A Summer of Mixed-Up Media
Summer seems to be a great time just to play around with all kinds of media and techniques. Even if I don’t have the time to play and explore, I at least think about it all the time! So naturally when I see another artist blogging about something fun that I haven’t tried, I immediately want to go out and experiment with it. Such is the case with these fabulous looking new synthetic gel plates from Gelliarts.
I found out about these in a very roundabout way, wandering the web until I landed on Judi Hurwitt’s blog Approachable Art, always a fun and inspiring place to land. And there was where Judi introduced me to Gelliarts for the first time. Judi’s blog is full of ideas, tips, tricks, and tutorials to get you jump started on something new. I’m a great fan of printmaking without a press, so these are a natural appeal for me.
Alcohol Inks and Texture
Here is another tempting technique in a nice little 8-minute video. I love the idea of alcohol inks, but never have purchased any. I think the Golden fluid acrylics would work just as well, since their colors are so concentrated. They could be thinned with a little water and acrylic gloss medium for more transparency. I have several of those in iridescent colors which would work great. An alternative would be the Jacquard textile colors that I have sitting in a box in another corner of my studio, that I collected for silk painting once upon a time. They are very liquid, color fast, and the colors are deep and rich.
So I think the bottom line for a textural effect that is reflective and luminous like the one demonstrated in the video is that you would want a nice buildup of a clear surface over the texture before beginning to apply the thin color application. A little iridescence here and there and you will have a beautiful effect!
Here’s my version shown above. I used the iridescent and interference Golden Fluid Acrylics colors and in addition to the PVA glue, I applied a generous coat of self-leveling clear gel to the texture before applying the color. I let that dry (with the help of a heat gun) and then applied the colors.
The lesson to be learned is to take an idea, use what you have at hand, and see where it takes you. The reason for the granular surface on the piece above is that I was impatient with the drying process. So I applied the heat gun to it and as a result tiny bubbles appeared just underneath the skin of the surface as it was drying. Not a bad result.