Atelier Mediums - Uses

Atelier Mediums - Uses

Atelier Mediums make this already adaptable paint even more dynamic. With mediums, you can change acrylic paint properties like thickness, shine, drying time and texture.

To see the range of mediums we stock see here: Atelier Mediums

Binder Medium

Designed to speed the Interactive Acrylic painting process by quickly fixing a paint layer. Use to dilute paint for glazing and thin painting techniques, or when you want to speed up layering.

Clear Painting Medium/Middle Painting Medium

Used to lubricate the painting process but has a mid-viscosity for spreading paint, and wet blending, but it also useful for edge blending wet over dry, and for scumbling and glazing.

Fast Medium

Designed to speed the Interactive Acrylic painting process by quickly fixing a paint layer. Use to dilute paint for glazing and thin painting techniques, or when you want to speed up layering.

Glazing Medium

Heavy Gel (Gloss) and Heavy Gel (Matte)

A thick, water-based, acrylic gel designed to exaggerate structure and sharpen textural edges of the paint in acrylic painting.  Heavy Gel Gloss also increases the gloss level of the paint and can also be used as an adhesive to bond other materials to the painting. Heavy Gel Matte behaves like Heavy Gel Gloss, but dries to a satin-matte finish.

Heavy Gel (Satin)

This is a very heavy bodied thick gel which can be placed on the palette and mixed with the paint by picking up with a brush or palette knife and it works in just as easily as mixing a paint colour. The surface finish matches the satin finish of the paint.

Moulding Paste

A very thick, textural paste used for exaggerated structure. Moulding Paste has the same flexibility as Atelier paints and is used to create strong textural interest at any stage in a painting’s process. Dries white. Can be mixed with paint to produce a coloured ground or painted over once dry.

Pouring Medium

Designed for extreme fluid effects and pouring techniques. Self leveling and dries to a gloss finish. The best paint to use with this medium is Atelier Free Flow.


A paint additive designed to slow down the drying time of acrylic paint. It may be added to other Atelier mediums to increase open time. Note: Retarder does not contain a binding agent so to avoid creating an unstable mixture, it is recommended to mix no more than 10% with acrylic paints.

Slow Medium

Extends wet-in-wet blending time and is designed to be used in conjunction with a water sprayer. It will tack up quite quickly but is very easily made workable again with the water sprayer. It is preferable to use a water sprayer to extend blending time, rather than adding more medium because if too much medium is added the paint will become tacky. This medium is useful for fine detail.

Thick Painting Medium/ Thick Slow Medium

Painting mediums for acrylics need to have a strong lubricating effect to help with blending. This medium has a very juicy paint-like viscosity, it will sit on the palette with the paint and should be used very generously to create a thick blanket like layer of wet paint without losing the painterly viscosity of the paint itself. Use at least one part to one part of paint, because the purpose of the medium is to create a wet layer. Once a wet layer is established you will not need to spritz with Unlocking Formula much or perhaps not at all, depending on the weather.

When you have finished a layer, it can be dried easily by applying warmth (ie. sunlight, draft from an air conditioner or hair dryer).

Thin Medium

This medium is a flow aide and its very liquid viscosity is useful for air brushed dilution or for liquefying heavy bodied paints for detailed work or thin glazes.

Universal Medium/Varnish

The Universal Medium is a medium and varnish rolled into one.

As a medium, use as a fast medium for layering small additions to the paint reduce viscosity sharply and layers dry faster.

As a water-based varnish, it is comparable to solvent varnish. It is very easy to apply. It gives the colour saturation and enhancement of a good solvent-based varnish. By adding water to the concentrate, different levels of sheen can be created between low sheen and high gloss. Artists should experiment with colour swatches to decide on the finishes that they prefer, as it is non-removable. (For a removable varnish, see Chroma Invisible Varnish).

Directions: Apply a seal coat of one part varnish to one part water. This allows the varnish to penetrate and seal the paint layer so that a more concentrated varnish can be spread easily when the seal coat is dry. Use full strength for a gloss finish or thin with water for a satin finish.

Unlocking Formula

An essential additive if you want to explore wet-in-wet painting.  Allows artists to re-open Atelier Interactive even after it is touch-dry. Once the paint is re-opened, new paint can be blended back in, existing paint edges can be feathered or whole sections can be removed with a rag to reveal under layers. Spray apply using the Atelier Fine Mist Water Sprayer. 

Use For Tone Control

All acrylic paints darken slightly when they dry. The tonal difference between wet and dry paint is minimal for darker colours but can be quite dramatic for lighter colours containing a large quantity of  titanium white in the mixture.  If you want to adjust light tone values and your painting is touch dry, it will return to its wet values if you spray it with Unlocking Formula and this will allow you to make accurate wet-to-wet adjustments.

To see the range of mediums we stock see here: Atelier Mediums