Golden Open Acrylics: Trial by Iris (Online art lesson #23)

Long's Iris Garden, Boulder CO,  L Kennedy acrylic golden open paints, plein air

Long's Iris Garden - 20"x10" - L Kennedy

Painting plein air with acrylics often feels like a battle against their fast drying nature.  In an arid environment they can dry on the brush between palette and  canvas; not the relaxing “one with nature” experience I seek!

After weeks of happily gazing at iris (lesson # 20), I decided to try Golden company’s OPEN acrylics for plein air work by painting the iris fields at  Long’s Garden . OPEN acrylics dry slowly – they stay wet longer on the palette and  you can blend wet into wet (for a brief time) . Working with it is a bit like oil painting but without the mess, smell, and issues with proper layering of fat over lean.

The change of medium woke me up and calmed me down at the same time.  I didn’t feel compelled to rush and remembered the joy of blending.  Yet the piece was dry by the time I carried it home. To celebrate, I bought two new iris plants and set them up in the studio for a double portrait.

Golden Open has a thinner consistency than I like, so I added gel to all the colors – this led to greater transparency which led to multiple glazed layers.

Before deciding to pack these paints with my other ones for a summer on the East Coast,  I needed one more test.

 Iris , Boulder CO,  L Kennedy acrylic golden open paints

Double Portrait of Iris 20"x10" - , L Kennedy

 Iris , Boulder CO,  L Kennedy acrylic golden open paints

Iris - one blossom, three times. Acrylic golden OPEN on canvas paper (top) and watercolor paper (bottom: with Micron pen). Click to enlarge.

A single bloom from the garden posed three times as I worked on both canvas paper and watercolor paper.

The paints have been shipped and I will have them out next week in the Adirondacks at the Publisher’s Plein Air Invitational.

Right now, this slight shift in media has upped my passion, interest, and curiosity when I think of plein air painting.  Always a good thing, don’t you think?  You can’t prefigure what small shifts will do that for you, but you know it when it happens. Sometimes it’s fleeting and sometimes it lasts. Pay attention… you can’t follow your passion if you don’t know where it went.

This entry was posted in Acrylic Painting Classes and Workshops, plein air, watercolor and gouache. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Golden Open Acrylics: Trial by Iris (Online art lesson #23)

  1. Hi Lilly!

    ….sooooo glad to see you using the Opens for plein air. I’ve never tried them with the gel medium…I will keep this in mind and try it sometime! I’m also very excited to hear that you are participating in the Adirondacks Invitational…would LOVE to see the work you produce from that. And, thanks for posting the pic of the work you did at Long’s Iris Garden…what a beautiful piece! Of course, I like the others as well!

  2. Doris and Janet says:

    What a combo! My favorite iris and my friend Lily; the paints sound great; I have missed the color mixing possible with oils. Just exactly when are you arriving???? Can’t wait.

  3. Jean in NH says:

    Lovely art and very interesting about the Open acrylics.

  4. Janette Rozene says:

    Beautiful iris paintings! Enjoy the Adirondacks.

  5. Dana Rice says:

    Enjoyed your post. Just curious, did you mix the OPEN Acrylics with the OPEN Gel Medium or with one of the regular Golden gels?
    Have fun at the Publisher’s Plein Air Invitational!

    • Lillian Kennedy says:

      Dana,
      I used a regular Golden gel as that was what I had available. When I came back from plein air painting, the colors had slid across the palette and I wanted to firm them up / give them more body before going out again. They don’t move now.

  6. Elsy Wilkins says:

    Hi Lillian.
    I am happy you are having a great time.
    It will be interesting to try the open acrylics with the gel.
    Abrazos.

  7. kimberly says:

    I have a oil painting I came across ten years ago….. I kept it….it is signed in the bottom left..by L kennedy. I wonder if it was you…it is a sea cscecne…..if cyou like I can seed a picture……for you to see.

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