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A Summer of Mixed-Up Media

August 7, 2012

Texture and Iridescent Color Experiment
ACEO Size – 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches

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.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2012 9:30 pm

    Hey Martha!! What a fun surprise to click over to your blog and see this! Gellis are too much fun, aren’t they? :D

    • August 8, 2012 6:24 am

      Judi, I haven’t tried them yet but am sure I will. I adore making prints using every technique possible. Your layered images are so nice. So many fun things to try, so little time!!! Thanks for always having such cool things on your blog!

  2. August 8, 2012 8:56 pm

    Martha Wow! To the collage and thank you for sharing all the helpful information!

  3. Sue Cole permalink
    August 9, 2012 3:16 pm

    for a similar texture, you can also use those tiny beads which don’t have a hole in them, they are meant for texture. If you sprinkle them on while the gel is still wet, that will act as a glue. They come in different colors in small jars, I believe in the scrapbooking section.

  4. Sue Cole permalink
    August 9, 2012 3:37 pm

    guess I should have watched the video first before commenting- LOL! The other thing I do is to pull and tear the cheesecloth so it doesn’t look like cheesecloth. there are also youtube videos about making your own alcohol inks out of sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol if you’re interested. I’ve found 9k0 -99
    % alcohol at Wal-mart in the first aid section.

    • August 9, 2012 4:39 pm

      For my little experiment I just looked around a quickly assembled what I could find. I don’t even have any cheesecloth, believe it or not!! What artist doesn’t have cheesecloth??? I love the sharpie idea. I’ll probably never go out and start a collection of alcohol inks, but would be willing to experiment with the homemade version.

  5. August 10, 2012 6:30 am

    Never underestimate the Happy Accidents? ! I like the bubbling.

    • August 10, 2012 10:32 am

      Shirley, I love accidents (the creative kind anyway!) Thanks for commenting. I’ve checked out your awesome silk paintings and hearted your Etsy shop.

  6. August 10, 2012 9:39 pm

    Gorgeous texture and sheen to your piece. And thanks for the many links to explore.

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