and excitable students so far and it is enthusiasm and producing a lot of work that makes an artist in the end but I see you getting your techniques confused for lack of information, check out the Interactive Info Sheet. and you will see that Atelier Interactive can open up a different world for you if you use the Slow Mediums, water spray, etc. As soon as you add Liquitex or Golden or any fast mediums including our own, you go in the opposite direction and it can be confusing if you are not aware what is happening.

    NOTE: You and Alex both live in very dry places so you may find it useful to add 15% Retarder to your water spray.

    Caravaggio Project

    I love the idea of your Caravaggio project. You would know that the term “chiaroscuro” literally means “clear darkness”, or the feeling of looking into a depth of shadow. I would suggest a glaze mixture of 2 parts Slow Medium (liquid type) to one part Binder. The Binder will increase the luminous character of the glaze. Old Master glazes were very neutral but glowing. You could try Red Black and Green Black, or even Crimson (S1) plus Pthalo Green and you can throw the neutral glaze slightly warm or cool. Use a lot of medium mixture and little paint and apply many layers. Fast Medium plus small amounts of paint = the Fast Method but I would prefer the Slow Method as being more subtle. It will still be rather quick in your climate if you only use the water spray when you need it.

    Have you ever seen a Caravaggio? “Flesh” colours at that time were often layered over a green base colour, essentially Terre Verte. I don’t know what art museums you have access to but it is one thing to look at a painting on the internet and quite another to see the real thing. Learning to be an artist has a lot to do with handling paint and if you have your favourites it helps a lot to see the originals!

    Students who live in New York, London, Paris or Madrid and other cities with good art museums have a huge advantage which simply does not work for you if you think the internet does everything and never visit them or go to exhibitions!


  33. comment_33_4130

    Jim Cobb commented on April 10, 2008, at 1:00 pm.

    New Entrants

    We are starting to see more students entering this project and saying hello – they could also post some current work. Naturally I hope that all of you will find your work improves when you use Archival Oils or Atelier Interactive, but that if it happens, will take time – the other students will want to know where you live, what stage you are in your course, and what your ambitions are, backed up where possible with some images. If you can email images but don’t know how to load the website, just email us.

    Do I have to return the paint?

    I have been asked if you have to return the paints used in the survey after 3 months? Certainly not. We want everyone in the survey to work along throughout the year 2008, asking for more supplies when you need them. In return we ask that you work and post. The best examples are Jezabel, Dan and Alex who are posting paintings and comments. I hope the rest of you will get moving and create a really interesting International Art Students’ site right here on Paint Talk.

    If you have any feedback or would like to contact me please do not reply to this email, instead post a comment on Paint Talk.

    Jim Cobb
    Paint Maker

  34. comment_34_4130

    AlexanderP commented on April 11, 2008, at 10:55 pm.

    Dear Jim Cobb,

    Thank you very much for the advice on blending. Coming from an oil painting background, I have always found blending to be easy and very manageable. After overcoming the problems of fast drying and tonal variations upon drying and the resulting overworking that can occur, the PDF download sheet has articulated the most basic challenges for any oil painter working with acrylics. With the luxury of time so limited in acrylic paint application, especially as you have noted the dry climate I live in, it is so nice to have a retarder and a rewetable paint handy and on your side.

    I have experimented the blending of Atelier and find it to be the most satisfying for both artist and the eventual viewer.

    However at this stage I do not wish to make it easy for the viewer. I wish to deliberately 'posterize' and fragment my colours, letting the eyes blend together the colours using distance, similar to principles of pointilism, except I don't work with dots. I juxtapose specific colours blended on the palatte, then apply them in deliberate and fragmented shapes that work together to form an image. I will post an image up soon to demonstrate my meaning...

  35. comment_35_4130

    Dan commented on April 14, 2008, at 2:24 pm.

    Thanks for the kind words and info Jim, I will use the binder as you describe in your latest comments and post back feedback once am done with the latest painting. For the Caravaggio project I did use Red Black, Green Black, Blue Black, and Mars Black which gave me great results. The one thing I did notice about Mars Black is the pigment is a little brown and the brown pigment increase with any Atelier slowing or thickening product. I mix the Winsor Mars Black with the Atelier slowing products and didn’t show brown pigment. The other two paints you mention Crimson (S1) and Pthalo Green I didn’t receive those in the last shipment. I am also including a picture of the 2nd step of my new painting; which I show the 1st step back in March 22nd. What kind of varieties does Atelier have in greens, yellows and reds?? I only have one yellow and one red of Atelier acrylic paint.

  36. comment_36_4130

    Laura Anne commented on May 2, 2008, at 6:26 am.

    I just wanted to introduce myself as one of the students using Atelier Interactive acrylics so I may start posting my experiences. I've been working with the Atelier products for about 5 months and have found them to be superior over my Liquitex and Utrecht products. It took me a little while to get used to the texture and viscosity of the paints, but once I figured out what medium-to-pigment ratio worked well for me, I've found my painting to be a great success.

    I have a habit of not cleaning my brushes in between colors, applying pigment fairly thick, and working fast, adding layers almost immediately. Because of this, I've found the Fast Medium/Fixer to be my medium of choice. I've never painted with oils, so the slow medium has taken a while to get used to for me. The unlocking formula is very helpful, as well, although half the time I forget to use it, and the other times i've found it makes things wet for too long for me.

    I've been very pleased with the fact that less pigment is needed compared to traditional acrylics. Because of this I've found my blended, flat coverage, and highlighted areas to be of greatest benefit to the Atelier Interactive paints. Here is a piece I've been working on with the Atelier paints:

    Thank you!

  37. comment_37_4130

    ella commented on May 6, 2008, at 10:27 am.

    hi painters
    I am normally an oils painter but decided to try out acrylics due to this survey and the properties of this new interactive line. Experimenting with wet in wet tecniques and using a lot of mediums to float the paint in. The subject is a stunning group of gorges in the niorth of Western Australia which lend themselves to this technique.
    with the darker areas i used pigment mixed with water and bindermedium with a squirt of clear painting medium and gradually added more water. however with the green ares i used 90% clear painting medium and found that the drying process took 32 hours.
    Has anyone got any suggestions for thickening the medium compatible with this interactive line? even my thickest, gluggiest pours are tending to dry flatter than i'd hoped.
    hope to hear from you Ella

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    Jim Cobb commented on May 8, 2008, at 12:20 pm.


    Thick Slow Medium has viscosity similar to the paint. If you want texture use the Impasto Gel medium or Modelling Compound.
    As an oil painter do you know about Archival and Its fast drying properties? Nobody seems to be doing oil over acrylics yet and it can work very well.


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    Dan commented on May 12, 2008, at 4:13 pm.

    The latest picture of my painting and could be the complete look also. I used multiple glazes with the thick slow medium with a little slow dry which work out great and gave me the results I wanted. As for your previous question Jim, I never been to one of those cities museums you mention nor have I seen a Caravaggio art work in person sadly; hopefully one day I will.

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    Jennifer commented on May 17, 2008, at 12:28 am.

    Great work Dan!

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    AlexanderP commented on June 22, 2008, at 11:13 pm.

    Recent work in Atelier Interactive Paints. Titled 'The Daddy of Lost Causes' 1.2x0.9 metres. Any constructive feedback welcomed. Cheers!

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    Dale Frances commented on June 27, 2008, at 1:56 pm.

    Hi All,
    I'm new to this survey, although I took delivery of my paints quite some time ago (you probably thought that I was a lost cause, Jim), and I am also part of the Archival Oils survey.

    I am a first year at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, studying for a Ba Fine Art. I have always preferred to work in oils due to the longer drying times, the buttery texture, pourability once diluted and 3d qualities of oils, so I was keen to try out the Interactive range - especially the unlocking formula and the texture medium. I like to experiment with techniques and mediums to achieve different outcomes.

    I'm posting a couple of experimental paintings on heavyweight paper in which I've used different techniques and mediums on similar compositions. You may not be able to see this, but I have used 2 different texture mediums (Jo Sonja Texture Medium and Chromacryl Impasto Gel Medium) to "stencil" with as well as Golden Clear Tar Gel (to achieve super shiny stencilled shapes) and have sprayed dilute acrylic paint and added salt as well. I haven't used the Interactive range - just the Chromacryl black & white. I also mixed whiting with paint and Binder medium and piped it onto the painting.

    I totally love the way the stencils and piping have turned out - they make me just want to touch them! I welcome any comments and, Jim, I wonder if Chroma has anything to match the clear shiny finish of the Clear Tar Gel? I am going to add my latest work which uses the Interactive range in a new blog which is completely different to these. Stay tuned...

    Dale Frances

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    Dale Frances commented on June 27, 2008, at 2:44 pm.

    Hi All,

    Wooohooo! I've completed this painting using Interactive Green/Black and Black, Atelier Slow Medium and Atelier Unlocking Formula and I was sooo impressed.

    My intention was to keep the paint quite movable. One thing I have found with acrylics in the past was that they dried too fast for the technique I wanted to use with this painting - that of removing the paint to expose the canvas for the highlights. I've been working with charcoal and kneadable eraser a lot and I wanted to use the same technique with paint.Ordinarily I would have used oils for this but I used acrylics as the painting needed to be dry for submission at Uni the next day(yeah, I know - last minute job!) and it wouldn't be dry enough if I used oils, even Archivals. But even with Slow Medium, this was not possible in the same way as with oils. By spraying the Unlocking Formula before the skin forms and the paint stays quite workable. I pulled the paint easily from the surface using rags and cotton buds.

