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on July 28, 2013
I only recently discovered Julie Prichard and serendipitously it was at the same time as she was releasing this book with Chris Cozen. (Who I had yet to discover.) At the time the book on Amazon was £16.99 and I will admit I thought that was expensive. I searched everywhere to try and get it cheaper. (I'd like to inject here that I'm not a Scrooge just really skint.) About the same time I won £10.00 online with one of those free birthday lotteries - it seemed the Fates wanted me to buy this book. So I did.

First impressions - the book is a nice size. Hardbacked and roughly 11x9" and 127 pages (incl index etc.) The pages are spiral bound and I have found this format excellent for working through the book. It either lays flat or, if I'm short of space I can stand it on end without fear of losing my place or it falling over.

The authors both very openly admit that they purely use only GOLDEN products. They also say that's just their preference and to experiment and see what works best for you. I have seen some reviews slamming them for this and I'm not sure why. I don't own a single GOLDEN product - never tried that brand, just haven't found any where I shop. I worked through this book with what I had on hand - this was Liquitex and the Winsor & Newton Galleria mediums, Kaiser Colour, Eco and Liquitex Basics paints plus my big old tub of white gesso. (I think that might be W&N too.) The techniques worked very well for me - so if you are put off the book because of the GOLDEN references and can't be bothered to see what is actually available to you - the book wont be for you. And it will be your loss.

The main body of the book comes in 5 chapters:
1 - The Basics: design, colour, materials and more
2 - Laying a Good Foundation
3 - Adding Structure
4 - Developing Complexity
5 - Finessing the Details

Every page of the book is scattered with beautiful examples from both Julie and Chris and there are various step by step exercises with clear pictures throughout the chapters for you to complete. Again - I didn't have all the colours they used and sometimes not all the different textured mediums. I just used what I have.

Hands up - I am still only two thirds through this book but I got to page 24 and realised this was not a book you just read. This is a book you work through. To me it feels like a workshop in book form. So I went back to the beginning and started afresh. I still haven't finished the book because I keep stopping to try everything out. I have been 'messing about' with Acrylics for a couple of years but never got past feeling like I was just messing about. No matter how I researched I never did understand what all the mediums did. Or how to blend and get depth. The mediums are explained clearly over and over again. What they do, how they work with other mediums, water, paint etc. Never again will I stand in The Range looking at the shelves and just... not know. I have a shopping list pages long of things I want to try, different mediums and tools. It's not all new - I love my texture and drips but I've learnt new ways of incorporating them, layering them, blending them. Bringing it all together - knowing when to stop.

This book, hand on heart, has already become the most used and abused art book I own. The cover and pages splattered in paint. I no longer think the initial £16.99 was expensive - although, already it can be bought much cheaper than that. I actually think the amount of information packed in here, for me, they have been incredibly generous.

Acrylic Solutions is a book I will refer back to again and again. It's been a game changer.

(Adapted from a review on my blog where I also include pictures of things I've done while working through the book.)
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on March 24, 2013
Since I read this book last week, I have been in a painting frenzy! I use Golden products all the time, and fortunately had in stock most of the things referenced in this book, and actually did some of the exercises, which I NEVER do! This book is really not for a beginner, but is perfect for an acrylic artist who is somewhere in intermediate, semi-advanced stage, where I consider myself to be.

The book emphasizes structure and glazes, all the things you want to know and didn't know who to ask. I love it, and will refer to it often!
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on April 7, 2013
I have a large collection of art books, since painting with acrylic is has been my hobby/passion for a few years now. This one is my favorite. Here's why: i love the featured artwork from two excellent yet very different artists. The techniques up to date and range from basics to more advanced, interesting applications and are organized in an easy to follow way. Most insightful and inspiring.
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on March 28, 2013
I just received this book yesterday and I already love it! It really explains how to use acrylic paints and all the mediums. The examples are creative and help give you ideas on how to use the paint and mediums in fun ways. Love that the book is a hard cover with a spiral binding so that you can keep it open flat while referring to it.
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on May 13, 2013
I am a Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard devotée, having taken most of their online workshops over at The Land of Lost Luggage. They are wonderful mixed media art teachers, tireless in their pursuit of sharing valuable information and demonstrating techniques through video with voice over. Their book, "acrylic solutions", is the perfect complement to their classes.

