A is for Acrylic – Exploration – Self-leveling gel
Well, here we are, the first post of 26. I will admit to having second thoughts all week. I tried to get some of this blogging done ahead of time, but failed miserably, which only led me to wonder how on Earth I would manage it everyday. But here I am, there will be one blog post at least.
So…how could I do A for anything other than Acrylics? I’ve been exploring them like crazy for some time now, and although I’ve only just scratched the surface of their capability, I’ve certainly been having fun.
The topic is a large one, however, so I’ve chosen my latest experiments to play with and what better way to do that than video the technique. Yes, I have my second ever published video right here. Again, no more Cecil B. DeMille than the last one, but I think it gets the technique across, even though the only soundtrack is the birds flying past. One day I’ll get the nerve up to actually say something on one of these.
Exploration – Acrylic Media – Self-leveling gel
This is a technique for creating marbled/semi-blended backgrounds (mostly) on canvas that takes advantage of the slight three-dimensionality of self-leveling gel and its ability to semiblend colour and catch it in mid-motion.
What you might need
- Fluid acrylic paint (I used Golden)
- Self-leveling gel (I used Golden, but you might find a similar substance under a different name in other brands)
- stretched canvas, canvas board or board
- painting knife
- medicine syringe or eye dropper (or some other way to get the gel onto the canvas)
- painting rag
- daggy clothes and furniture protection
What you might do
Lay the canvas (or board) flat, art side up on a clean surface. Using the syringe/eyedropper suck up some self-leveling gel out of its container and pour it onto the canvas. You can also simply tip up the jar and pour it on, but be aware this stuff moves pretty fast and you’d probably only want to do this with a large canvas.
With the painting knife, gently swish the gel across the surface leaving a thick layer (at least a couple of millimetres). Distribute it evenly and make sure you take it up to all the corners and cover the canvas completely. If you need to add more gel, do so, but make sure that there are no dry spots or very shallow areas. Dry spots will catch the paint and create a different effect to that of the gel and leave a spot on your painting that will stand out like a sore thumb.
Once the surface is covered, work quickly before the gel dries and add your colours. Drip the fluid acrylics one by one onto the gel. You can do this randomly or locate certain colours in specific areas. Be aware that the colours will blend so use hues that work well together and avoid mud making.
When you are happy with the amount of paint, take your painting knife and with quick, gentle movements, blend the colours across the canvas. Use as little movement as possbile and try not to swipe an area more than once. The more the colours are moved, the more they will blend and the marbling effect will be lost as they all become one colour. There may be small areas that have no colour, but this does not matter, it can be worked into your composition.
When finished, the paint/medium will have to be left to dry for at least 24 hours. It doesn’t hurt to give it more if you want to be sure, particularly if you are in a moist climate. The resulting surface will be gloss, but it can be easily manipulated with other acrylic media.
And now, the video, which basically shows all the above in action. I use white, a blue, a turquoise and a teal in this example. It was a vain attempt to answer the March Color Challenge, but I still haven’t completed the piece, so I failed. But! I have this video to share, in any case.
The result created by the video. I have ideas what to do with this now, different ideas from what I had initially intended.
I hope to do some more of these paintings. I think I’ve only scratched the surface of the possibilities for texture and technique. I hope you’ve found this as interesting as I have found it fun to explore.
(happy to have her first A to Z challenge post up)