    One added bonus I found was the effect the Unlocking Formula had on the wet paint which was very similar to the effect you get spraying turps onto dilute oil paint - the pigment was repelled making for a fantastic light effect given what I was trying to acheive in my work (I wanted a particularly eerie feeling, which was why I chose the Green/Black). I can see how this effect might be undesirable in other paintings, but for me it was perfect. I haven't yet used the unlocking formula to 'unlock' drier layers, only in wet paint, but I am terribly happy with what I have discovered in this instance.

    One thing, 'tho; the spray bottle I was sent sprays a lovely fine spray, but mine is only spraying in half an arc. Is it blocked, or is that how it is supposed to spray?

    In just over a week I'm off to the Pilbara on a 3 week 4WD trip. I plan to take the Interactives with me, so look out for some outback inspired work from me.

    Dale Frances

    Dale Frances

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    Shanipants commented on August 22, 2008, at 4:48 am.

    Hello Everyone! My name is Shannon and I am currently painting in Richmond Virginia, and a junior attending Virginia Commonwealth University. I am an oil painter by nature, but my recent move to a loft with little ventilation and no opening windows has lead me to start using acrylics in my home studio. My favorite acrylics have been Golden for the last 5 years. I love the pigment quality and fluid viscosity and all those mediums! Yummy! However, I met Jennifer Vonstein at VCU and I was really intrigued by Chroma Interactive.
    I just received my paint a few days ago. I was so excited to play with it all! I did receive a jar of Red Gold that was thickened and hardened and seemed to have separated from the binder. Also, it is sort of the color of peanut butter and not really close to Golden's Quinacridone Burnt Orange like I had hoped. All the other colors were lusciously creamy! I stopped by the local Plaza and picked up a few extra tubes of white and tinting white (to check out the difference) and a few spare colors to round out my palette.
    I am currently working on projects for a local Montessori school. I just finished an old master's study of a still life by Cezanne. We use these recreations to allow the young students to get up close and personal with a painting. It was a great opportunity for me to test out the new paint on a composition I was familiar with and here are the results!

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    Shanipants commented on August 22, 2008, at 5:17 am.

    My painting experience with Interactive:

    For the Cezanne Master's Study I used a simple palette including yellow ochre, perm. sap green, ultramarine blue (sometimes mixed with a little black to make payne's gray), cadmium red medium and cadmium yellow medium and white.

    I keep my sprayer handy and used it to keep my surface "open" as well as to check colours when mixing up fresh paint. There isn't much tonal shift from wet to dry, but there is enough that it is helpful to wet the dried paint to get a better match.

    You can tell that the pigments used in this paint are high quality. One thing I noticed it that all the paint has about the same sheen- sort of like Liquitex. Golden paint seems to have more of the true pigment quality- like a pigment might be grainy or shiny or matte, but with most other brands I notice the true nature of the pigment is suppressed. I am no chemist, but I assume this is with some sort of stabilizer or something in the binder? It definitely creates consistency and I recall working in art retail that some people did not like this about Golden. However, this does not sour me on using Interactive. In fact I am finding I prefer Interactive to Golden Open. Interactive gives me more wet on wet blending capability.

    I was very happy with my ability to get layers of colour rather than just "overpainting". I need to locate another sprayer for my unlocking formula. Plaza did not have any and I don't need enough supplies to warrant an order to Jerry's.

    Getting the rhythm of spraying, dabbing and so on took a little bit of adjusting, but then it just became a natural part of the process.

    My painting came out very matte- I sort of wish I had gotten the gloss varnish, although the result reminded me of gouache.

    I start my class on Tuesday of next week. My teacher is not to keen on acrylics. I hope to change his mind!

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    Jennifer commented on August 23, 2008, at 12:33 am.

    Great paintings Shannon, and what a super project for the Montessori school. I'll get another spray bottle and a jar of Red Gold sent to sorry that you got a bad jar! Red Gold based on PY. 74 & PR. 175. Golden's Burnt Orange is PR 206, so the colors will not be an exact match. Red Gold is a great color, especially when you use it as a glaze. I love its undertones.

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    Shanipants commented on August 29, 2008, at 5:40 am.

    Does anyone have suggestions or experience creating glazes with Interactive? I am used to using Golden Glazing Medium which I can add a lot of high viscosity paint and create a nice liquid... I am also a big fan of Golden Fluid acrylics, so I am trying to replicate this viscosity and also achieve transparency.

    Send pictures!

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    IanFrank commented on September 13, 2008, at 3:10 am.

    Hello artists,
    My name is Ian, I am a junior in the painting department at VCU. I have been doing a lot of mixed media and collage work this year, but I am a painter at heart. I love to use bright colors and I enjoy experimenting with physical texture of paint. I use both oils an acrylics as well as watercolor, gouache and inks.
    I can't wait to start experimenting with Chroma!

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    Mimi commented on September 13, 2008, at 5:02 am.

    My name is Mimi, and I go to the University of Arizona. This is my first post, and I'm just starting out using this type of product. I'm looking forward to trying it, especially the reactivating properties for acrylics. I'll let you know how it goes!

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    Shanipants commented on September 14, 2008, at 10:01 am.

    I can't believe we are half way through September!
    I have lots of work already in progress. Tonight I whipped out this painting of an apple tree in about 2.5 hours. It is a another project I made for the Montessori school. I am learning to work faster by using acrylics, but I am also benefiting from the ability to keep the Interactive acrylics open longer.

    I use a very small amount of slow medium to help keep my paint from drying as quickly. How does this differ from using retarder? I still have to spray my palette and spritz a little around other parts of the painting, but this has become habit now. Also, I spray the canvas when I need to match colors to make sure to account for tonal shift when dry.

    I am very anxious to see other student work!

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    Jennifer commented on September 15, 2008, at 11:17 pm.

    Hi Shannon - cool tree! I really like the detail shot of the trunk.

    You wanted to know about Retarder. Retarder is a water retention aid and should be added directly to your water sprayer. Additions of one part Retarder to two parts water reduces the number of times you need to spray your surface. It is very useful in dry or medium humidity conditions (like in AZ), but should be avoided in high humidity situations where you should simply use water in your spray.

    The Slow Mediums extend the wet blending time on the surface, and are meant to be used with the paint. The liquid Slow Medium will cut the viscosity of the paint, making it more translucent and is very useful for glazing. It also allows thinly applied paint to remain workable. The Thick Slow Medium has a gel-like consistency and is useful when artists want to have more blending time but do not want a thinner paint.

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    Josh commented on September 16, 2008, at 3:28 pm.

    Hi guys,
    My name is Josh Lord and I'm a senior at the University of Arizona. I've switched back and forth between oils and acrylics for quite some time and I think I'm finaly finding my place with acrylics. I'm excited to try out the Interactive Acrylics and I can't wait to get started.

    I'm still exploring my overlying concept but I can tell you that most of my paintings are on cutouts. I have an interest in illustration and comics but I'm also inspired by everyday billboard and sign designs.

    Here are some slightly older paintings to give you a feel of what I do. Thanks!


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    Mary commented on September 18, 2008, at 12:59 pm.

    Hello all,
    My name is Mary Matthews and, like Josh I'm also a senior at the University of Arizona. I've done a lot of painting with watercolors mostly because of the portablility of the materials but the last few semesters I've been working with acrylics. My painting style is more traditional than many of the other students. I like painting things from nature but I'm trying to move away from photorealism type work in order to create paintings that are a bit looser.

    One aspect of the Interactive paints that I'm excited about is the longer drying time. It has often been frustrating trying to mix the same colors over and over because color I was working with dried up.

    I'm attaching a few images of paintings to show my style although some are watercolor, some are oils and the most recent are acrylic.

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    walk49 commented on September 27, 2008, at 12:21 pm.

    Hi, I am getting interested in plein air painting now, but still I am not quite happy with
    acrylics. They look so vibrant and fresh when I first paint it, but soon after the colours were changed dramatically . Thus, I had put more (almost poured) acrylics paints with Slow medium in the studio. I was wondering where the paints that I had applied had gone. Spending hours, still the thin looking painting was there. So, I had to stop painting after I had decided to add oils on acrylics. I don’t know why they have not changed much. The two posted paintings are all acrylics with oils.

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    Jennifer commented on October 3, 2008, at 1:56 pm.

    Hi there,

    Some artists experience a color shift when they incorporate lots of Titanium White and have lighter values in their painting. This is because the binding agent in acrylics is white, but dries clear. Applying glazes of color, which is what you did when you "almost poured" more paint on the surface is another way to increase color. You'd need to apply multiple glazes to get a truly luminous look. Using a more impasto paint may be helpful, too. Mediums - including water - will increase the translucency of paint.

    If you find your colors dull, you may want to varnish it when finished. Applying a Satin or Gloss Finishing Varnish can bring colors back and may provide that vibrancy and freshness you want.

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    Josh commented on October 5, 2008, at 4:34 am.

    Hi again,

    I recently recieved my paints and I just wanted to show the progress of the painting that I'm doing at the moment. Most of the painting was already started but so far the paints have been really interesting. The paints that I have started the painting with are Modern Masters and Winsor and Newton Galeria Paints. The main thing I have done with the Atelier paints is the smoke streams which are done from mainly a mix of Blue Black (Indigo) and Titanium white and the eyes so far are done with Cobalt Turqoise Light.

    So, the paint itself...I'm actually really surprised at the thick consistency of the paint. It seemed more luiqidy in the plastic tube and I was pleasently surprised to see that it had a thicker and more creamy feel allowing me to spread it farther while keeping it more opaque. I would say this is a big difference between the Galeria paints that I have started the painting with.

    Although I'm excited about them, I'm also slightly intimidated by all the mixing products and types of slow drying mediums that I recieved. I used a little of the "Thick Slow Medium" and it did seem to work although I haven't experimented that much with it yet. I think I'll start using one medium at a time to see how each of them works and what I can do with them.

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    mkpainter1 commented on October 8, 2008, at 4:49 pm.

