Workshop with Andrea Warren
Golden Paints Working Artist
Heavy body, Medium, Interference, Digital ground.
by Lisa Johnson
When browsing the aisles of your favourite art supply store, have you scanned over the labels and wondered what these products did, how they differed and when and how you would apply them? Have you been tempted to try slow drying Open Acrylics but shied away unsure how the investment would pay off? Do you work in other mediums and have not yet tiptoed into the world of acrylics and wouldn’t quite know where to start?
Skilfully guided by Andrea Warren, 25 artists gathered at the Queenswood Heights Community Centre in early February to learn about “everything acrylic and acrylic like everything”. Well, almost everything. Ms. Warren is a professional artist herself as well as being a dynamic facilitator and highly knowledgeable on the GOLDEN Artist Colors product line.
GOLDEN Artist Colors Inc. designed the Working Artist Program to provide artists with first-hand experience of the variety of GOLDEN acrylic products and their uses. It was through this program that Arteast was able to invite Andrea and offer this informative, hands-on workshop.
For six solids hours, she provided participants with access and instruction on the use of fluid acrylics, heavy body acrylics, open acrylics, pastes, gels and grounds in a variety of textures and colours. Participating artists left the session more aware of which colours tend to dry with a duller finish and those with more shine. They also heard about how to manipulate these properties to suit the artist’s purpose. Fluid acrylics were shown to behave much like watercolours, and that Absorbent Ground applied to a rigid surface mimics the properties of watercolour paper without the buckling and willingly accepts both the Fluid Acrylics and traditional watercolour paint.
It was a unique opportunity to be provided with such an intense test-before-you-buy experience. The room was abuzz, filled with energy and creativity. And with the agility of a grade school teacher dealing with youthful exuberance, Andrea would refocus participants’ attention to the next tantalizing technique.
Out would come more test panels. These ones covered in Acrylic Ground for Pastels and Drawing Ground which were found to make welcoming surfaces for soft pastels and coloured pencils.
With over 30 prepared samples available for participants to see and touch, participants were truly exposed to a comprehensive tour of the GOLDEN product line.
A quick discussion on the advantages and choices of varnishes, even over acrylic paints, rounded out the day.
Participants left with over a dozen of their own sample boards, some of them just about ready to frame. Most all supplies for this workshop were provided and participants were even treated to a little goody bag at the end.
It’s no wonder that this workshop was a sell-out and that there is already a waiting list for the next session.
Andrea Warren regularly teaches out of The Daily Grind Café on Somerset Street in Ottawa. For more information on GOLDEN Artist Colors and The Working Artist program, please visit http://www.goldenpaints.com
Many thanks from all the participants to Mary Ann Varley for coordinating this event on Arteast’s behalf.
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