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Use to prepare your surface, bulk up your paint, special effects or finish off with a final varnish to protect your finished art work. These mediums add even more versatility to the Derivan Student and Derivan Acrylic ranges, unlocking the door to many different and varied techniques. 
Derivan Painting Mediums are complementary products designed to make acrylic paint even more versatile and dynamic. Modify thickness, sheen, drying time, texture and fluidity of your paint film without compromising its properties. They can be used alongside the Derivan Student and Derivan Acrylic range 
Pouring Medium | Textile Medium | Gel Mediums | Impasto Mediums | Screen Printing Medium | Clear Sealer | Block Ink Medium | Cracking Medium | Viscosity Thickener | Spreader Medium | Mixed Media Special Effects 










Block Ink Medium

Clear sealer 

Drying Retarder 

Cracking Medium

Brush Restorer

Spreader medium

isopropyl alcohol

brush & hand cleaner

Viscosity thickener

screen cleaner

Liquid Stencil 

Block OUt

watercolour ground

What is an acrylic medium?
What do you use an acrylic medium for?

Acrylic paints are often seen as somewhat inferior to oil paints, partially due to their relatively recent invention and the fact that they are seen as less versatile. And this is where mediums come into the picture. Derivan has a medium specifically designed for practically every artistic need, and today we will be concentrating on our three best sellers below

So what are mediums? Put simply, they are a series of products to be used in conjunction with acrylic paints to create a range of textures and finishes that cannot be achieved through the use of acrylic paint alone.

Gel Medium

Derivan Gel Medium One of the most versatile mediums in the Derivan range, Gel Medium is designed to be mixed with acrylic paint to form impasto transparent layers that dry to a high gloss finish. The word impasto refers to the application of thick paint that leaves visible brush or palette knife marks. If you’ve ever felt that acrylic paints lacked the soft translucent qualities of oil paints then this is the product to change your mind.

We recommended that 5% of acrylic paint be added to this medium. When mixed, the blended paint and gel medium should be a very pale version of the original paint colour. As it dries, the transparent qualities of this medium become apparent, and the richness of the acrylic colour will develop. Although it may be tempting to add more paint, doing so will reduce the transparent qualities, resulting in an opaque, glossy finish. As this medium dries from opaque to transparent, artists may need to wait between layers to see if the desired effect has been achieved, so after you do a layer, go out for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat because waiting for the transparency to kick in can be, well, like watching paint dry.

 Unfortunately, Gel Medium is not suitable for creating very thick, clear, resin-like finishes. If applied directly from the container in a layer thicker than 2mm, it will dry to a semi opaque white, cloudy finish gloss finish.

This medium will take a few hours to dry, depending upon weather conditions and the thickness of the application. Using heat from either a blow dryer or a fan heater in order to speed the drying process of thick layers is not recommended. This could cause surface layers to dry prematurely, permanently trapping moisture underneath. Subsequently, the painting could crack and the canvas shrink or distort.

 This multipurpose little gel devil can also be used as a collage adhesive. Although many people use diluted PVA glue for this purpose, Derivan Gel Medium is a superior choice for the following reasons:

1.    It dries to a flexible transparent finish. PVA is much less flexible and may crack if used on surfaces such as stretched canvas.

2.   Derivan Gel Medium dries completely clear and is non-yellowing, ensuring your work remains stain-free over time.

3.    It will not reactivate once dry if additional layers of collage work are added.

When using Derivan Gel Medium it is important to apply the product quickly and evenly to ensure that it will not begin to dry before the collage piece is applied to the surface, as this can compromise the adhesive properties. The use of sponge brushes, which are basically just firm sponges on a brush handle, can help speed the application process.

Impasto Medium

If you think your acrylic paint isn’t thick enough to create highly textured effects, then Derivan Impasto Medium change your mind. The word impasto refers to the application of thick paint that leaves visible brush or palette knife marks. This medium is designed to be combined with acrylic paint to achieve impasto effects by increasing the thickness and density of the paint.

 Although pigment-free and white in colour, it does not alter the colour of the paint when mixed with the paint in a 50/50 ratio. It dries to a low sheen subdued finish very similar to that of Derivan acrylic paints.

Derivan Impasto Medium can be added to either Derivan Student Acrylic paints or Derivan Acrylic. Derivan Impasto Medium can also be applied unmixed from the tub directly to a primed canvas with either a palette knife or brush. Once dry, it can then be painted over with the Derivan acrylic paint of your choice.

 Derivan Impasto Medium allows blends of this medium and Derivan colours to be applied much more thickly in a single application than paint, without the fear of shrinking or cracking. However, extremely of thick layers and extremes of temperatures/humidity whilst working are best avoided unless you would like to see sections of your painting crack end up on the floor. If this does happen, just lie and tell everyone it was deliberate.

Polymer Gloss Varnish

Acrylic paint users often find that the colour intensity of their painted layers becomes more subdued once dried. The use of Derivan Polymer Gloss Varnish and Gloss Medium will help maintain colour intensity with a shiny finish comparable to that of oil paintings. Derivan Polymer Gloss Varnish and Gloss Medium is a permanent water-based varnish used to create a glossy, highly reflective finish. It can be used as a final varnish or as a medium to be blended with acrylic paint to increase both flow and gloss levels.

 Be sure to stir this product thoroughly before application. Avoid shaking the container as this can cause bubbles to form that may affect the finish. Although white in colour, Derivan Polymer Gloss Varnish and Gloss Medium dries completely clear and is non-yellowing. The white colour is an optical effect produced by light refraction of acrylic particles suspended within the water-based medium.

 When using Derivan Polymer Gloss Varnish and Gloss Medium as a final coat, add approximately 30-50% water to increase the flow and apply with a soft-bristled brush to minimise the texture of created by brush strokes. On application, this varnish may appear to be slightly white but will become transparent as it dries. It is important to apply the product rapidly and not keep working on the surface as it begins to dry. Doing so can result in white patches as the brush scratches the drying varnish. Two light coats are recommended to achieve a consistent gloss finish.

 After application, drying time will be approximately 1-2 hours, depending upon weather conditions. As tempting as it may be, do not attempt to speed the drying process with a heat source such as a blow dryer or fan heater, as this may cause cracking over time. Also exercise caution when applying any polymer varnish in very thick layers on a hot day, as moisture can become trapped in the drying surface, causing a cloudy finish that is also mission impossible to correct.

 When using as a medium, a good starting point is a 50/50 ratio with acrylic paint. I would advise you to experiment with ratios, bearing in mind that the flow level of the paint will increase in proportion with the amount of Derivan Polymer Gloss Varnish and Gloss Medium added. It is also useful to record the desired ratios for future reference. Personal experience has shown me how frustrating it is to just randomly try to recreate the formula that worked best.