    Hello, my name is mkpainter from Arizona. I have been using oil and acrylic and I like both. I use more acrylic than oil. Because it's dry fast. I'm excited about using Chroma acrylic paint and I'd like to update how it is!

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    Josh commented on October 12, 2008, at 6:06 am.


    Just thought I would submit a photo of my first finished piece using the Atelier paints. I do have one question about the varnish. I have the "invisible varnish" and I was wondering when to apply it. I know for oils you have to wait for the curing process to complete and sometimes you have to wait months untill you apply the varnish. I'm assuming varnish can go on acrylic much sooner, but is there a waiting period to go by? Thanks!


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    HKEPPEN commented on October 14, 2008, at 4:41 am.

    Hello ,
    My name is Helen and I am currently attending Camden County Community College in New Jersey where I am majoring in studio arts. This semester I began my first painting class where I was given the choice to use Chroma Interactive or traditional oil.The thought of using strong smelling chemicals needed for oils did not settle well with me so I began to investigate the Chroma Interactive products online which lead me here to the student survey.
    Just to give you some background , Im still in my early stages of my art classes ,but I have had many experiences with various art mediums through my graphic arts training in high school.(I went to a vocational/ technical school) I enjoy trying new things so I am very excited to take part in this survey and also look forward to sharing my experiences with everyone.

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    Shanipants commented on October 15, 2008, at 2:25 pm.

    This one isn't finished quite yet, my crit is on Thursday and if you all have any feedback feel free to comment! I have been concentrating on the art of Edward Hopper lately, from his more gestural paintings to the more highly detailed and realistic ones.
    This composition is from lifted photos from myspace of a fellow I know who died of cancer recently. I took pictures of his hospital bed at home, and him at a wedding and collaged them together. It just seems like he is waiting to me... anyways... about my painting experience...
    I am getting used to the acrylics once again! Hooray! I have been experimenting with clear painting medium as well as the gloss medium. It has been especially helpful in making skin more translucent so I can layer up the colors, so as not to have that acrylic dead look. I really HATE the JARS. I love paint, but the jars are difficult to manage at school and even in my home studio I feel like I can't just get a daub, I have to make the effort to have a clean knife and scoop out a little. It sounds petty, but you really start to notice when you are toting around 20lbs of painting supplies and having to clean your knife every time you need a little more paint. In a bout of laziness in hauling supplies/ a bout of raging obsessive compulsiveness, I created travel palettes out of old Chinese take-out plastics with lids. I spritz each pile of paint with water and then spritz the inside of the lid with water. I have left these over the 4 day period from Thursday evening to Tuesday afternoon- when I am often unable to get into the studio at school and the paints are still moist and often have not developed a skin and even if they have I can usually wake them up. Neat! Sometimes I forget that the surface of my slightly dry paintings are still tender and I have had some nasty scratches in the uncured paint, which is mostly my fault for poor storage practices, but definitely important to keep in mind...
    I have been using a base color method for this work, painting each area with its main color and then working in lights and darks and then blending. I keep my paint moist with the mist sprayer, I add clear painting medium directly to my paint, I use a little unlocking formula in my sprayer.

    Does Chroma have a clear gel that could be used for gel transfer? I am doing some mixed media and collage work these days, very much experimental ( I have no idea what I am doing).

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    Jennifer commented on October 16, 2008, at 5:11 am.

    Cool work from all the students! Keep painting and posting!

    Josh - If you have a solvent varnish, you can varnish you painting in a well ventilated area once it is dry. I usually suggest waiting until the painting has cured (about 7-10 days) but if you need to get it done for a crit, a using a solvent varnish and soft brush won't disturb the Interactive painting underneath. If you use a water-based varnish on an uncured painting, you may accidentally reopen a touch-dry layer.

    Shanni - Sorry you are having problems with the jars! Most students like them because they're big, but I can see how lugging them back and forth to class could be a problem! Your idea about the take-out containers sounds great. I know other artists who use film cannisters because they are airtight.

    You nailed the mood of a Hopper painting, as well interpreted his composition and colors well. If you want to try gel transfers, just use the Impasto Gel. I'll get some out to you!

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    Mary commented on October 17, 2008, at 10:47 am.

    I have been working with the Interactive paints for about two weeks now. I thought there was going to be a more noticeable difference in drying time from the paints I was previously using. I think I'm going to use my two brands of paint side by side to see the difference in trying times, maybe it just seems like it dries fast. I also need to get some more retarder since I ran out recently, that should help my situation. I don't have a finished painting to post yet but perhaps by next week. I think the Interactive paint is very creamy (for a lack of a better term), mixes well and the colors are really rich and vibrant.

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    Jennifer commented on October 17, 2008, at 11:44 pm.

    Hi Mary,
    As you figured out, Interactive doesn't necessarily dry slower than other acrylics. What it offers is the ability to be rehydrated so you can work wet-in-wet OR use fast, "regular" acrylic techniques. Try incorporating some Slow Mediums and working on a well-sealed surface. I know that helped some students in AZ last year. Let me know if this helps!

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    Mimi commented on October 18, 2008, at 5:56 am.

    I haven't used the product to paint with yet because I haven't started a new project yet. I have looked at the paints themselves, testing the texture between my fingers, and it seems much tackier than other paints. I think may have to use the mediums more than I normally do to get a smoother texture and fewer paint clumps on the canvas. I'll let you know how it goes.

    In addition, I was very pleased with some of the paint colors, but other were not what I was expecting.

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    countcurbstone commented on October 19, 2008, at 2:01 pm.

    Hello! My name is Sonia!
    I'm a Illustration major, and a junior at Savannah College of Art and Design.
    I grew up with oil paints, but considering how fast the illustration market flies, I figure I should switch over to acrylics. I have barely painted in years, and have to say I miss it! Last time I worked in oil was last year, and I used glazing techniques for a ghost-like picture and loved it, and want to keep working in that way. I also have very recently learned an underpainting/overpainting technique in a class, which I really liked! Lately I've been drawing a weird mix of cute, fat, stylized toddlers, busty women, and tentacles/octopi/squids (not usually in the same pictures!) and look forward to seeing how my drawings will transfer into paintings with a material so different from the ones I usually use!

    If anyone's curious to see my recent work, before I jump into the paints, I have a little place <a href="">

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    countcurbstone commented on October 19, 2008, at 2:01 pm.

    Hello! My name is Sonia!
    I'm a Illustration major, and a junior at Savannah College of Art and Design.
    I grew up with oil paints, but considering how fast the illustration market flies, I figure I should switch over to acrylics. I have barely painted in years, and have to say I miss it! Last time I worked in oil was last year, and I used glazing techniques for a ghost-like picture and loved it, and want to keep working in that way. I also have very recently learned an underpainting/overpainting technique in a class, which I really liked! Lately I've been drawing a weird mix of cute, fat, stylized toddlers, busty women, and tentacles/octopi/squids (not usually in the same pictures!) and look forward to seeing how my drawings will transfer into paintings with a material so different from the ones I usually use!

    If anyone's curious to see my recent work, before I jump into the paints, I have a little place <a href="">here</a>!

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    Tracy Steele commented on October 22, 2008, at 7:19 am.

    Hi. I'm enrolled in Painting 1 at Camden County Community College in Black wood, NJ. This is my first semester in a long awaited journey to become an art teacher. My professor asks us to paint in oils, with the exception of the Interactive Acrylics, which she herself uses. There's just 2 of us in my class who have chosen the acrylics. So far I have had an excellent experience with them. I'm still working on getting the right mixture of paint and retarder to achieve a longer drying time on the palette. My favorite thing is the spray mist. Here's a look at my first painting. I'm looking forward to checking in and working with you all.

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    artnerd10 commented on October 22, 2008, at 1:44 pm.

    Hey everyone, I'm Rachel, and I'm an Illustration Major at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I don't paint often, but I want to start learning and doing well with acrylics, so what better way than with trials? I haven't actually tried any of these things yet- I haven't received them, but I'm looking forward to testing them out. I'm a materials class right now, and we did a project with acrylics and it sparked my interest, so here goes! I look forward to updates and technique tips from everyone!

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    NicholasAxiotis commented on October 24, 2008, at 7:52 am.

    Hey everybody!!!! I'm Nicholas, a junior Illustration major at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I usually don't use paints in my illustrations since I am more experienced in drawing materials, but recently I started experimenting with acrylics more and got excited since I could create effects that I never did before. I am all about learning and experimentation, in order to develop my artworks and style. As far as my painting style goes...I don't really have one yet, I just like using limited palettes. I am looking forward to this trial and I am excited to work with you all!!!!!!

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    mmontg21 commented on October 25, 2008, at 6:41 am.

    Hey there I'm Mark,

    I can't wait to try out this new paint as it has been awhile since I have used acrylic paint and this is the perfect opportunity to experiment with them again. I have been using watercolors for a while now and I hope i can do some of the same techniques. This should be a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it.

    Thank you Chroma for the opportunity to use your paints.

    Mark Montgomery

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    IanFrank commented on October 28, 2008, at 7:52 am.

    Hello Everyone! Here are few of my recent paintings. The reference for these paintings comes from a large old warehouse in Richmond, Va. The old factory has large thick beams from very old trees and they have very interesting distinct knots in the wood. I am fascinated by old buildings, architecture and structural supports.
    I didn't receive a spray bottle with my paints, so I purchased a plant spritzer (it isn't quite as fine a mist as I had hoped, but it will do). A few sprays as I worked kept the paint working wet into wet. I really like the consistency of Chroma Interactive and I love the big fat jars of paint. I have been creating a lot of large works- over 6 feet and I am finding I have plenty of paint for heavy coverage.
    Take a look at these 2X2 and 3X3 abstracts...

