On Acrylic Gels

Last blog covered modelling pastes. Used neat before painting over or mixed with paint, they help add some peaks and texture to your paintings. I’ve been experimenting with a few other mediums too to mix with paint and discovered their amazing effects as part of my flower drawings. Please allow me to share! This is on the various Acrylic Gels.

There’s the Acrylic Gel (Gloss) which I started using quite often for a glossy transparent look, especially for backgrounds. Combined with just a bit of water as well, it helps to spread the paint smoothly.

With this medium I combined with Gold paint and created a wash of colour on paper. What I liked about it is that it certainly gave a glossy sheen. Not watery at all whilst giving transparency. Sorry for the bad photo but it was taken last night with poor lighting conditions.

Then I decided to find a medium that did the opposite. The Extra Heavy Gel (Matte) gives a thicker and matte finish.

I used that for one of the flowers. It was yellow and rather blended too much with the gold background so I wanted to let it stand out more. Better to create contrasting texture so combined this medium with the yellow paint. If you look at the top petal of this flower, you will notice the difference with say the three bottom petals. Looks great!

Finally I wanted to experiment with something even glossier but with less transparency.

This Soft Gel (Gloss) gives out a wonderful shine. But it is not as transparent as the background gold ( where I used plain Acrylic Gel) but I quite like it. And thought it would be perfect for the tulip given that, unlike the other flowers, it was in one shade of colour.

Gels, whether gloss or matte, enables a smooth spread of the paints. The paint will take longer to dry which could be good (have time to blend with other colours or correct if you’re not pleased with the colour) or bad (you want to continue) Consistency obviously depends on proportion of gel to paint. I don’t go by formulas, let my instincts take over and just randomly mix till am happy with the look.

So concludes my findings about acrylic gels so far. If I find other discoveries I will certainly share. Meanwhile I’d love to try other acrylic mediums too like glass beads and sand. It all sounds exciting!!

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