How to Create Glazes Using Acrylic Paints.

by | Jul 5, 2007 | Blog | 3 comments

A glaze is a transparent and subtle color application. Glazing in acrylic is best accomplished by using a slow drying medium. You can make your own slow drying medium by adding an acrylic additive called retarder to any regular acrylic gloss medium. Add up to 15% retarder to the medium. You can also use Golden’s Acrylic Glazing Medium, which already contains a good proportion of retarder and medium. I often add a small amount of water to this retarder & medium mixture to help eliminate brush strokes and to ease the application. To this slow drying medium, add a very small amount of colored paint to make a colored glaze. I like to use about 1 part paint to 10 parts medium. Mix well with a knife. This mixture of medium, retarder, water and colored paint is now a glaze. Apply the glaze using a very soft brush, over an area you want to shift in color. Keep the glaze application very thin by wiping off excess glaze from your brush onto paper towels. Work quickly, and do not go back over an area once it starts to get tacky. This layer now needs to dry to work any further, or to add a new layer. When working on several layers, put a fan right next to the artwork to quick dry the freshly applied layer of glaze. To see examples of paintings using acrylic glazes go to my painting page and/or acrylic techniques page. For more information on glazes and other acrylic painting techniques see Nancy Reyner’s newly released book, Acrylic Revolution, North Light Books.

Calendar of Events
Acrylic workshops, lectures and book signings for Nancy Reyner have just been scheduled in Scottsdale, Arizona and Silver City, New Mexico. For details visit my painting workshops page.

Featured course

complete guide to acrylic painting

Bring your visions to life on canvas! From your first brushstroke to your ultimate masterpiece – this course has it all.

Featured Course

Complete Guide to Acrylic Painting

Bring your visions to life on canvas! From your first brushstroke to your ultimate masterpiece – this course has it all.

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  1. Laina

    Interesting to know.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for the inspiration — and I enjoyed the video and got a lot of info out of it. Just seeing your shelves of paints and how you handle them was informative. AS

  3. rgr

    Thanks for this helpful info. I’m doing a painting using the grisaille method for the first time & just started adding the glazes to my subject.
    I’m looking forward to future posts & have your book high on my wish list.


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About Nancy

Nancy Reyner is a professional fine-art painter with over 30 years experience using a variety of mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media. She has appeared on television for HGTV’s “That’s Clever,” and authored several best-selling painting books with F&W Media. She currently lives in Santa Fe, NM. Read more.
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