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    IanFrank commented on October 28, 2008, at 8:09 am.

    Hi again!
    I was working on this painting this afternoon. My parents have beautiful sunflowers in their backyard garden. Normally I think the sunflower image is kind of trite and out of fashion, but as the seeds ripened in their backyard and the autumn colors started coming in, I felt inspired to paint out of doors in brisk October air. The paint dries more quickly outside (unless it is humid), so I am spraying all the time! I have been using some craft type techniques- like putting the several colors of paint on the brush and then creating a swirl (think one stroke techniques). Even when sections dried out a little I was able to get them to moisten up again with the sprayer and keep working like the layers had never dried at all. I love working with Chroma, these paints are awesome!

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    IanFrank commented on October 28, 2008, at 5:55 pm.

    Finished the painting tonight! -This is a little more folksy and decorative than I normally work. I would normally not work outdoors with acrylics, but the ability to reopen the Interactive Acrylics has really changed my strategy. I did finish this tonight indoors, but I was able to reopen the layers that I needed to work wet into wet. It was a pleasure!

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    Mary commented on October 30, 2008, at 10:52 am.

    I'm having a little difficulty with going back and working on a painting after a day or so. It seems that the advantage of being able to reconstitute paint on my palette becomes a disadvantage on the painting. Instead of being able to paint over something that I want to change, the area is reconstituted and becomes a problem area, it will show down to the canvas or start to show previous colors and stands out from the rest of the painting. Does anyone else have this problem and how do you work around it? My next painting will be all done with the Interactive Acrylics so I should have something new to post soon. I did get word today that one of my paintings was purchased by Target for one of their corporate offices. That was exciting news.

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    Shanipants commented on October 30, 2008, at 2:01 pm.

    Mary- Try using the "Fast Medium/Fixer" ... I brush it over the tender layer (dry to the touch, but still susceptible to reconstitution) like a varnish. Let it dry- or give it some help with a hairdryer. I have had really good results using this technique. Good luck and congratulations on infiltrating the Target corporate offices!

    Here is a quote from the products section of this website....

    ...Atelier Fast Medium/Fixer

    Used to fix layers of paint fast especially when wanting to achieve multiple layers of glazing. Also useful when you want to reinforce a tender layer in preparation for scratch back and scraping techniques. Returns Interactive to a more conventional acrylic.

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    Jenn Houck commented on October 30, 2008, at 11:34 pm.

    Shannon - in your Aug 22 post of your studio...are those old Chinese food containers used as palettes?? I save those all the time, but usually only for leftovers! Nice thinking.

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    Jennifer commented on October 31, 2008, at 12:10 am.

    Hi Mary,

    Way to go on getting into Target!!!

    Regarding the bottom paint layers lifting: Shannon was right about using the Fast Medium to help set a layer. You also may just want to let the bottom layer set up a bit (or use the hair dryer technique) before overpainting.

    In this bottom layer, did you incorporate any mediums or use a lot of water for a thin wash? Sometimes I find that if I have a very thin, washy layer that's touch dry and scumble with a stiff brush I reactivate paint. Using soft brushes may help in this situation.

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    Mary commented on November 1, 2008, at 2:21 am.

    Thanks for the good suggestions. I think I have a lot to learn when it comes to using just the right additives at the right times.

    Happy Halloween everyone!

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    Shanipants commented on November 2, 2008, at 3:21 am.

    Yes Jenn H, those are Chinese food containers! I keep them in my studio at school as well. I spray the paints heavily with water and snap the lid on and when I return the paints are still fresh. There is also a glass tray in the Aug 22 post... That is a glass microwave oven tray. I see a lot of folks taking framing glass and putting duct tape around it and those always seem to break. I found tons of those microwave trays at a thrift store and I have found them to be nearly unbreakable. I cover that with cling wrap and my paint stays quite fresh.

    One of my main frustrations with acrylic paint is that I cannot leave my working palette loaded with paint. During this trial I have been experimenting with all sorts of alternative techniques for paint preservation. I tried keeping paints in a medicine box (pill box with days of the week style), but the boxes really weren't air tight. Jennifer suggested old film canisters, which I used to use often, but now I don't really have any left and I don't have a film camera (they work well though if you can find them). Does anyone else have a success story as far as reusing or recycling materials for palettes, especially ones that stay wet?

    On an unrelated topic, this trial has really opened me up to trying more products from Chroma. I teach art at a Montessori school and I am constantly searching for the highest quality non-toxic products for children. I am currently using CHROMATEMP and A-2 Student Acrylics and I am loving vibrancy and quality of these products. The price is comparable to other products that teachers may be familiar with like (and sometimes they are even cheaper).

    I truly enjoy telling my studio mates about the paint I am using. They are always curious about the large jars and how much everything costs. I am always looking for a bargain, but I insist on high quality. I think that as artists we should seek out the best, most light fast, archival and workable products for our medium. For many students this cost can be hard to swallow. However, when we shop for paint, we cannot shop like we are at the grocery store comparing the ounces on a boxes of cereal. Light, medium and heavy body paints will offer different levels of coverage and need different levels of dilution to achieve the desired results. I consider how much medium or water I will be able to add successfully to extend the paint without losing adhesion or coverage and also if the paint is workable right out of the tube.

    I have found Chroma Interactive to be a wonderful balance between soft body paints like Liquetex (they also don't get the skin that Liquitex soft and heavy body paints form) and heavy body like Golden (which I find to be too thick most of the time). Also, unlike Golden Slow- which does have a somewhat longer drying time, Chroma Interactive dries just as quickly as normal acrylic unless you use slow medium. The slow medium is SOOOOOOOO effective. You can't "reopen" Golden Slow- and that is the true benefit of Chroma Interactive. I don't have to try to finish a painting in one sitting or battle to get the same colors if I do let the painting dry.

    I highly recommend experimenting with the mediums especially the three essential mediums- Slow, Fast fixer and Unlocking. I also LOVE the CLEAR PAINTING medium as a basic extender. As you may have noticed, adding too much water can lead to those powdery and easily disturbed paint layers. If that is not what you are going for, add a medium rather than water to ensure adhesion.

    One of the best gifts we can give ourselves as artists is to know our materials inside and out, this way we can improve and explore our craft more fully.

    Happy painting!

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    Shanipants commented on November 2, 2008, at 3:47 am.

    I am attaching a few paintings. I have been trained like a 18th or 19th century painter by studying the methods of others. That is why I include so many master's studies. From my experience painting works by old masters, I develop my understanding of the craft of painting and develop my own techniques accordingly. I don't think it is necessary to have your so-called style all worked out during your BFA years.

    I am curious how long other artists have been painting? I have been dabbling in art from a young age, but I found watercolor in about 7th grade, pastels in high school, but I didn't really consider becoming artist until I moved to Portland, Oregon about 7 years ago. I painted without any real knowledge of what I was doing, just instinct and a paint brush and some great mentors who suggested I go to art school. About 3 years ago I met my current mentor who has developed my drawing abilities and helped me to become more proficient in painting techniques. So I feel I have only really been working as an artist for about 3 years.

    Questions for other students:

    How long have you been painting?

    What other mediums do you use?

    What role do you think art plays in modern society?

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    xheartsofhavocx commented on November 4, 2008, at 5:16 am.


    I've begun using the Chroma interactive acrylic paints and I've really enjoyed them. They have great coverage and work wonderfully in mixed media work. They blend especially well with watercolors and don't seem to have a really plastic-y texture. I'll post samples as soon as i have images. Thanks!


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    Shanipants commented on November 6, 2008, at 9:18 am.

    Check it out! I should have taken a before picture, but I never thought this brush would come back to life. The brush was encrusted with white pint and some kind of medium. It is a larger synthetic brush, about 20.00 to replace (student = zero money). I have a bottle of Chroma brush cleaner, so I decided to give it a shot. I poured about an ounce into cup almost to the ferrule of the brush, and put the brush in to soak. A few days later, no dice. A week later the brush was still frayed out in stiff clumps. Then I lost track of time, but I think the brush was soaking for about 2 or 3 weeks in a cup by my sink. I was going to pour out the brush cleaner tonight, so I removed the brush. To my surprise, the brush was soft and pliable once again! There was one cruddy glue spot which easily rubbed off and now my brush is usable once again.

    How exiting! This may replace my Master's Brush and Hand Cleaner and Pink Soap entirely.

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    Josh commented on November 9, 2008, at 3:35 am.

    Hi guys!

    It's been a while since I have been able to post, I have several non painting projects going on as well as painting that are keeping me tremendously busy. So here are some progress shots of my most recent painting. I used a lot of titanium white and cerulean blue over blue black (indigo). One problem I have had is the inbetween time of wet to dry. What I mean is that there is an obvious wet paint time, and there is an obvious dry paint time. The point when it dries has given me some messups. For regular acrylics this isn't a problem but the paint obviously dries really fast and the inbetween time isn't that long. For oils you have to rely on the fact that it will be wet for an extremely long time and you either can't mess with it or you have to use it to your advantage. The problem is that when the acrylic is in the inbetween time (I guess I'm a little impatient, probably why I use acrylics...) you can't paint on it at all. If you do you will pick up some of the dry paint and cause a buldup of gunk while the rest of the paint is still wet. You also can't treat it like wet paint and scrape it off because the dry parts will scrape around and it won't be very clean. The obvious solution would be to just wait till it's dry but since I'm not used to the drying time it's thrown me off a little and I have had a few spots with some messy buildups. I paint relativiley flat so it's no big deal, I can just sand and paint over it later to smooth out the bumps. I suppose this isn't a big problem, just something I have noticed specificaly with these paints. Hopefully I made this post clear enough to understand what I'm talking about :)


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    Josh commented on November 15, 2008, at 12:43 pm.


