basic paint mixing video and a failed hammer smash painting!

Well, I’ve played around with all sorts of mixes and additives in my search for the best for me medium. After all that I’ve come back full circle, using just floetrol, paint and water. silicon as wanted. I forgot the alchohol a few times and there seemed no difference so I leave that out too now. Here’s a quick video showing how I mix my paints, and the different brands I use.

Then using those colours I tried for a hammer smash painting. Forgot quite how to do it, used a mallet with a plastic bag over and frankly it was a fail. Looked at more and i need to leave off the bag, and hit much harder!! New attempt later this week….

I ended tilting and tipping the smash, adding more colour, swiping and tilting again. finally put it to one side not happy with it and then next day dropped an acrylic sheet in it while it was still damp….I think the universe was telling that was a fail 😉 Still, a canvas for re-pouring and some lessons learned, and I had fun.  I’ll post dry pics of these and what I did with the residue paint in a couple of days.

 

 

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Golden Primaries Trial

Golden gave me some samples, among them hansa yellow, pyrrhole red and pthlalo blue. I decided to use these in a negative space painting – and really try to be strict with myself because I fail miserably often with this, using too much colour. Its on a 10 x 8 inch canvas and I’m using little shot cups to mix, total colour for my dirty pour including some white is about 1/3 of a cup – and worked well!
the video shows the process, I’ve premixed the colours, trying to keep it short…usual mix, paint, floetrol, water, silicon. Usually i use 1:1 paint and floetrol but the golden colours are so intense its more like 1 paint to 3 floetrol and could probably go even less. Golden do say their fluid can be diluted 1 to 15 for pouring…..These aren’t fluid but a kind of soft body paint – as in the paint is soft body, not for painting on soft bodies – each to their own though 😉

 

just red, yellow and blue, but I have greens, browns, violets in the final piece.

I also wanted to try a fun challenge, a painting using grey, silver, gold, pink and either white or black. I chose black but TBH it was a disaster. the silver is several years old and as I discovered, gone pretty lumpy. I thought I’d got lumps out but as final work shows I haven’t….

But as always its a learning experience, I would either chose white next time, or a lighter grey, or perhaps less black and grey, have them as accent colours? I might do this again just to see if i can get it better.
I used the run off from both to pour over some rocks for Norfolk Rocks, fun thing where people hide rocks for kids to find…And then the tray with that run off got used for some dips. Some predictably were awful, greyish brown sludge by the end but two came out pretty well.  I bought a few fridge magnets so might cut the best bits and put into them.

colours used plus white

I forgot I did a couple with some new fluorescent paints, ordered a few but so far only got green and yellow – but new paints won’t wait 😉 so used a couple of others and did one dirty pour flip cup, and one just a pour.

sadly lost that fab out-of-cup look.
dirty flip cup pour
same colours but poured from cup along canvas. I didn’t like the centre so poured quite a bit to get rid of it.

Some Golden samples I’ll be trying soon, and another housepaint fail.

Well, I emailed Golden with blog links, saying I liked to experiment and was there any chance of samples and the answer was …Yes 🙂 and these arrived two days later!