I spent a delightful day pouring over this book, soaking up the colourful images, practical information and painting techniques. "acrylic solutions" is ideal for artists just embarking on their painting journey and for mid to advanced artists looking for ways to add more complexity to their work.

I love that the book itself is written in layers, from preparing the surface of your support to varnishing the final piece. We follow Chris and Julie as they each go through the process of creating a painting. Useful tips are highlighted throughout the pages and there are LOTS of high quality pictures, including demonstrations, finished pieces and detail shots.

You are encouraged to "own this book" starting with developing your own composition, using one or more techniques from each section. This will inspire you to explore further by using several techniques from each section of the book, creating your own unique piece of multi-layered art. I can't wait to take this fabulous book into the studio and start painting!

I heartily recommend "acrylic solutions" to everyone who wants to create mixed media art.
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on April 16, 2014
A great book...Chris Cozen has a myriad of ideas that she and the co-author explain and demonstrate excellently. I have lots of art how to books...this is probably the best acrylic book I have. At first glance it seems repetitive, until you read why it is laid out the way it is. It is a layered learning style; you are shown a finished project, then a chapter is devoted to a layer, and later in the book, the same project is shown and you learn how to create the next layer, and the next..very handy to see it laid out so simply and effectively. I even took a highlighter pen and marked out the key points in each area for super fast reference.
I have a previous book by Ms Cozen, that too was a great visual feast, however this really gets down to the how to and also gives ideas for other ways to proceed. Excellent, fun, easy to read and understand, inspiring one to get out the paints and go for it. I wish many more how-to books were this enjoyable.
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on March 28, 2013
I have been waiting for this to be released. It arrived sooner than expected and is even better than I thought it would be. I have done a couple of Chris and Julie's online workshops and thoroughly enjoyed them, which is why I was looking forward to this book.

It has really far exceeded my expectations. The photography is beautiful and the instructions very clear and easy to follow. Would be great for beginners, and for seasoned artists too. It is bound with a spiral on the side so it's easy to prop up or lay by your work table.

I can't wait to get started on some of the projects! Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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on November 13, 2014
It is great to see a book that explain how to use the GOLDEN Acrylic mediums. They have beautiful pictures of step by step process and list the MATERIALS at the beginning of each demonstration, so you know what you need and how they use them. Their abstract paintings are beautiful and outstanding. It makes me want to do some of those projects and finally develop some new projects of my own using their techniques and GOLDEN materials I have used the Fluid Acrylic and OPEN Acrylic and some of their different soft gel medium, etc. I am a visual person and their pictures are big and clear. Not only can I read their steps on how they applied the colors and different medium, but I can clearly see the detail and study their compositions and techniques.
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on June 9, 2013
I pre-ordered Acrylic Solutions because I already had and utilized Chris Cozen's book, Altered Surfaces and I was captivated by Julie Pritchard's smooth, blended surfaces on her paintings. As a semi-professional Watercolorist and Acrylic painter, I was intrigued how she got her acrylic surfaces so dreamy and smooth. The key is a glazing medium mentioned in this book. There are also other key points to using acrylics which I have not learned until reading this book. I would have liked more eye candy, but I'll just have to make some myself!
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on November 11, 2013
I have always avoided acrylics in favor of watercolors, which I thought had so much more depth and subtlety, so this book was mind-altering. By using layers of textures and glazes, they achieve a wonderful, mystical look that is also very do-able... no drawing skills needed, and only a very limited number of products. I am currently reaching the last chapter, and I don't want it to end. My next step will be to search my house for a magnifying glass so I can really examine the illustrations up close. I wish every one of them came with a step-by-step "how to".

BTW, I love seeing specific names of specific products because there are so many subtle differences between gels and mediums and grounds, choosing the wrong one can be quite disastrous. As a previous reviewer said, the same concepts apply no matter what products you use. Also, you might want to know, I bought this book together with Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks and Techniques for Working with the World's Most Versatile Medium and it was a good combination: that book for 100 very specific techniques, and this book for a massive dose of inspiration. If I had to choose one, I would choose this one.
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