    Just thought I would post a final picture for this piece.


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    Jennifer commented on November 19, 2008, at 11:43 am.

    Hi Josh!
    Does Panic express your feelings towards the end of the term? It did when I was in school!

    If you are having problems with Interactive reacting when it is still touch dry, you could incorporate Binder Medium or Fast Medium with your paint. Both mediums make Interactive act more like a conventional acrylic, so it shouldn't reactivate with water or wet paint. For many artists, they want Interactive to blend, but since you are painting with rich, flat color I think these mediums would help your lifting problems. Using a hair dryer to set things up a bit helps too!

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    Dessidesu commented on November 19, 2008, at 4:20 pm.

    Hi! My name is Ashley, and I'm currently attending Savannah College of Art and Design. I'm an illustration major, and I have been doing a lot of watercolor work, but I'm hoping to dabble in using some acrylics so maybe I can be a bit more well rounded. I'm really anxious about experimenting with these acrylics, due to their ability to reactivate, which seems more friendly to an artist who has been using watercolors for a bit.

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    Ehallo1 commented on November 29, 2008, at 2:00 pm.

    Hello All! My name is Erin and I am a sculpture student at Towson University (MD). It has been some time since i've worked paint on a canvas but I think these acrylics could be my way back to painting. Oils are my choice paint, but I think I need to take a healthier route in my art making. My latest work is in wood, metal, and clay with some oil paint finishes, and I am wondering how the acrylics will respond to these types of surfaces. If anyone has experimented with this please let me know! I haven't received my paints yet!

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    Mary commented on December 4, 2008, at 2:16 am.

    Wow it's December already and yes finals time. I have two studio class days left to finish 3 paintings that I've started. I'm still working with the Interactive acrylics and I think I resolved any of my drying time issues. Sometimes it just takes working with a new product in a different way. I'll attach photos of my 3 works in progress but I DO have a lot of work to do on them.

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    xheartsofhavocx commented on December 10, 2008, at 11:36 am.

    Hey Everyone,

    I'm and illustrator at the Savannah College of Art and Design and I've really enjoyed working with the Chroma Interactive Acrylics. I'm not traditionally a painter and have always found watercolors to be more to my liking. Although I was always willing to invest in good watercolors I never felt the need to invest in good acrylics. I figured that because I had such little experience with them that it wasn't worth it. That's why I really liked Chroma's student trial. I have found that the quality of the paint makes all the difference. They lack the plastic feel of cheaper brands and while providing good coverage they retain their brightness when watered down. I would seriously consider expanding my palette with more colors. I also love the fact that while these paints are designed to be used with the extender mediums they work just as well without them.

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    xheartsofhavocx commented on December 10, 2008, at 11:49 am.

    Here's some of the mixed media work I've done with the acrylics. The Chroma Acrylics layer beautifully below and on top of many materials. They are saturated and have a lovely fluidity when working with them.

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    artnerd10 commented on December 11, 2008, at 10:26 am.

    I have loved these acrylics! I have done a series of layered multimedia projects with them and I have thoroughly enjoyed their movement and flexibility. Here are some of the paintings I did with these!

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    IanFrank commented on December 15, 2008, at 4:20 pm.

    The best thing about the chroma acrylics are the ability to reopen the paint. Here are a few of my works from this semester. I received the second jar of impasto "gel" and it was liquidy like before, so I wasn't able to experiment with transfers as much as I would have liked to, but overall my experience was good and as far as paint goes I really like the feel of these acrylics.

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    NicholasAxiotis commented on December 16, 2008, at 4:27 am.

    I can't believe how fast time went by. I loved these acrylics they were excellent in the techniques I used. I created caricatures of two singers-I hope you can recognise them- using thin layers of the acrylics combining them with color pencil. I didn't really face any significant issues working with the Chroma acrylics, and I was satisfied with the result. I can't wait to use them again in another technique.

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    Dessidesu commented on December 16, 2008, at 6:36 am.

    I just received my acrylics about a week ago, so I haven't had an abundant amount of time to work with them, but from what I have seen I am very impressed with the richness of the colors. The cobalt blue color is especially beautiful. I also really enjoy the reactivating quality of the paint, for both artistic and expense purposes. No more dried up paint going to waste! The little painting I managed to get done was done using a series of washes, which can be very time consuming. I draw more than I ever paint, and haven't really done an acrylic painting in years, but I still tried. I'm sure I'll get better with more practice : )

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    Tracy Steele commented on December 16, 2008, at 1:34 pm.

    Well, here's my final project for Painting 1. I've been using the Interactive acrylics all semester and I've had great results. I especially like the thick/slow medium. It really enables me to get the whole canvas covered while still being able to blend in more color. Thank you so much for including me in the survey. I'm enrolled in Painting 2 in the Spring. I'll keep you updated! Happy Holidays!

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    Josh commented on December 16, 2008, at 3:22 pm.

    Alright, so it's finaly the end of the semester!!! Here is my last painting that I've been able to finish. I saw the chroma line at a local art store a few days ago and was really excited. I've enjoyed using these paints this semester and was really impressed by the quality as well as their ability to actualy to dry slower.


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    Jennifer commented on December 20, 2008, at 7:03 am.

    Wow!!!! I am so impressed with all the work you've posted this term!!! Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your artwork with us this year.

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    Shanipants commented on December 20, 2008, at 7:16 am.

    This is a bit late, but I have been in the last minute push of the semester. Here are the last 3 portraits I have been working on. Clearly Jo the nude and Madison the little girl are not done, but the third (I have been calling him Blinky) is for the Memory Project. The Memory Project takes pictures of orphans from around the world, allows artists to paint the children and then the painting are taken to the orphans along with correspondence from the artist. I love this project.

    For these portraits I used a chiaroscuro technique and then applied base colors and continued to blend. I think next semester I will experiment with a glazing technique instead of direct color application. Most people have not been able to tell I was using acrylics, but I am still hunting for a really deep rich translucency and I think patience and glazing (mixing a small amount of color into a medium and applying it a few layers at a time) might create that look.

    Happy Holidays!

    These are not great pics, sorry!

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    Shanipants commented on December 20, 2008, at 7:24 am.

    To Josh,

    Could you tell me a little bit about your amazing surfaces? What are they made of and how do you create them? What inspired you to do this?

    I am constantly amazed.


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    improperdancin commented on December 23, 2008, at 8:36 am.

    Hey all! it's amy from Baltimore, I go to MICA. The semester has ended and i have used so much chroma paint and loved every second of it. Someone told me a quote that I really believe "Good paint won't make you a better painter but bad paint can undermine your abilities as an artist" and I feel like a brand new artist with these paints. The colors just work this semester and all of the mediums have been so helpful. I fell in love with the thick slow medium, im used to working with oils, and this medium really allows you to work with acrylics as you would with oils. I used a lot of that this semester. I experimented with the binder mediums in my collage/painting. It worked great to hold the different materials and dried completely clear. Here's some of the stuff i've been up to!

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    Josh commented on December 24, 2008, at 11:12 am.

    To Shanipants,

    My paintings are done on cutout pieces of wood, usually plywood or masonite(depending on my economic situation). After projecting a sketch onto the board I cut it out with a jigsaw and then attach wood strips on the back to help stiffen thin areas or strengthen sharp corners.

    Several things inspired me to start painting on cut-outs. One was from seeing new forms of billboards with cutout attachments on them, another was from actual signs with three dimensional letters. For a while I was a little obsessed with the McDonalds arches as well as many other cool looking signs. They inspired me both for their physical presence as an object as well as their ability to communicate to an audience. Another reason for the cutouts comes mostly from my old comic books that I adored as a child and that I still actually have. I like the flat/cutout design look in comic books and japanese anime. This probably shows with my actual imagery being quite illustrative although I think I want to take a new direction away from the sarcastic or "cartoony" look.

    Hopefully this answered your question, thanks for asking!


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    Mimi commented on December 24, 2008, at 2:47 pm.

    Hi all

    Well it has been a hectic year for me and I made it home safely. Right now I'm just trying to stay warm and enjoying my winter break. I was able to make three paintings solely with Atelier Interactive Artists' Acrylic and Mediums. Overall there were some things that I liked and didn't like about these paints and mediums. Two things that stick out strongly that I didn't care for was the fact no matter how thoroughly I cleaned my brushes after using the acrylics and medium they were always stiff and hard after they were cleaned and dried; making it so I would have to soak my brushes just to use them again, so I would never have a dry brush to work with, (unless the brush wasn't used with this products). I'm going to try to soak the brushes in a solvent to see if that helps to get them back. Another thing which I know you shouldn’t do but I do it all the time, is put the paint and medium strain on to the campus. I think I was using the reactivation formula, the fast medium drying medium (the one that semi-cloudy white), and paint from the tube on the campus. The fast medium dry medium seemed to put a layer over the candidates in which would not allow the paint to inhered to the campus. It was like trying to mix water and oil. So it took a lot more pain to cover up these areas. So these are the two major things that bothered me. Another thing was the consistency of the paints were not the same from color to color. Some were so thick you had to add medium just to use them. Overall I probably would not recommend these paints to individuals in less than are experienced in oils because these acrylics seem to act like oils to me. But if you're looking for something with intense vivid color I would recommend getting a few tubes. I'm going to add these paints to my other paints and see how they interact with one another. I have a feeling that they will interact very well together and helped make more dynamic pieces. But I would have to say I do not think I would use this products solely by itself in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing how this product works with other products. But overall I would say this was a good experience in trying a new product that I have never used before in being able to compare it to the products in which I am in custom to.