As it happens they’re colours I love and use a lot, pthlalo blue, a rich clear yellow and magenta, I love those, and if i could only have 3 colours of paint they’d be my choice. I love to use gold too ( I’m sure no-one has noticed that!!) but the pyrrole red is a new to me colour. Looks to me like a slightly orange toned scarlet.
For those interested in density the gold has on the side the colours its made from so that could be worked out. Useful info.
I’ve used Golden texture mediums in the past, but not this one, might be fun to add into just one colour and see if it creates a pour with texture – or that might be a huge fail…who knows, that’s the fun for me. Seeing what happens when I ….
The leaflet isn’t clear in my photo but I’m sure their website has a copy, there’s loads of info there.
I’m going to try Liquitex too, but that has to be snail mail, can’t find an email on their site. Those two are my favourite for acrylic paints, used lots of both in my pre pouring days but tend to stick to the cheaper paints for pouring given I use so much. In the four/five months I’ve been doing this I’ve used around 8 litres floetrol, 1 l LPM, a few other mediums and varnishes I’ve tried ( and given up on some – PVA!) and bought perhaps 20 500ml of colours in additions to the substantial lot I had left from my previous painting days. I used to fund my painting from sales, never sold a huge amount but enough to buy more paints and canvas but I’m working at a deficit here. Still, its my main hobby, the reading is supported by ARC reviews and I don’t drink or smoke so for the pleasure I get I reckon its worth it. Of course sample paints like this mean Free Fun so I was so happy to get them.
Interestingly having bought a few “liquid/high flow” paints in small pots recently I find I actually use far less than when i’m using the big heavy body pots, the colours are very dense so maybe it doesn’t work out as expensive as I thought using high flow paints. Perhaps that should be a future experiment, weight of paint to get the same intensity of colour, though I’d need to factor in more floetrol or LPM to get same volume perhaps?
I can’t seem to give up on house paint yet despite my repeated vow not to try any more. I look at the other wonderful pics put up using it and have to have “just one more try” – well, I used floetrol and water in the next two aiming for negative space. I used an icing bag but as usual too much colour so that didn’t work, and the second one was a mess so got swiped and swiped, and last of the pink spread over middle and swipe again. I figure if i don’t like it anyway what’s to lose? I still don’t like it so that’s another repour!  
The white looks ok when i use it, flows really well and initially looks good but as it dries it seems to go sort of grainy where it interacts with colour and leaves the colour looking wrong. 
I’ll see if I can get better photos some time, its almost dry now, then show you what I mean.
I did a quick spider web swirl yesterday for Nathan, he really liked my one with leftover paint from the other day. He picked a rectangular board though and as I tried to swirl to cover more we lost the shape. Note to self: cover sides with white or colour next time to crate round/square centre. I did pull the paint through but we lost those lines too…Learning curve – there’s no such thing as a mistake, as getting it wrong, its all learning experience.

#fail on Tuesdays painting, and trying two new surfaces for painting

I love painting on board but its heavy, but i found these thin mdf sheets and also some resin coated/impregnated card ( not sure which) this is on the board, dimethicon in colours, just 1 drop in each
this one is on the resin card, dimethicon as before plus spray of silicon in cupThe first one had a little dimethicone, second had that plus good squirt of silicon in between layers. I was using mostly fluid paints, 1:1 with floetrol, dash alcohol and then water. the white was heavy body acrylic, but same as above mix. the paint flowed well over surface, I didn’t gesso first, didn’t know if i need to. Will see I guess on drying if paint has been absorbed and if i need to gesso next time 😉 I used more paint on second, less tipping. I’m never great at getting right amounts and had some fab cells in first but as usual lost them on tipping top reach edges. Second i used more paint, then collected run off and poured over a small canvasses, in a swirl. and sprinkled some glitter…..


what was left was a bit pallid so added quick squirt blue and purple fluid acrylics straight out bottle to remaining paint on the silicon paper and dipped two more small canvasses. 3×3 inch i think…


Still a bit pale but maybe I’ll do something else with them. I just hate wasting paint but decided that as i’m losing cells, then adding paint and swiping and then still hating the result and scraping it that’s a waste too so I may as well use more paint anyway and tip less. Breaks my heart seeing paint run off though, especially when that looks better than whats on the canvas!!

The card is quite flimsy so I supported it on a board for painting. I’m really pleased with both and hope they keep fairly similar to the wet look shown here. Its freezing and raining again today. I didn’t think I’d get out yesterday as weather was awful, but there was a break mid afternoon so i did a quick video which will be up later in week, and if i can i’ll photo these today to show changes when drying.
I was feeling a bit sad at all the ones I’ve scraped off this week so did a quick one Tues night – a simple dirty pour using black instead of white. I did like it but…look whats happened!! I used an old canvas that was a PVA mix gone wrong, and there was PVA in the mix i used this time. I’ve had this happen before with PVA, the surface seems to go rubbery and peel. I’ve no idea what caused the lumps though. I’ve been reading a book about the Plague, the Black death and it just reminds me of that 😉
This is wet…

and here it is dry, dimples, lumps and cracks 😦 Shame as i really liked it. Ah well, I think this canvas is one for the bonfire now. 

