Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Learning as I go: Acrylic Mediums

This weekend I took a little trip to my happy place, Curry's, to pick up some colors for a work-in-progress that I started last week (I'm very excited about this project and may be posting up-dates as to my progress).

While I was there, I picked myself up a little treat:  a variety pack of Golden mediums and pastes for acrylics, for about 25 bucks plus tax.

Happy UnBirthday to Me!

I've been wanting to try some different mediums for a while, but didn't know where to start, so I figured this would be a good investment.  The package contains a half-dozen 2 oz. jars of the following (according to the package):

- Soft Gel (Gloss)
- Regular Gel (Semi-Gloss)
- Extra Heavy Gel (Matte)
- Light Molding Paste
- Coarse Pumice Gel
- Clear Tar Gel

When I was trying them out, I couldn't really see the different between the gloss and the semi-gloss, but I was pleased with how far the color stretched when you added the gel.  The paint spread more fluidly and had better coverage.

Soft gel

The matte gel seemed to add some transparency to the paint I was using.  That could be just because I was effing around with what's left of my academic colors (I've been slowly trying to convert over to professional grade).

Extra heavy gel for matte finish
You can see the finish in the corners where the paint has started drying

The pastes and gels were what I was really excited about trying.  I've tried in the past to achieve that almost-three-dimensional brushstroke look with a palette knife never really accomplished much beyond wasting a lot of paint.

The molding paste added some body to the paint and created a lot of texture.  When I tried the tar gel, it was almost like working with icing.  I liked how the colors less likely to blend together when I used the molding paste.

Light molding paste
Dabbing the brush to achieve a 3-d look

Clear Tar Gel

Tar gel leaves a heavier brushstroke

The pumice gel could have some interesting applications, as it adds a grit to the paint, leaving behind a rough surface.

Coarse Pumice Gel
Rough stuff
I'm planning to purchase some smaller, inexpensive canvases to kind of muck around with and do some rough one-offs.  Looking forward to experimenting!

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