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    HKEPPEN commented on December 26, 2008, at 4:06 pm.

    its been quite some time since I first posted and recieved my paints,but I have photos now to add and comment on.
    As I first mentioned this is my first painting class and I have used acrylics in the past. I found at first that I had to keep reminding myself that these were not regular paints because I found myself in the same routine of painting over, painting over, painting over.I really enjoyed the fact that I could go back into a painting I was working on and add or fix something way after the painting had dried. I seem to be very sensitive to certain smells so I really like that there is virtually no odors and strong fumes.These pictures are of my beginning studies of black and white

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    HKEPPEN commented on December 26, 2008, at 4:19 pm.

    hey again,
    I wanted to show all the rest of my paintings I have done while using the chroma interactive acrylics. I tried to use some of the drying mediums included in my shipment and I have to say I had some trouble. My painting of the flamingo had to be repainted and still isnt completed because I had an issue w/ the painting drying and it seemed the more I tried to add paint the more the paint was comming off .My intent was to keep the acrylic from drying so fast so I could easily blend in other greens to give a dimensional effect maybe I used the slow thick medium in the wrong way or tried to use it in a way it wasnt intended because it came out blotchy and uneven. I finally ended up putting it away and waiting for it to completly dry and repaint the back ground without using any mediums.

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    HKEPPEN commented on December 26, 2008, at 4:34 pm.

    Hello once again,
    here is the last of my projects and I have to say I have really enjoyed working with this product . I have had lots of hits and misses while trying the paints out and I think I am starting to get the hang of what it was do for me .(the little tutorials on the web site help) I have plenty more classes to take so I am looking forward to seeing what will come in the future.

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    Jennifer commented on December 31, 2008, at 6:24 am.

    Hi artists! Great comments and great work!

    To Josh - Thanks for posting about how you create your backgrounds. As an artist, I am equally intrigued by how something was created as well as how I respond to a piece. I'm sure your unique surfaces had others wondering, too!

    To Mimi - Thanks for your feedback, but I'm surprised you had some issues with cleaning your brushes. Most artists tell me that Interactive cleans up remarkably well. What type of brushes were you using, and were they also used with oils? I'll send you a bottle of Chroma Brush Cleaner to try. And yes, putting Fast Medium, Unlocking Formula and paint down on your surface at the the same time is going to cause some issues! Post again when you do some additional pieces.

    To Helen - If you use the Thick Slow Medium, only use a little! A little goes a long way, and if you use too much, you may find that instead of blending your paint lifts. I keep this medium off to the side and just dab my brush in it as needed. You may want to try using the Liquid Slow Medium instead. Love your painting of the cinnamon buns!

    Looking forward to reading everyone's comments and seeing new artwork in 2009!

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    Tracy Steele commented on January 14, 2009, at 2:50 am.

    Happy New Year! Great to see your paintings up here, Helen! Our new semester starts next week and I'm looking forward to working with the interactive paints again. I will be using more of the mediums in this class, as we will be experimenting working with multi-media in our paintings. I had really good results with the slow medium and the unlocking spray is great. I'll be ordering more. Thanks!

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    Shanipants commented on January 14, 2009, at 8:28 am.

    Happy New Year! My spring semester is underway as of today and I am already up to my elbows in projects!
    Last semester I would have told you I was an "OIL PAINTER" and I might have turned my nose up a little at the thought of painting portraits with acrylics. After a semester with Chroma Interactive I am having a great time experimenting with acrylics and wowing my classmates with acrylic paintings that don't look like plastic.
    This semester I will continue developing my style and concepts, but I want to explore application techniques and color mixing with Chroma. In my order I picked colors that contain 1 pigment so I can make purer mixes. I downloaded the discontinued color mixing guide and also I have been researching a lot about pigments and color theory.
    I am looking forward to posting here and also creating some demo videos so you can get a better idea of what I am working on.
    Post lots of pictures! I can't wait to see them.

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    NicholasAxiotis commented on January 21, 2009, at 9:46 am.

    Hey everyone! I decided to redo the trial program because I loved the materials last quarter! Foe everyone who's new here, I am a junior Illustration major at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This quarter I am taking book illustration and I just can't wait to try out new stuff with these acrylics in the class.

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    Josh commented on January 24, 2009, at 12:38 pm.

    Hey guys! It's nice to see that there are some other people redoing the trial program as well. I've been painting with both oils and acrylics for quite some time but I think I'm pretty much settled on acrylics. I personaly love that they can dry much faster and they cleanup extemely easy compared to oil. With the Atelier acrylics it's nice because I have the option to slow down the paint when I want something a little more like oil and the color payoff is great, especially for acrylics which can sometimes fall flat and become dull. This semester I think I want to try and work with the mediums a little more. I think at one point I noted that all the extra mediums could be a little intimidating, but this semester I want to master my fear and jump straight into them!

    I look forward to posting and seeing new work!


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    michelle1172 commented on February 3, 2009, at 12:37 pm.

    Hi, my name is Michelle Scott and I am a junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art and I am new to the trial. Most of my work consists of drawings, paintings, and photography. Although i have been learning other new fields like ceramics. With painting I have worked with both oils and Acrylics and am very excited to try out a new kind of Acrylic paint!

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    aschroede commented on February 3, 2009, at 2:11 pm.

    Hello, my name is Alison Schroeder and I'm currently a junior at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. I'm a printmaking and art education major, but am taking a painting course this semester. I've been painting for awhile now, but mostly with watercolor and gouache, so I am glad to have the opportunity to experiment with acrylics. I'm also not very familiar with using mediums, and I'm also glad that I get to try out a lot of different techniques.

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    laurencocco commented on February 4, 2009, at 2:19 am.

    Hi everyone, my name is Lauren Cocco and I am a sophomore at Tyler School of art in Philadelphia. This is my first time participating in this trial, and I'm really excited to try out chroma paints, I've never used them before. I'm a sculpture and metals/jewelry major, but I'm taking a painting course to keep my skills up this semester. I have always used mostly acrylics, and it will be nice to get some new colors in a new brand to spice things up a bit. I also often find myself including acrylics in the sculptures I make, so hopefully my art will benefit in more ways than one from this trial. I'll be sure to post some art later on.

    Look forward to trying chroma out!


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    karenridgeway commented on February 4, 2009, at 2:39 am.

    Hi Jennifer, and everyone - might I say that all of your work here is fantastic! I can't wait to see more!!

    My name is Karen and next week I am starting my degree in Visual Art and Contemporary Craft at the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE, Hervey Bay (Queensland, Australia).

    I am 33 years old so I am bit of a late starter as far as my professional art career is concerned. I have suffered from Major Depression since I was a small child and have been well for three years now. I have two children aged 7 and 5, and my youngest has just started school, so it's time for me pursue my art. I have completed previous study in all aspects of the Biological and Human Sciences at university and, after recovering from my Depression, I had a sudden life-changing epiphany and realized that art was where my heart belonged. I quit studying science and left university and have spent the last two years exploring art and many crafts, getting both of my children ready to start school.

    I have been painting, drawing, and crafting all of my adult life since leaving high school, and I love to draw detailed works using coloured pencils (I have attached a picture below of part of a large work I completed featuring a green sea turtle, done using coloured pencils). We have a fantastic climate here and inspiration abounds in the natural environment of our coastal town, especially with Fraser Island being a 30min boat ride away...we have a wonderful mix of beach, rainforest, sand island, boating, bush, and estuarine river settings all in the one place. Our wildlife and plant varieties are many and varied also. Whale watching and tourism is the backbone of our economy in Hervey Bay, so I guess you can see what my work will feature. I like to play with colour and more illustrative works too.

    It's been a little while since I painted seriously and I am really looking forward to playing some more with the new Atelier Interactive acrylics. I received some for Christmas in 2008 and have had a great time playing with them. The student survey will really help me to explore painting again and I can't wait to get started.

    Great to "meet" you guys!


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    hxiao commented on February 7, 2009, at 2:31 pm.

    Hello! This is my second semester to have Painting. Once I start to paint I will forget the time and in my own world. I know most of you will agree with me. Although I start my art major a very short time. I really enjoy painting. For me this is a fun class. I've learn alot from there.

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    Mary commented on February 10, 2009, at 9:39 am.

    Hello all,
    Like some of you, I'm continuing the trial survey for the Interactive paints. I wish I had more time to paint but since I work full time most of my work right now are paintings that I've had to do in class - not always the subject that appeals to me but alas, it must be done. Our first project required us to use painting utensils other than brushes and the work had to be at least 4' x 4'. I didn't want to use my wonderful Interactive paints in this manner so I used some older acylics that I had. Yuk, they were runny and did not have the rich color that I was getting used to with the Interactive acrylics. I'm not crazy about the painting so I'm attaching sections of it that I think are more interesting or funnier than the painting as a whole.

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    hxiao commented on February 19, 2009, at 3:22 am.

    Hi, this is Huifang Xiao. I am from Camden County College. There are two of my paintings. I just start for the painting II. I know I still need more practice.

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    jenwards commented on February 24, 2009, at 10:26 am.

    Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer and I'm from Tyler School of Art. I recently tried out the Interactive Acrylic paints (just on a piece of paper for a little bit) and I love them already! They are such a difference from the regular acrylic paints I'm used to using, and I can't wait to receive mine and see how my paintings enhance.

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    jenwards commented on March 5, 2009, at 3:51 am.

    Hi again, I just received my paints in the mail, and I'll be starting my first painting with the Interactive Acrylics today! I'll have some work to put up soon.

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    Lara Ann commented on March 6, 2009, at 8:39 am.

    Hello! I'm Lara from Tyler School of Art. I'm a Painting Major with a Teaching Certification - very busy. We had a really fun Atelier painting demo at school and I can't wait to try out the colors of paint I ordered. I love all the artwork here! Mine will be up in due time. :)

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    Shanipants commented on March 13, 2009, at 5:03 am.

    I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this semester. I had pneumonia!
    I am on the mend and painting up a storm!