Advice from Golden, and an update on experiments

I’ve always loved Golden and Liquitex paints and used them in my painting but with pouring acrylics I go through so much paint its just not feasible to use them solely 😦 Yesterday I thought I’d write/email them to see if they’ve any samples I can use for testing and show in the blog and got a lovely reply back saying yes! I forgot to say I was in UK though but hopefully I’ll still get them. They also pointed out this link

http://www.justpaint.org/understanding-the-techniques-of-pouring-acrylics/

which is packed with advice on Golden high flow paints and pouring. I have seen it before ( we pouring artists seem to devour up advice on the net!!) but it bears repeating.
After reading this I’m thinking I might try using alchohol to thin my heavy body acrylics instead of water, maybe before i add floetrol or similar…
Lately I’ve been doing so many experiments and they’ve all gone bad – well, almost all, and that’s why there’s not been much here. I’ve a few waiting to be photo’d and I’ll add them soon but most just got scraped off. Yesterday I just went back to basics, paint, floetrol, water and dimethicon. I forgot the alchohol….and i did get what i hope will dry into a good painting. Sometimes they look great wet but the paint keep changing and they dry very different.
This one was a negative space attempt, that went wrong, got swiped, swiped again, scraped up and tilted, and ended with first pic. Added lots more red and purple and swiped again and got pic two. I’m still uncertain whether to keep or paint over. It might grow in me 😉 I don’t hate it but its not got anything special either. On these first three i used a mix of elmers glue-all and floetrol. I’m still not convinced of glue though and as it costs for elmers in uk, and the pva here I’ve tried don’t work for me i’m avoiding them once I’ve used them up. Others get great works, not me though.

another neg space that went wrong so i tilted it but still don’t like it. I knew if i swiped the colours would just merge unless i added more and i’d run out of time – so a repour on this one.

these two I was trying out a cheap white craft paint, I use loads of white ans as i just can’t seem to make housepaint work for me i thought i’d give this a try. It isn’t one I’ll use again unless i want a grainy effect. I quite like the way it splits and goes grainy on the first but the second, started as neg space and then i tilted and …well, i think i’d got paint too thin too this time so one repour, possibly two 🙂

I’ve a 20 x 20 ice/fire commission so practised on a couple of small ones first. I did a video of these, dif PM for each, floetrol and liquitex i think though I can’t quite remember. I’ll upload the video in a few days if i haven’t already. Had some internet issues…it happens. The two small ones were – well, but’s i like but overall they may be repours, i’m not sure yet. Its funny how often paintings I don’t like, not just pouring ones but my others, are the ones that sell, and those i love languish lonely in the studio or house.

So when i did the big ones, I changed it up. I used a mix of floetrol and LPM for these. The blue is a mica mix and very metallic looking. plus though you can’t see it there’s a fine silver glitter dusting. Love the first one, luckily so does the client, second was a swipe gone wrong, a repour one 😉 I seem to have loads of those lately.

wasn’t going to paint yesterday but had some leftover colour from Tuesday, the blue and pink grainy ones which i’d dropped into one cup and left, so mixed up a quick bit of orange, metallic green, black and purple to go with the two blues, yellow, magenta and tiny bit of white   in the cup, and did a dirty pour on a canvas I’d painted black over one I didn’t like. I’m pleased with how it came out, back to my basics with this, floetrol and paint 50/50, water to thin and some dimethicon. I’ve tried loads of different stuff now, but somehow floetrol or LPM works best for me and as I paint a lot ( and waste a lot) and floetrol is cheaper that’s what i use. If someone wants to pay extra for archival materials i keep the LPM for that, hopefully floetrol will last many years but there’s no data to support it while LPM is designed to do just that, and carries a price tag to match.
And is pouring – with rain not paint! today so don’t think I’ll be able to get out. cold too so fire is lit and maybe its a reading day. I do need to hoover, and TBH the oven needs cleaning, I keep putting it off but maybe its the day to do it as i can’t paint. we’ll see 😉

Links to materials I have used.

 

I’ve used all of these, some with success, some indifferent and some not really working for me. I’ll be adding to this page constantly as I find new things to try. Click on images for links or on words where I’ve managed to work it out…tech and I aren’t best friends so apologies now for where I’ve got things wrong!!
These are mostly Amazon and eBay sites, other stuff tends to come from small independent shops or materials I’ve had ages and can’t recall where from. I do get a small commission from the Amazon affiliate links and you may find products cheaper elsewhere. Mostly I look for cheapest I can get delivered as I don’t drive so amazon with Prime works for me.

This is Alcohol, and here supposed to help with cell formation. I’ve been using this, TBH sometimes I forget and its been fine, but depends on what look you want. I’ve also just received a higher % alcohol that I’ve not yet tried ( second image). I’ll report if it’s any better after I’ve used it.   

