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Acrylic Painting Mediums and Methods: A Contemporary Guide to Materials, Techniques, and Applications Chapter ACRYLIC MEDIUM BASICSFrom the ubiquitous gloss gel, to polymer mediums that react to UV light, to custom mediums, acrylic mediums offer a world of visual and tactile possibilities to be explored This book is your primer, your texture lexicon, your Rosetta Stone for decrypting the complexity of acrylic mediums from the ground to the final top coatAre acrylic mediums necessary People who are new to acrylic painting, and even those who have been painting with acrylics for years, have asked me this question countless times Im never really sure how to answer, other than to say that for me and my painting process, they are absolutely essential It is, however, a fact that mediums will enhance and facilitate many aspects of acrylic use For many artists, the primary barrier to incorporating mediums into their art practice is not aversion to mediums but rather ignorance of how they work Acrylic mediums are a study in contrasts, ranging from matte to gloss, thin to thick, transparent to opaque How they behave with each other and in conjunction with acrylic colors is dictated by their intrinsic properties Understanding these basic properties will help you use them to their best potential Why use mediums Because they augment and amplify both your paint and your process ILLUSTRATION Transparent acrylic colors mixed with mediums From left to right, the colors are dioxazine violet, phthalo blue green shade, green gold, Indian yellow, quinacridone magenta, and transparent pyrrole red From top to bottom, the colors are undiluted top and mixed with the following mediums dilution % color % medium water, liquid medium, gel medium, nepheline gel, modeling paste The black squiggles show relative transparency opacityAlthough the composition of acrylic mediums is not all that complex they are simpler to produce than colors , the process of figuring out how to make them behave in a given way can certainly be fraught Thats because its about chemistry Manipulating raw materials to manufacture paint mediums that are so nuanced and varied is a delicate and exacting science I find the science fascinating, but I understand that most people dont really want or need to know about it Still, its valuable to understand, even on a laymans level, how some of this is accomplished ILLUSTRATION Creating samples of textures and paint treatments can be a great source of inspiration when starting a new project Know your stuff Be the engineer of your artwork, the architect of your creative output I cant stress enough that knowledge is power, in art making as in all things Its astounding to me that people use materials without having any knowledge about what they are or how they are made Then they react with confusion and frustration when they get less than favorable results Most problems they encounter can be explained or solved through logiclogic based on even the most cursory understanding of how those materials are made KEY DESCRIPTIVE TERMSTo grasp the nuances of mediums, you must become familiar with their fundamental character, which can be expressed in five key terms viscosity, rheology, luster, relative coverage, and texture Each term describes a particular aspect of the material, and having a good grasp of these terms meanings will help you make decisions about which mediums to choose and how and when to use them Viscosity ILLUSTRATION Mixing high viscosity gel medium with color ILLUSTRATION Turquoise peakViscosity is the measure of a materials resistance to flow under an applied force We refer to thick, paste like heavy body acrylics as high viscosity paints A high viscosity paint or medium is generally thick, but to say simply that it is thick is an oversimplification A paint can be thick, but then so can a wall or a pile of whipped cream More precisely, the term viscosity encompasses a materials movement as well as its density The wall may be thick, but it is not viscous, as it is incapable of movement The whipped cream, on the other hand, is thick but has the ability to flow and thus has a high viscosityDescribing the viscosity of a material gives us an accurate picture of its malleability and how it will behave in a given technique or application Viscosity is measured in units of poise P The term poise is named after nineteenth century French physicist Jean Lonard Marie Poiseuille Although the common English word poise has nothing to do with the scientific terms origin, it can be helpful to think of a high viscosity medium as having poisebeing upright and having a sense of weight The higher the poise number, the greater the mediums resistance to flow will be Polymer or liquid mediums are thinner and have a lower poise number than gel mediums Low viscosity mediums are suitable for fine detail work, glazing, and creating thin, smooth layers Higher viscosity mediums are useful for extending color, glazing, and heavier impasto or textured applications ILLUSTRATION Here are globs of four different mediums on a flat surface from left to right final finish, glazing medium, polymer medium, and self leveling gel ILLUSTRATION When the surface is tilted at adegree angle, it becomes evident which of these fluid mediums have lower and which have higher viscositiesRheology ILLUSTRATION Mixing color into a high viscosity, short rheology gelRheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under applied stress When it comes to mediums, rheology describes how a medium will behave when you push it around How a medium behaves tells us which tools to use, how it will mix with colors or other mediums, and, ultimately, how it will look when it dries ILLUSTRATION Blue gel paint peaks high viscosity, short rheologyA mediums rheology is described as short or long Some highly viscous mediums