Friday 26 July 2019

Blending media acrylic paints - DecoArt Creative Team

This is a DecoArt Media Tea Encore post
I was working on a tag earlier in the year and wanted to create a soft vintage look with my media acrylic paints. I had covered the greyboard tag with a coat of gesso using a palette knife when an idea came to me - let's try using a distress ink blending tool!
I made up the tag and was so pleased with the results but creating in the moment I hadn't written down any explanation of what I had done nor what I had used but here's what the background looked like.

So I started out experimenting with some card tags for this post. The tags on the left were not primed at all and the tags on the right were given a thin coat of gesso using a palette knife.
These were a mixture of both opaque and semi translucent paints - Titan Buff O, Cerulean Blue ST, Green Gold ST and Yellow Oxide ST although I mixed some Titan Buff with the 3 semi translucent colours which made them more cloudier. I used the rectangular blending tool and foam, taking a small amount of each colour and blending from my craft mat onto the tag, just like you do with distress inks.

These were all translucent colours - Hansa Yellow Light, Cobalt Teal Hue, Phthalo Green/Blue and Cobalt Blue.

In this neutral palette were all opaques - Burnt Umber, Dark Grey V3, Medium Grey V6 and Titan Buff.

What I realised was that I used far too much paint on the blender foam, they moved around a lot and they were easy to use. What I also noticed was that  blending onto a gesso surface was much smoother and created more translucent colours. Mmmmm how could I improve on that?

So what else do we know about acrylic paints? They dry quickly, they are traditionally used by painters using brushes and these artists use sweeping strokes of colours to blend them together. They can be mixed with glazing medium to create more transparent layers which doesn't affect their drying time. Also by experimenting with the blending tool and blending foam I found the pads hold the paint well, give good coverage and are washable so they can be used again.

I cut some card to fit one of my journals and scraped a gesso layer over with a palette knife and left to dry. Gesso has a tooth to it to allow the paint to stick to it so I buffed the first piece with a soft cloth, it certainly gave it a bit more of a satin feel. I also swapped from the larger rectangular tool to the small circular tool and foam. I love the neutral palette so I chose Titan Buff, Medium Grey Value 6, Burnt Umber and Raw Umber.

The card on the left has two coats of titan buff and was rubbed with a soft cloth after each layer had dried. The card on the right has two coats of titan buff mixed 50:50 with glazing medium. When added to paint it gives more transparent layering effects and this just glided on with the foam pad and gives a much softer finish.

For the next layer I chose medium grey value 6. Immediately you can see how thicker the paint stays on the surface even with only one coat as the left hand side is. You need more paint on the foam for it to stick. Whereas the mix of paint and glazing medium on the right hand side has two coats and is still so soft and translucent and you need very little on the foam pad. I can see benefits for using both of these techniques.

For the third colour I chose burnt umber and repeated step two above but I forgot to rub the right hand card with a soft cloth between the layers and the paint beneath gave more tooth for the second coat to hold onto giving a deeper tone.

I finished with Raw Umber applying it mostly round the edges to frame each background. Again I chose not to rub the right hand card between the two layers of paint but I did rub both of them before I took each photo. On the right hand card I also rubbed my finger round the edges when applying the wet paint to blend it to an even softer finish.

So you see the effects I got from raw card, gesso, media paint and glazing medium. You can see some of the card has more texture than others from the gesso. I actually love all the effects.

To summarise there are four different outcomes and effects.
1. Blended acrylics on raw card.
2. Blended acrylics on gesso covered card.
3. Blended acrylics on gessoed card with buffing between layers.
4. Blended acrylics mixed with glazing medium and buffed between layers.

Have fun experimenting with other colours and if you want to see the original tag that started this all off you can find it here.

Here is a project made with one of the above samples. I introduced colour through the stamping and collage elements. You can see I stamped on the tag and painted in some of the swirls on the border.

Top Tip - the foam pads hold onto the paint really well so rub them off on dry paper kitchen towel or another dry cloth before moving on to the next colour.


experiments in paper said...

Oh, my! Every one of these is stunningly gorgeous!! I especially love the neutral ones, with and without gesso and/or glsazing medium.... and those flowers are exquisite! Will definitely give this a go soon - and so happy I saw your post as I was about to place a Deco Art order, lol! xxx Lynn

Annie said...

Fabulous outcome using this technique Brenda x totally love the neutral palette and the book cover is stunning x
Have a lovely weekend my friend xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Fantastic effects on all, though the neutrals are my favourites for sure. The book cover looks super!

Theresa said...

really fun experiments to see. the results are fantastic. your journal page look great too. thanks as always for sharing.

Gina said...

Utter yumminess! Sorry I haven't been commenting much lately Gardens family and art take time lol XXX

froebelsternchen said...

Amazing techniques and textures and I love the page!!! Yeah!

Susi xxx

Lisa said...

All of the samples look so amazing!! I love the colors and textures!! The journal page is so gorgeous!! The layers and details you added are spectacular!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

Words and Pictures said...

Great to see the results of all your experiments laid out so clearly - very cool ways to alter the textures and effects of the acrylics. I love varying my use of mediums, and these days I generally know what sort of happy accident I'm going to create when I do, but I'm never disciplined enough to work through all these useful samples, so thank you for being way more organised than me and sharing the results!

The layered page is an absolute treat - gorgeous colours bumping into one another and the perfect girl to go with the words.
Alison x

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Hi Brenda, great project. Loving all the layers. Happy creative week, Angela xXx

Words and Pictures said...

I know I left a lengthy comment here... did it not get through? I so enjoyed all the blending and mixing, and the finished page is a complete delight.
Alison x

Anonymous said...

These are utterly FANTASTIC! Just curious what brand of paint you used? I don't find these color names on the DecoArt acrylic webpage - I'd like to try these techniques too! Thank You!

Words and Pictures said...

I could have sworn I'd commented here... I certainly remember that beautiful collaged page, lovely panels and sweet girl, with the perfect words (of course!). Also that it was great to see the results of your paint-blending playtime. Obviously I'm drawn to those lovely soft neutrals, and the fabulous crumpled texture which adds so much interest to the left-hand panel. A great post full of ideas.
Alison x