 

 Liquitex pouring medium. I bought the small size one to start, didn’t find much dif to Floetrol, but have just bought bigger bottle to try more.

Owatrol 1 Litre Floetrol Waterborne Paint Conditioner

This also comes in 2.5 ltr which is what I now use, and I think the last one I bought was from ebay which was a little cheaper but prices change quickly there sometimes.

 Windsor & Newton flow improver. tried this before I could get Liquitex, and before I tried Floetrol. It works but this tiny bottle doesn’t go far if you use lots as I do…..

 

 Spray silicon. the first one I tried but I found getting it into the paint difficult. I’d spray into cup then put my hand over but still seemed more in air than in paint. It is useful to spray into cups before pouring paint in, helps it tip out. I tend to spray the dirty cup before adding paint. On the plastic cups it works well, but as I kept tipping them over I now use paper ones and it isn’t quite as good there. maybe the paper absorbs it? who knows? I’ve seen US folk use Blaster silicon, but couldn’t find it here and others use WD40 but I haven’t tried it.
Cymethicone silicon. I found this left thin patches in the paint but others use it without problems.

 

 

Treadmill oil 

 

 

 

 

Kingfisher KC100CUP Disposable Plastic Cups 7oz Pack Of 100

 

 plastic cups I used these sometimes, but use paper cups more as I knock the plastic ones over. I also use small shot cups

 



Paper Towels

 

Butane torch. I found this a little small so bought a bigger one, but again, quite often i don’t need to torch at all, or torching doesn’t make any difference so its not essential.

 


Bigger torch  

 

This  is the second one I bought, first from another seller had no working piezo so I had to light with matches, no response from seller so I left a one star review and bought this one which is perfect. Keep torch away from canvas, I aim for about 8-10 inches as paint will steam and burn, and that’s not a good look!  Gas canisters are here.

A fire extinguisher is a good idea too, as with alchohol, silicon and varnishes etc in one place its safer to have something to hand to put out fires. This one I have comes with wall mount and a fire blanket. I have it right next to where I’m working. Its a powder aerosol one so not a single use one but can be reused. That makes it cheaper. actually I’m off to get a second one for indoors as I can’t find my one I’ve had ages and do have a habit of setting light to things accidentally….Its currently on special offer at £10.99 – much cheaper than others I’ve seen, but I don’t know how long it’ll be at this price.
Lolly sticks for mixing. these jumbo ones are great with bigger cups, and I’ve smaller ones for the shot glasses.

http://amzn.to/2wShmFdMasking tape  

 Polythene sheeting. this is the thin stuff, and I tape everything then roll it up and dispose when its really grubby. I’m messy, I need easy (ish) clean up.

Disposable gloves, great for us messy folk! I use loads. Tip: handcream is great for removing dried acrylic paint, rub all over and wipe with kitchen roll.

 Silicon paper, good for catching paint and easy clean up. you can make skins on it too. I set it on fire with blowtorch so take care! That’s why the fire extinguisher is essential!!

Acetate sheets Crafter's Companion ACETHR001 Printable Vellum Paper, Heat Resitant Acetate - 20 sheets

great for swiping. I took one out, put rest in “safe place” and can’t find them…so have just ordered more.

 

wrap useful for covering unused paints. I’ve also used it for swiping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use canvasses from lots of different places, but bought some on amazon, and I’ve old ones from places like ken bromley. I also use pieces of board, canvas board and wax art paper and acrylic art paper. Ordinary watercolour just soaks up the paint, it needs to have a coating of some kind.

Set of 6 Artists Blank Canvas - 15cm x 15cm Flat Canvas

 

 

 

 

Paints

I’ve been using a lot of these R&L paints as they come in 500ml pots. I do find the lids tend to flip back as I pour though so have to hold them back with my pinky finger, otherwise I end up with big lump paint in the lid and then it dries and won’t shut (oops, just put an i instead of the u….) properly.