have a short rheology and will hold sharp, full bodied textures Others with a similar viscosity have a long rheology heavy and honey like, they tend to ooze into thick pools leaving no visible raised texture So while both are highly viscous, their differences in rheology dictate their physical appearance When you dab a palette knife into a medium with a short rheology, you pull it up and get a short, stiff peak that should retain its shape as it dries The same action performed on a medium with a long rheology will give you a long string of material that will ooze back down onto the surface and eventually level out, leaving no discernable surface texture ILLUSTRATION Using the flat face of a plastic palette knife as the reservoir, drizzle loose strings of tinted self leveling gel If it helps, you can think of mediums rheologies in less technical terms mediums with a short rheology are pert and perky, showing off with brash and dramatic textures Longer rheology mediums flow and ooze, retreating into themselves they are selfish, secretive, mysterious, and seductive ILLUSTRATION Gel mediums exhibit a short rheology ILLUSTRATION Self leveling gel exhibits a long rheologyLuster ILLUSTRATION Masked areas of matte and gloss gel painted over a semigloss surface clearly show the subtle changes between lustersThe surface of a painting has a significant effect on our response to it A glossy veneer isthan just reflectiveit also deepens color tones and imbues them with depth and light Asatiny finish what we call semigloss in the art materials world has less flash than a glossy surface, offering a silky, luxurious sheen A flat matte surface, which absorbs light, gives the colors and textures of a painting a softer, subtler,nuanced appearance ILLUSTRATION From left to right matte, semigloss, and gloss gels, lightly tinted with phthalo green yellow shade, show varying levels of transparencyManipulating the gloss factor of a surface is one of the primary functions of many acrylic mediums Most families of mediums are offered in gloss, semigloss and matte formats By using one or another of these formatsdirectly mixing the medium with the color or painting the medium over the color as a clear coat or layeryou can change the surface luster ILLUSTRATION From left to right gloss, semigloss, and matte polymer medium painted on black paper The effects are transparent, translucent, and semi opaqueSheen, or reflectivity, affects our perception of depth and distance on the painted surface A glossy surface will show every detail, divot, and irregularity in a surface, including the direction of a brushstroke or the depth of a palette knifes gouge Besides dulling the surface, a matte medium also gives the surface some tootha slight graininess that helps scatter the light and also allows dry materials such as graphite, charcoal, or other drawing to grip the surface Thematte a surface is, theit appears to recede, whereas a glossy surface gives the illusion of moving forward Using varying lusters can add subtle contrast to a painting Acrylics are naturally glossy its what we add to them that modifies the surface from super shiny, to soft satin, to velvety matte Matting agent, present in semigloss and matte mediums as well as in modeling pastes and other specialty mediums, is one important component affecting the gloss factor of the paint Using a medium, you can modify the luster of any color, but its helpful to know that color pigments themselves can affect a painted surfaces luster This is dictated by the size of the pigment particleshow fine or coarse they are The coarser the pigment particles, thematte the color will appear Professional grades acrylics, because they contain little or no filler, revealof the characteristic luster of the pigment The cheaper the paint, theuniform the colors will appear, since matting agent and other fillers have been added to the colors LIQUID MEDIUMSLiquid mediums come in many forms and serve a huge variety of purposes Whitish and opaque when wet, they all dry clear Beyond basic liquid medium, this category of mediums includes glazing mediums, low viscosity polymers, UV reactive polymers, polymers with added UV protection, polymers designed to work in conjunction with digital imaging, and polymers that make paintsflexible, make paint films harder, increase adhesion during laundering, and so on The list goes on and on, with many acrylic brands addingliquid mediums as the demand for new materials growsSome brands call these polymer mediums or fluid mediums Others call them gloss or matte mediums, which gives you no clue as to a mediums format, only its finish All these different names can be confusing, so I refer to this group simply as liquid mediums Ranging in viscosity from very thin and watery to a thicker consistency similar to that of shampoo, liquid mediums all flow with easeLiquid mediums are available in gloss, semigloss, and matte formats, providing luster control as well as color extension and manipulation Whether they are added directly to a color or layered on top, these mediums give the painter control over varying degrees of gloss and transparency They can also be tinted with color in any proportion to create glazes Themedium thats added, thetransparent and desaturated the color will be, although the addition of the medium will bring light into the surface and create a feeling of depth From extending drying time to providing a vehicle for glazing, liquid mediums are probably the most useful mediums to have on hand Liquid mediums are also ideal vehicles for additives and enhancers that further modify the paint film, giving youapplication possibilities They act as adhesives, clear coats, extenders, and all around acrylic band aids ILLUSTRATION Hester Simpson, Pink Orange Blue Brown acrylic on canvas mounted on wood panel, inches cm Photo by Cathy CarverAbout her work, Hester Simpson says, The