This past weekend I was checking out Donna Downey's site and came across these Oil Paint images for a class she offers(ed). They really intrigued me but I said to myself, "Wendy, no more new shiny objects!" So it got me to thinking! Why couldn't I try and recreate this format in acrylics?
So off on a tangent my mind went. Could I simply add Super Heavy Gel Medium to Modeling Paste to get extra thick luscious peaks and valleys? Should I just add paints? Knowing that Gel Mediums usually dry clear (depending on their thickness), I decided to try it just with Liquitex Super Heavy Gel Medium (matte, as that is what I had handy) and Liquitex Modeling Paste. The reason I decided to use Liquitex was that their Modeling Paste is a total different consistency than Golden's Molding Paste and I wanted the smoothness of the Liquitex. If you do not have these, you could probably use Prima's Finnabair Art Basics line just as easily.
**note, this may not be a new technique at all, but I was not able to find anything on it as I was looking all over the Internet on the weekend **
I took (approx) equals of each and mixed them together using my palette knife and started lathering them on! You are probably wondering why I didn't just add paint at this point - there is kinda a method to my madness. First I wanted to try a sampling without wasting too much product, then I ended up going in a totally different tangent. Just hold (tight) and try to follow my way thinking!
I created an 'image' on the board
The textures were amazing! So now it was time to let it dry!
Here they are the next day, dry! It is definitely flatter in sheen than Oil Paints, so perhaps next time I could use Gloss instead of Matte!
Now it was time to hit it with some color. At first I thought to use my palette knife again, but it was pretty rough, so tried a brush (needless to say, I moved back to a palette knife). During this process, it got me to thinking that a watered down acrylic would be pretty cool with this process too (See, hope you are holding on tight still).
I layered and layered and layered colors from Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Acrylics (as this is where I have the most color variety) first on it's own, then added the Super Heavy Gel (Matte) - using a palette knife the while time.
I used several different palette knives along the way. I blended colors and pushed and moved them into all the nooks and crannies of the piece.
As I was trying to get the texture I wanted, I started trying to push the paint to make it look like a Marigold as that was what it looked like now anyway!
I was very happy with the peaks I was getting. Now I just had to hope that they would maintain their peaks once they dried as Gel Mediums tend to shrink as they dry.
Okay, now onto Day three! It is totally dry! You can see the peaks maintained themselves very well. It is flat in color but that is due to the Matte finish of the the Gel Medium.
I know it looks nothing like the images I started out with as inspiration - at this point - I was simply wanting to see if I could achieve the stability of oils without actually investing in yet another medium! I know I have a long way to go, but the process will work and I am about to start on another one. This time mixing the paints with the gel and continuing to create simply using a palette knife. I have a feeling it will be a slow process as they need to (somewhat) dry between each application. My mind is a flurry with the possibilities with this technique - I'll keep you posted on what I figure out!