This is R&L white, in 500 ml. I’m currently trying Dulux white housepaint as I use so much white, and it makes it much cheaper. Initial results look good. I wouldn’t use t for more expensive artworks but these are around £20-40 depending on size so anything to keep costs down and hopefully sell more is good. More money for new “stuff” !! R&L is around £8 for 500ml while the Dulux is currently £10 for 5lt. big difference. (Edit: I used the Dulux too thick and its cracked – at least I think that’s the reason so take care)
W&N white. Ran out of white and couldn’t get R&L, but these two are pretty interchangeable IMO

Mars Black. a lovely rich inky black

Cadmium Yellow

 R&L primary yellow. I like to have a range of colours and this is a nice bright yellow

another great yellow, lemon yellow. Makes some great acid greens with a dark transparent blue.

Primary Magenta – gorgeous rich almost fuschia pink

Windsor & Newton. I wanted an alizarin type red, this crimson is pretty close to what I wanted.

Cadmium Red, a nice bright red

Cobalt Violet, a very blue toned purple

Cerulean, a colour I use lots. Makes some fun greens.

 

 

Prussian blue
A lovely transparent deep blue

 

another blue – pthlalo turquoise, gorgeous colour.

 A gorgeous colour, Turquoise green. some colours you can mix, some you can and this is pricey but worth it IMO.

 

 

Daler - Rowney Graduate Acrylic 500ml Paint Ink Bottle - Burnt SiennaBurnt sienna.

No idea why this shows as purple 😉 its actually a lovely rich warm brown

Daler Rowney Graduate Acrylic - Metallic Set

Metallic paints

I love these, quite soft body paints but with a great shimmer. I also use micas to make metallic paints, get from soap making sites like this Cosmetic Mica Powder Burlesque Pink 3g-20g for Soap, Eyeshadow, Bathbombs (3g)

Varnish

 W&N Gloss varnish. I’ve used it a couple of times, its OK, not particularly glossy, quite a subtle shine. Maybe if I added more coats, I’ve only done two. I prefer others, the triple thick deco or the miniwax

Triple Thick. this only needs one coat but is quite “gloopy” so you need to be careful when using

 Pebeo Resin. My favourite finish but very expensive especially if like me you find cocking things up very easy……I’ve tried a cheaper marine varnish but that’s a 1:50 ratio instead of 1:2 as this is and far easier to get wrong, leading to poor finish or even not curing at all. So far I haven’t got it exactly right ;-(

Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Aerosol Spray 6Oz

I’d heard this was good, its expensive and TBH I was disappointed in it. Its not glossy, leaves a definite kind of semi matt effect when i used it. Won’t buy again.

 

Housepaint and less floetrol more water

the inspiration. From Morrisons not home grown though 😦

Edit: Sadly the paint WAS too thick and this cracked badly on drying. I’ve a couple of others still drying where I used the housepaint but much thinner and so far they look OK. I should have thought when the colours didn’t “run” into the white, creating shapes but kind of sat there. Still, learning curve. I have LOTS of those!!

I wanted to paint a sunflower so took one with me to play with in my shed. Dulux housepaint for white, plus a lemon and a cad yellow, a green i mixed to get shade i wanted – added more yellow and white for stem and a van dyke brown. Colours were R&L, and Shminke -oh and some gold mica, i’m all about the sparkle. I was experimenting with less floetrol and more water but forgot the alchohol so it was two different things, i like to only change one at a time. I used about 20% floetrol to paint then thinned with water. added a couple drops silicon (treadmill) to colours only. tiny dirty pour for the brown centre, then tipped round a dirty pour yellow mix, and blew petals with a straw, then pulled out some of the edges with a bamboo skewer to create shapes. poured green for leaves and did the same, then lightened it and poured stem, swiped bits and pulled bits for shape.

It worked really well, even though I forgot to add alcohol….of course was it a one off or can i do it again. well, I want to try roses, foxgloves, sunflowers before being certain of that! I love flower paintings, and am having fun with this.

so…more flowers tomorrow or more on the experiments list??

Edit:

 

Edit: this took a long while to dry, and yesterday I noticed lots of cracking. thats only happened to me before when i used PVA glue instead of floetrol. It may be that I need more floetrol, it may be that its housepaint instead of my usual artists white or – and I think this is the cause – it may be that the white was too thick, I do have issues with consistency and looking at vid and remembering it was quite thick, did’nt really flow well. I’ve got a couple of others drying that have the housepaint white and a floetrol ratio same as this, but where paint is thinner so when they dry that should tell me if I’m right and its that paint was too thick, or if its actually the lower floetrol. I might try two small ones, just pour the white as a thin and thick mix and see how they dry. I think that would show me a definite cause.