My parcels arrived from Germany and I am super pleased with the service and products. Over the last few days we did some product tests and experiments and I have almost finished the mixed media works from a few weeks ago.
I ordered a Lascaux set of modelling pastes and impasto gels as my daughter wanted some mediums to create relief designs on her projects and I wanted to test different modeling pastes having fallen in love with the Liquitex one I bought.
We taped up some mixed media boards and used one for gels and one for pastes. Acrylic paints in neon, pearlescent and opaque were used along with acrylic inks, some were used under the mediums, some over and some mixed in to see how they behaved.
These are the gel mediums: Golden Soft Gel Matte, Galeria Black Lava Texture Gel, Liquitex String Gel, Impasto Gel Mat and Impasto Gel Gloss, Galeria Glass beads and Golden Glass beads also the Iridescent Medium.
String gel gives a glossy string like texture when slowly poured or using a palette knife or brush to drip and form string like lines, it enhances colour depth and increases transparency. The string gel was mixed with a neon acrylic paint which produced a pleasing effect with good transparency and gloss. You do need to practice with it to have control of the substance. What I really liked were drops of the gel applied over a pearlescent blue acrylic paint as they appeared like drops of water with the metallic sheen coming through. They also give an interesting textural feel when over painted with acrylic paints and could produce interesting work if used with other textural mediums as part of a larger work.
The two glass beads were then tested in the same way: over a neon acrylic paint, a pearlescent acrylic paint, an opaque acrylic paint and a copper ink, then paint applied over them and mixed in. I liked them applied over the paints better than the opposite as the beads reflected the light well. I applied iridescent medium over them and it did help bring the ones mixed in the paint to life, but otherwise it doesn’t look much. The acrylic inks do look well painted either over or under as they are much more liquid and translucent.
Next up was the black lava gel which is a granular paste mixed with fine particles of black flint. It dries clear when used alone and some of the particles appear like glitter. It is pretty thick and quite difficult to wash out of a brush. I mixed some with neon purple acrylic paint and it produced a very pleasing finish as it is also a texture gel so it dried as it was applied. I used a palette knife. I painted over a pearlescent acrylic paint and over a neon acrylic ink, they all worked well. This is a fun medium with unusual attributes.
I mixed the iridescent medium with neon paint and applied using a palette knife and over neon paint by brush. The former gave a pleasing texture with good overall sheen, the latter can be seen best when the board was tilted to catch the light, or as it says on the pot “gives a unique effect of light interference”. The soft matte gel I mixed with opaque acrylic paint, this was applied with a palette knife and dried with a waxy surface. It is used for extending colours, altering sheen, increasing translucency and adhering collages. It should be sealed with a gloss medium. It has a medium thickness. I feel it may be useful when mixed and used as an impasto gel but needs more experimenting.
The impasto gels dried clear, the gloss one transparent and the mat one slightly opaque. They dried hard and look rather like dried glue. They certainly would improve with the addition of a paint colour. They held their shape fairly well and I will try using them with a small squeezy bottle using a fine nozzle and see if they can produce fine relief lines or if the medium flattens as it dries.
We also ordered the Pebeo Mixton Relief for gilding foils and a gold relief to test. A steady hand is your best friend with this type of work, so practice is essential.
In the next post I will write about the paste mediums, gesso’s and the exciting marble powder I bought. My mixed media pieces should be finished soon, I will save them for another post too. I really recommend experimenting with mediums, not just for the fun, also for the knowledge it gives you and the broadening of horizons and possibilities in your work. See you next time.