    My first story is not one of success. I am attempting a "glazing technique". In oils I would use liquin or galkyd medium and a tiny amount of paint (about a 10:1 ratio). You create the painting in black and white (or paynes gray and umber and white) using lights and darks and then glaze over in thin layers. Vermeer used this technique.
    So I am attempting it with Chroma Acrylics- but so far I have not found a successful medium from Chroma. The image attached is painted in Chroma and then glazed using golden glazing medium with chroma acrylics.

    If anyone has tried this method with success please share... I attempted it using a gloss medium and then with clear painting medium but without a lot of success. Perhaps I should try the slow medium next... the golden glazing medium extends drying time. I am not sure how it works, but ultimately the golden glazing medium properties were the most successful.

    By the way, I locked down my layers with fast fixer before glazing. :)

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    Shanipants commented on March 13, 2009, at 5:11 am.

    My next painting is a study of Edward Hopper's Queensborough Bridge from the early 1900s.
    I used Chroma Acrylics and water mostly. I didn't dip into my mediums very much. I feel this painting was as successful as if I had painted it in oils. I achieved a lot of depth (translucency in color layering) and I am happy with the vivid nature of the colors.

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    Shanipants commented on March 13, 2009, at 5:19 am.

    Now I am exploring the technique of Helen Frankenthaler. This artist watered her paints down to near watercolor consistency and applied them to raw canvas. The idea is to avoid creating any physical dimension with the paint. (i.e. paint build up equals 3D and painting should be 2D) I am having a lot of fun with this technique and the Chroma Acrylics are maintaining there adhesion nicely!

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    Shanipants commented on March 13, 2009, at 5:34 am.

    Though I am a Junior at VCU, I still attend a class at John Tyler Community College under the instruction of my mentor Colin Ferguson. Each year we do paintings for "The Memory Project" and recently we were in the local news. Here is a link to the press release from the JTCC website.

    I was quoted! (How embarassing!?) Anyways, this may look familiar from last semester...

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    Jennifer commented on March 14, 2009, at 7:25 am.

    Good stuff Shannon, and glad you are feeling better! Really like the Hopper inspired piece. Regarding a technique like Vermeer's, you may want to try sealing your grisaille with the Binder Medium and letting that dry before proceeding with glazes. For a glazing medium, the Fast Medium, Slow Medium or Clear Painting Medium would work - just your choice on how much open time you want for your glazes. I like to glaze and then rub out, so I tend to use the Slow or the Clear Painting Medium.

    Oh - you weren't just quoted about the Memory Project - you were the lead-off line! :-) What a cool organization to support with your talent. Can other students be involved?

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    Shanipants commented on March 14, 2009, at 8:08 am.

    -The Memory Project... Yes, the project is open to any advanced level painting class, even 3 and 4 year high school students. Information on getting involved is available on the website --- there is a 5 portrait commitment, so it could be a great way for a student to demonstrate leadership by organizing the project for his class.

    Thanks for the advice on glazing. I think my issue may have been attempting to put too much medium on the canvas at one time. I am going to give it another go and report back!

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    jenwards commented on March 16, 2009, at 6:17 am.

    I just finished 2 paintings with the Interactive acrylics, and I definitely had a much easier time painting and blending. I usually get very frustrated while working with acrylic paint, and I never can seem to get the effects I want. For my first painting, I used pretty much just water with the paints, and not too many mediums, I did have to use the unlocking medium once or twice though. For the second painting, I used a lot of modeling paste, and the thick/slow medium as well. I definitely enjoyed creating these paintings much more than previous paintings using regular acrylic paints.

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    Josh commented on March 17, 2009, at 4:18 am.

    Hi guys,

    I can't believe it's alread mid March! So far I only have one painting finished although it is pretty big (about 5ft X 7ft). The main background was done in house paint which I realize is not archival at all but I was trying to experiment just a little, especially since it was such a huge surface. The cut-out figure is done all in the interactive paints. I was trying to use a lot more color (although this can be hard sometimes because I am a little color blind) instead of keeping the painting completely monochromatic like I usually do. For this round of paints that I ordered I got more unique colors that I didn't necessarily "need" to make a painting (such as the primary colors and white) because I already had them. This allowed me to experiment more as well. Also, you probably can't tell in the photo but I used a gloss glaze that made the figure really pop out from the flat background, plus it made the colors look even better. Hope you like!


    p.s. sorry if the picture is washed out or wierd, my studio lighting sucks for pictures and my computer screen always desaturates and overbrightens everything so I'm constantly trying to find the correct settings to make the best possible picture.

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    aschroede commented on March 17, 2009, at 11:33 am.

    Hello, here are 2 paintings that I recently finished.
    (Sorry for the bad pictures)

    I really enjoy using the atelier paints, due to the fact that they dry slower. I'm not a painter, but I really enjoyed working with the paints and completing these two paintings.

    For both paintings, I used a lot of matte medium and some glazing liquid, plus water.

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    Tracy Steele commented on March 17, 2009, at 12:03 pm.

    Hello paint talkers!
    Thank you, Jen, for giving an excellent presentation to our Painting II class at Camden County College last week. What a great presentation. Your explanation of all of the mediums was especially helpful. I have enjoyed working with the Interactives over the past year, but now I think I will be even more successful. Here are the two paintings that I completed during your visit. Thanks again!

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    Jennifer commented on March 17, 2009, at 11:53 pm.

    Great stuff!!!!!

    Shannon - thanks for putting the link to the Memory Project. I'll be sure to mention this organization to professors when I visit classes. Good luck with glazing, and and drink lots of OJ to keep illness at bay. At least, that's what the "experts" say...

    Jen - Your first painting reminds me of the works of Melissa Miller, one of my latest favorite painters. She does a lot with animals in an expressionist style. And your texture on the second is gorgeous!!!

    Josh - Very cool, once again! A couple questions - Is your background in 2 sections - looks like it is. Also, is the shadow coming from Jesus from the actual physical piece or did you paint it to add to the illusion? Your rendering of the perspective in the figure is great. And last but not least, how do you adhere all your pieces together? I'm sure the rest of the Paint Talkers would be interested in your process as much as your results.

    Alison - Never say you are not a painter, because your paintings have a delicate, lyrical quality. I really like the one woman with the beehive. I have a fried that loves bees, and I sent her a link to this image!

    Tracy - I loved visiting your class, and Kay, your teacher, is great. These pieces turned out super! Great texture, and one can see you really are exploring the body of the paint.

    Keep up the great work!

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    Josh commented on March 22, 2009, at 2:59 pm.

    In response to Jennifer's questions:

    Yes the background is in two sections, unfortunately I don't have a truck so I have to deal with size restrictions. Perhaps if I figure out a way to do layering with canvas I won't have to connect large wooden panels together. Not only is there a line in the center, but they are realy heavy as well.

    The shadow coming from Jesus is not painted. I've had a hard time figureing out which way is the best to capture in pictures that my paintings are three dimensional. If I have perfect frontal lighting the piece often looks flat and the cut-out looks like it is part of the background. I often hope that the interest of the painting will be able to compensate for the wierd lighting situations, but I'm always looking for suggestions!

    And lastly, to put the pieces together is pretty easy. The two big panels are bolted together from the side posts. The figure is made of a thin panel that has 2 inch firing strips nailed to the back to help keep it structured and solid and less easy to damage (also alowing the piece to stand out a couple of inches). I then put bolts into the background panel with wing nuts on both sides of the panel to keep the bolt from sagging. Then I simply hang the piece on top of the bolts.

    Hopefully I explained everything clearly enough, thanks for asking,


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    Josh commented on March 22, 2009, at 2:59 pm.

    In response to Jennifer's questions:

    Yes the background is in two sections, unfortunately I don't have a truck so I have to deal with size restrictions. Perhaps if I figure out a way to do layering with canvas I won't have to connect large wooden panels together. Not only is there a line in the center, but they are realy heavy as well.

    The shadow coming from Jesus is not painted. I've had a hard time figureing out which way is the best to capture in pictures that my paintings are three dimensional. If I have perfect frontal lighting the piece often looks flat and the cut-out looks like it is part of the background. I often hope that the interest of the painting will be able to compensate for the wierd lighting situations, but I'm always looking for suggestions!

    And lastly, to put the pieces together is pretty easy. The two big panels are bolted together from the side posts. The figure is made of a thin panel that has 2 inch firing strips nailed to the back to help keep it structured and solid and less easy to damage (also alowing the piece to stand out a couple of inches). I then put bolts into the background panel with wing nuts on both sides of the panel to keep the bolt from sagging. Then I simply hang the piece on top of the bolts.

    Hopefully I explained everything clearly enough, thanks for asking,


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    NicholasAxiotis commented on March 26, 2009, at 2:04 pm.

    Hey everyone!!! I am sorry for posting these kinda late but I had no internet for a while... Anyway, I tried two different techniques with the acrylics this time to make it more interesting than the single technique I used last quarter. So the first one, a portrait of the dancer Josephine Baker, was to see how the acrylics act with resists like rubber cement and the combination of scumbling and flat wash applications. I have to say that the background became to dark way to soon but it helps the contrast of the figure. I wanted to make it a very loose illustration resembling a sketch in a way. The second technique I used was mainly watered down acrylics to create solid shapes which blended different colors and then I went over the acrylic washes with watercolor. I loved that style and the result it really worked well with what I had in mind. I am definately using it again. The illustration depicts Judith and Holofernes from the biblical story.

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    Mary commented on April 8, 2009, at 9:38 am.

