Glazed Over

Q.<.b> I enjoy using acrylics, but when I do glazes I frequently scrub off some of the previously applied layers. Is there a medium that makes glazes more durable and less likely to distort when applying new layers?

A. It sounds to me as though you’re diluting the paints with too much water. Acrylic emulsion paints, grounds and mediums are already about 50 percent water in their original containers. Diluting them with more water for application puts the paint at risk of being underbound.

To glaze using acrylic emulsion paints, add an acrylic gloss or matte medium to the paints to make them transparent. There are lots of these mediums on the market; Golden Artist Colors makes one specifically for this purpose called Acrylic Glazing Liquid. You can also use similar products from Liquitex or Winsor & Newton.

Dawn Emerson is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of the West Coast. Her award-winning art has appeared in many publications and in exhibitions at the American Academy of Equine Art and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. She lives in Terrebonne, Oregon. To see more of her work, visit

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