use of acrylic mediums in my paintings over the last eighteen years remains simple I use fluid acrylic colors mixed with liquid matte mediums and or gloss medium, thinned with water to a creamy consistency For larger paintings I add retarder for longer working time I then run the mixture through cheesecloth into a clean container Sometimes this mixture is ready to use immediately, but often it must sit for a day or so before air bubbles have settled Bubbles are one of my greatest enemies, as I want my surface to be perfectly smoothWorking with Liquid Mediums THE STEP BY STEP PROCESSThis sequence illustrates stages of Hester Simpsons process when creating her painting Pink Orange Blue Brown, which incorporates multiple overlapping bands of colorStep After laying down the multicolored, gridded background, Simpson poured the brown band, consisting of raw umber fluid acrylic mixed with water, retarder, and polymer gloss mediumStep She then guided the flow of the brown bandStep Next, she poured the blue banda mixture of manganese blue hue fluid acrylic, water, retarder, and polymer gloss mediumStep As before, she carefully guided the flow of the paint on the canvas ILLUSTRATION This studio shot shows the state of the painting after the fluorescent orange band had been pouredChoosing Your First Mediums ILLUSTRATION A sample kit of assorted mediums will get you started on your experimental path Theseounceml jars give you just a taste of their potential ILLUSTRATION Phthalo turquoise liquid acrylic loosely mixed with matte polymer ILLUSTRATION Phthalo turquoise and green gold liquid acrylic lightly mixed into gloss gel ILLUSTRATION A tiny drop of dioxazine violet is enough to tint this quantity of nepheline gel coarse ILLUSTRATION Even though its palette is minimal, this composition gets some pizzazz from a combination of disparate mediums ILLUSTRATION It doesnt take much to suggest dimension and texture Here, granular mediums, gel medium, and strings of self leveling gel are swept with a bit of white A light wash of Paynes grey bumps up the texture of the granular mediumFor your first foray into the world of acrylic mediums, I suggest starting modestly, just to get the feel of things It is not always an easy transition to go from straight color to working with the awesome power of acrylic mediums You might want to begin with an assorted set of mediums in small, trial size jars While you may not necessarily want every medium in the set, you may be surprised to find that a medium you never thought you would use has the potential to become a favorite If you would rather go with a larger jar or two instead, mediums from any of these four basic categories will give you a good foundationPolymer medium liquid From extending drying time to providing a vehicle for glazing, polymer mediums are probably the most useful to have on hand They act as adhesives, clear coats, extenders, and all around acrylic band aidsGel medium The consistency of gel mediums ranges from very soft to stiff with the holding capability of modeling paste Gels are always fun, but they can take some experimentation to really understandSelf leveling gel medium Its one thing to work with a viscous gel that will hold a texture but quite another to manipulate one that will not Because self leveling gels exhibit a consistency unlike that of acrylic colors, they encourage the use of alternative tools like palette knives and spreading tools Theyre great for stretching your experimental musclesGranular, textured, or another custom medium You may never use it again, or it may become a staple on your art table Either way, you should try at least one of theunusual mediums As when cooking with an unfamiliar spice, you cant really know whether youll like it without first giving it a tasteOf course, this list will not suit everyone, but it does provide a broad enough starting point Most mediums currently on the shelves are variations on these four formats, ranging from gels filled with inert materials that provide texture to polymer mediums infused with UV reactive components that glow under black light First, acquaint yourself with the basic elements, then find the specific mediums that have the ideal properties for your processAISE FOR THE NEW ACRYLICSArtist and paints developer Tauchid explains the properties and applications of acrylics, a medium touted as the most adaptable art material of the modern age Tauchid begins by characterizing this do it all, fast drying paint with its unparalleled clarity of dried pigment and bondable, virtually glass clear polymers that do not degrade, discolor, or become brittle with time These nontoxic chemical inventions, on the market for someyears, comprisethanpercent of all artists paints sold in North America today Technical in its approach, half the book describes the chemical components, attributes, production methods, and grades, moving on to a basic primer that lists materials and equipment Tauchid then progresses to basic applications, which include glazing, underpainting, and staining, and goes on to discuss barrier breaking alternative approaches stained glass, acrylic transfer, even soft sculpture , complete with demonstrations A variety of artists work in eye popping color and a wide range of styles amply illustrate this well indexed resourceWhitney ScottCopyright American Library Association All rights reserved

  • (Anglais)
  • Acrylic Painting Mediums and Methods: A Contemporary Guide to Materials, Techniques, and Applications
  • Rheni Tauchid
  • Anglais
  • 06 March 2018
  • 1580934935

About the Author: Rheni Tauchid

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Acrylic Painting Mediums and Methods: A Contemporary Guide to Materials, Techniques, and Applications book, this is one of the most wanted Rheni Tauchid author readers around the world.


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