    I received my paints and mediums a while ago and have had a great time trying the various products. One product that I’ve been using a lot is the Thick Slow Medium. I just keep a dab of it on my palette and add a little bit with each of the colors I’m using. It’s nice because it doesn’t change the consistency of the paint but it makes it so I can work with it a bit longer without it drying. If I do want to thin my paint down a little I have been using the Slow Medium. This medium is much thinner when you apply it and it thins the paint down somewhat but you still get the rich colors and good coverage. I have also worked with the Unlocking Formula when the paint on my palette has dried and I just need to go back a use a little more of the color. The Unlocking Formula has a way of reliquifying the paint. I’ve tried using on a portion of a painting to reblend some areas but the result wasn’t what I had hoped for. I think I just need to work with it some more to get a good technique down. I ordered some colors this time that I had not worked with before too. Mixing Pthalo Blue and Naples Yellow makes an interesting color – not quite turquoise, it’s difficult to describe colors in writing. The Light Red Ochre is another great color that I like using. I’m attaching a diptych that relates to the Chinese practice of foot binding that has been outlawed for quite a while. Apparently, Chinese women did not have much hope for finding a good husband unless they had small (tiny) feet which were greatly admired by the men. The process was started when the girls were young. Not all of them were able to reach the ultimate goal of feet no longer than 3 inches. Of course this kept these women close to home because walking was a difficult and painful activity. Oh the things women do to please the men…

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    Mary commented on April 8, 2009, at 9:43 am.

    My images didn't get attached when I posted. I'll try again.

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    Shanipants commented on April 14, 2009, at 3:22 pm.

    Here is an update on the painting I was working on using a pouring method like Helen Frankenthaler- I have also taken to not stretching my canvases and i recently discovered that Pierre Bonnard also worked on unstretched canvases so that he could constantly edit.
    I have also tried this pouring method on watercolor paper- more pictures soon!
    The coming weeks include a lot of plein air painting. i will be adding a little slow medium for sure!

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    Shanipants commented on April 14, 2009, at 3:29 pm.

    In regards to the above painting...
    It employees techniques similar to working with watercolors. I used a lot of thin translucent layers of paint. I was surprised how transparent I could get the paint. On the other hand I could also make the paint as opaque as necessary. My new favorite color is permanent brown madder. This reddish brown color is excellent for mixing skin tones, earth tones and when thinned it leaves a lovely pink hue. It is just a great color for mixing. I also like transparent yellow as a pure color and for mixing.

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    Jennifer commented on April 19, 2009, at 2:04 pm.

    Hi gang!

    Nick - Judith & Holofernes have inspired many an artist, and you have a great interpretation. Glad to read that thin layers of Interactive and watercolor worked well for you. It's always neat to combine media for effects! Sometimes I apply charcoal on top of my Interactive watercolorish paintings to make them look smokey and aged.

    Mary - 3 inches??!!! I knew past traditions required binding for small feet, but dear god! A grown woman wouldn't be able to move! These paintings are really powerful - how big are they? The Thick Slow is a great medium but you'll have to let me know if the Unlocking Formula is "reliquifying" your paint too much. You may be spraying on too much (you should use just enough so your fingers glide on the surface), or your underlayers could be thin. Or you may just want to dip your brush into some Unlocking Formula and see how that works.

    Shani - Love the Frankenthaler piece - very different from the portraits! Unstretched canvas can be very freeing. When I worked like that, I always felt that I had the freedom to experiment more. I didn't treat the painting as precious, and that alone pushed me to try new things. Have fun with plein air - bring the Thick Slow Medium, that always helps me. I know it is flowering tree season in Virginia - can't wait to see what you post!

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    jenwards commented on April 25, 2009, at 2:32 am.

    Hi everyone! Here's a painting i recently finished using the Interactive paints, collage, and also some oil paint, on tar paper. It was a really interesting experiment, I never worked with tar paper before, and I enjoyed using the Interactive paints in a mixture with the oils. I never mixed oil with acrylic before.

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    Josh commented on April 26, 2009, at 4:44 am.

    Hey guys,

    So this is my latest painting installation. The fronts (the figures) were all painted with interactive paints but the back was more of an experimentation with a mix of house/many types of acrylics. It hangs from the ceiling with 50lb test fishing wire so none of the figures are connected to each other and each of them are free floating. I had to get up to the balcony, walk across the little rafters without support, and then drill the screws into the ceiling while standing very close to the edge. I've just found out with this experience that I'm afraid of heights so it was a little crazy. It took about 2 hours just to put it up and a grand total of 10 minutes to take it down. I think it works well with the space even though this isn't really how I envisioned it. I have another chance to hang it for an opening on May 9th so I'll try and keep you guys posted. For this painting I used alot of thick slow drying medium. It was relatively easy to paint untill I got to the skin and the faces. I'm a little color blind so I really needed it to dry a little bit slower so I could keep experimenting untill I got them right. I mix paint both on the pallete as well as on the painting and slowing the drying time really helps with this kind of mixing.

    Hope everyone has a great end of the year!

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    Jennifer commented on May 1, 2009, at 2:38 am.

    Jen - I never painted on tar paper before. What's that like, and where did you find it? The texture looks awesome!

    Josh - How cool is this installation! I hope you get to show it again in May - keep us posted!

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    jenwards commented on May 2, 2009, at 8:11 am.

    Oh its such a great thing to paint on, I love it already. If you use oil paints, the paint starts to fade and turn a brownish color, so you get some really nice "accidental" effects within the paintings. The acrylic paint generally sticks, and you can also sometimes just pluck pieces off and paste it back on in different spots.. It makes a really nice texture also if you rip it in places. One of my painting teachers had a big roll of it at school, so I asked if I could have some pieces. Usually i think you can also find it at places like home depot and lowes? Its the stuff thats under the roof of your house.

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    Mary commented on May 6, 2009, at 9:54 am.

    You were asking a few questions and hadn't gotten back to you yet. The Golden Lotuses paintings are 36" x 28" and thanks for the kind words. When I was using the unlocking formula I was just dipping my brush into the fluid and applying it. I think you're right about the cases where I tried it on a painting - the paint was probably applied too thin. Haven't had the need to try it again but I'm sure I will in the future. I have a few more paintings to include. They were both "end of semester panic" paintings so although they aren't finished I'm going to share them anyway. It has been a privilege being able to work with these paints during my last two semesters. Thank you so much Chroma.

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    jenwards commented on May 13, 2009, at 5:52 am.

    hey everyone, sorry to comment so late, but I'm finally back to post my final 3 paintings of the semester! Here they are! The first two are about 4 foot, and the first is a copy of Chaim Soutine's only nude. The second one is 60X42 and done from a sit in model from class.

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    Shanipants commented on May 18, 2009, at 3:37 am.

    I just wanted to thank you and Chroma for giving me this awesome opportunity to explore the working properties of Interactive. For me it gave me not only a chance to truly learn how to use your acrylics, but a chance to truly experiment with my own techniques. I am posting pictures from my final critique. These include all my paintings and studies from the last half of the semester.
    The most amazing thing about Interactive is the ability to wake it up for a short time. This truly gives the acrylic artist an opportunity to exploit the properties of this paint more like oils or simply in a different way than ever before with acrylics.

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    Shanipants commented on May 18, 2009, at 4:20 am.

    Here are the rest of the shots from the end of the year. Some are on paper, but most are on loose unstretched canvas painted on the "wrong side". For the technique I have been using, which is a pouring and staining technique like Helen Frankenthaler or Morris Louis, I have been using unstretched canvas much like Pierre Bonnard. I generally used primed canvas and flip it over to the raw side. The stiffness provided by gesso is enough to mitigate the lack of stretcher supports and also creates the opportunity to make creases are useful for channeling loose liquid paint. I try to mix as little as possible. I selected Chroma's paints with the fewest pigments (typically looking for a paint with just one pigment in it ex- permanent brown madder, or transparent yellow). I also attempted not to mix the paints but rather do a layer of permanent brown madder, then a layer of yellow ochre, then a wash layer of white, building it up to the color I want and then using white as a tint or an "eraser" as necessary. I can also edit at will because the canvas is unstretched. If I don't like an aspect of my composition I simply cut it off.

    My focus this semester has been on bridges and landscapes, particularly urban and suburban landscapes. My work conceptually is about slowing down and finding beauty in the everyday. We have altered the landscape around us so dramatically from nature, that the urban industrial imagery becomes our nature. It can be beautiful or imposing, but it ultimately shapes our everyday perceptions of our environment and well being. Then environment we inhabit effects us psychologically. I am still working on how to communicate this best in my work.

    Also, I want to know as much as possible about my medium. I want to know how all the different surfaces react, how to use mediums, how to best exploit the properties of the paint I am using and to explore alternative ways to use my materials. The great thing about Chroma is how much information is available from the website, from the resident artist, from Jim Cobb himself and also how much the people who use Chroma contribute to the knowledge base on the website.

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    Shanipants commented on May 18, 2009, at 2:45 pm.

    One final thought for this semester... I was having some trouble with glazing at first. It turns out I just needed to lessen the amount of paint and increase the amount of clear painting medium I was using. Also the slow medium was great for putting down glaze and using the rubbing out technique as you suggested Jennifer. I don't have a picture of the revised painting, but I continued to work on it and got the glazes just how I wanted them.
    Interactive is really versatile. When you look at how differently we all approach painting, it is amazing that Interactive has such a dynamic formula. It is so exciting to see such a variety of work on this blog. **Kudos Josh**
    Have a great summer everyone.

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    Shanipants commented on May 29, 2009, at 7:29 am.

    Has anyone tried using Binder Medium for collages? I made these teeny tiny ones for buttons. The binder medium dries very thin and clear. FANTASTIC!

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    Shanipants commented on August 24, 2009, at 12:36 am.

    Hello everyone,
    I am in my final semesters of VCU and I am looking forward to making many painting this semester and sharing my success with Chroma Interactive Acrylics with you al