Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gels & Mediums

For purposes of controlling transparency of paints, adding gels and/or mediums offers a useful tool. Nearly all gels and paste are effective for this purpose, with the exception of those that are opaque (the Pumices and Molding Pastes).

The Gloss Gels are most effective, especially when highly transparent glazes are desired, and the glazes are to be applied thickly (greater than 1/8 inch wet film thickness).

The Matte and Semi-Gloss products will increase the translucency of the paint, but will not yield genuinely transparent glazes. This is the result of the matting agents in such products, detracting from the overall transparency.

The milky acrylic emulsion eventually dries translucent, and this must be kept in mind when determining the amount of color to add to gels and pastes.

I use Golden products exclusively, as I've found them to provide the best results. Matte gel medium makes a great glue for paper and also small embellishments. Use an old credit card as a spreader. If you spread the gel on both sides of the paper, you will prevent wrinkling as it dries. What causes the unsightly buckling and wrinkling is due to paper shrinkage. If you spread it on both surfaces, they shrink the same amount as they dry. (Be sure that the paper is laying flat to begin with. )

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trashcan Collage

I made this collage this morning in 10 minutes, not counting the drying time after I sprayed it with Glitz Spritz. Everything was in my trashcan, except the face and the heart which were on my table. The purpose is not to wind up with your favorite piece of work....rather, to learn that even in just a few minutes, it's possible to produce something halfway decent.
This is an excellent way to get going during those times when you find yourself bogged down. You set your own rules, but here are my suggestions:

Define the parameters:
Allow yourself only your trashcan for a supply of materials OR
Your trashcan plus acrylic paint (and, glue, of course) OR
Your trashcan and anything within easy arm's reach on your art table. No fair digging.

Set a timer to 15 minutes (or 20, but don't make it much longer or you'll take this too seriously)

Start gluing items down on the nearest piece of paper within your reach. Do it fast! No one's looking....not even that judgmental part of yourself. It is soooo much fun! I think we get bogged down because we think we can't create until we "clean up", as well as because we impose so many projects, so many rules, on ourselves.

Please let me know if you're pleased!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Really Not About Color

If you have assumed that good art was about using the "right" color combinations, you were
kind of on the right track. I say "kind of" because color can be very misleading when we believe that all that's necessary is to learn how to use a color wheel correctly.

Color is important, of course, but even more important is value. You could have the perfect color combination but if you did not have a range of values, the composition would not work. Value is probably one of the most important design elements, and possibly the most difficult to grasp.

Things were easier before our world became so colorful. Ansel Adams taught us the Zone System, and along with it, the concept of seeing a full range of values from the blackest black to the whitest white. Once color photography replaced black and white, we forgot about value.

Fortunately, there are two shortcuts. You will be amazed how much improved your art will be if you use either to work in a full range of values! Find and purchase a value-viewer (I got mine from a painting teacher years ago). When you look through the red film, color is seen as a range of black to white tones. Or, print your work as a black and white copy. Is there a full range of