Testing pva for waterfastness as a Resin type finish.

I’ve been looking for a resin type finish, tried Liquitex Pouring Medium, which looks good – not as good as resin but close. Its easier to use but works out expensive so I’ve tried PVA this time.

the LPM was fine with water and has dried with no marks.

the PVA, a fail, surface is tacky and absorbed water even when cold water used. that’s not camera/light glare, it’s where the pva has absorbed water and gone cloudy…

It looks fine at first glance, if I’d been a bit more careful in application it would be better, but what I really wanted to test was how it reacts with water once dry.
Resin and the Liquitex PM were both fine, even with boiling water, but this…well. Fail.
Even with cold water it softened and marked and as for boiling water, it went tacky and lifted really quickly.
I’m convinced there’s no place for it as a final coat, maybe with a varnish over it might be ok? I’m not going to use it that way but might be worth trying.

What did occur though is the thought – what about those who use it as a pouring medium? Is there any likelihood it will lift/soften in the same way? I’m guessing if work is varnished it won’t be a problem but its something to be aware of it you don’t/haven’t varnished.
Of course you’re not going to be pouring boiling water over your work as I did here for the experiment but we do hang art in kitchens and bathrooms, both of which can get quite steamy and moist air. Something to be aware of maybe. I can’t test that, I haven’t any successful ones I’ve used glue in, that’s why I gave up with using it as a medium, but perhaps someone that uses glue/PVA can confirm if they’re ok in rooms like this or not? .

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Quick video pouring water over Liquitex Pouring Medium used as a final coat. 

 

 

I’d used Liquitex pouring meduim as a poured coating on this 6x6inch canvas, when i was trying to get a resin effect without the difficulty of resin working. Its good, but still not as good as resin, and to be honest works out very expensive that way for us here in the UK. I can only get it in litre bottles, thats largest size avaialable, and its around £29 for that. Now if we had those fab gallon tubs at $45 that I saw on sale in US this week…..BTW a gallon is about 4.5 litres – you can see why I weep when I see US prices. Anyway, I’d seen other use PVA in this way for a coating, but hadn’t got round to trying that. My carpenter brother and I were talking about painting and he said PVA will go tacky again in contact with moisture so its not a good idea to use it that way and it made me think about whether the liquitex would do that. So, first poured some cold water on and moved it arouind and then -0 well, I thought I’d go for it and pour on boiling water….and left it there for a couple of hours. the boiling water did seem to soften it a very little but no tackiness, and no fingermakrs so didn’t affect the actual coating, and now a few days later it looks the same as it always has. I will try this with PVA sometimes, right now though the studio is Freezing, its around 4c here in daytime and I’ll need to bring some stuff into the house to have a hope of the PVA drying enough to try this out. Might brave the cold later today 😉 then can try this next week once its dry.

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 😉

Couple of new videos, fire inspired experiments with elmers v liquitex pouring medium.

When they’re dry I’ll update and compare the difference. Nathan used elmers in a  2 parts pva 1 part water ratio, then add paint and thin if necessary. He’s seen a video. From my pva experiments i felt it would crack but he was sure it wouldn’t. Its still drying but there are some cracks so for me, with my paints elmers used solely or in this ratio won’t work.

cracks in drying paint bottom right

I’ve added liquitex glazing medium and a dash of floetrol in my experiments. Not sure what the glazing medium will do but it arrived Thursday so seemed a good time to try it. My paints are mostly heavy body, so I thought maybe it would be better to try this instead of so much water to thin. I do want to try maybe a floetrol and no water just glazing medium to see how that works, though I think that would work out expensive at the rate I play with paints…maybe a 50:50 mix might work.

NB Forgot to mention – there’s an error in next video, I said no silicon used but I sprayed inside cup before adding paints for dirty pour, and I added quick spray in yellow and red of the elmers glue cups… sorry. Very little overall though for all those cells 😉 

 

I tried liquitex pouring medium as a final cover, saw another artist recommending it but so far, a week later, the surface is still easy to scratch though it looks very resin like. I pushed my fingernail in and it left a dent, and just running nails over the surface left scratches. I’d worry about damage, and of course LPM isn’t cheap either here in UK.
I tried PVA but that didn’t have the smooth surface though did dry clear, and still had that easy scratch issue. I love the look of resin, just can’t get it right…..and its so expensive to practice with.

this is two coats LPM

two big fails, two possibles, and finally think I’ve found what works(ish) with housepaint. .

well, Saturday saw me using black, white, red, yellow as Nathan did so well earlier in the week. Too much black though, and on the rectangular one I ended up swiping over with acetate. Both are just awful so will be base for incarnation two….

4 x 4 inches

Sunday I tried again, first one had more colour than I wanted but…maybe it’ll grow on me, second was disaster, tilted too much and colours just ran together. Added more colours dotted over and swiped with spatula, better but still not good, so added white to each end and swiped with acetate. Still hated it so scraped off and tried again with what paint was left. still ended up swiping with acetate. I quite like the grey lacing effect but overall its one that I need to think about. Might end up keeping both , might just paint over 😉 You know how it goes, sometimes there’s a run of unsuccessful paintings. these had liquitex PM, but I think it was simply user error, paints wrong selection, too heavy handed, too much colour, too thickly applied, too much fiddling. All and any of those.

My experiment with just water and dulux seems to have worked, there’s a little splitting but none of the cracking when i used it with floetrol or LPM. I think though I’m sticking with artist white, use the dulux for priming canvas and wood. and maybe in the house if i need it….

section of painting showing splits, but these look as though they mean to be there, where the cracks don’t.

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.

 

Cells, Cells at last!

The first two here, the blue mix ones, I did a few days ago, one with and one without silicon. Did a couple more that way but could not get any cells, though I’ve some lovely subtle marbling.

Oddly the cells in the first one came without silicon! Bit trying to replicate it just brought these. I do like them, they’ve gold in so when tilted they ave a subtle shimmer.


Then on Thursday  I tried mixing the silicon on when I add the floetrol/liquitex medium and stirring really well, and that seems to have sorted the lumps and divots I got adding silicon last. And finally I got some great cells.

I used the same colours for all of these, but not all colours on all canvasses. I’ve got three 8 x 10 ins and the smaller ones are 3 x 3 inches. These i did by adding colour direct to canvas instead of via cup dirty pour and then soft swipe over the top. Before I’m convinced I’ve finally cracked cells though I need to see if I can replicate it 😉 or if it was just a lucky accident. The paints changed incredibly as they dried, you can see on the last two the shine as they’re still wet. I’ll take dry photo’s later today.
I had some large cells but as the paint moved they shrunk so that’s my next task, once I’m sure I can now actually Get cells…trying to keep larger ones. I think too I may still be getting the paint a little too thick. I used much more floetrol than I have been, after watching some of Danny Clark’s videos. He and Anne-Marie Ridderhof both do some excellent ones if you’re interested in learning more.
This does use lots of paint, I’ve just ordered more and I’ll soon need more floetrol, nearly used my litre bottle……so fingers crossed I can sell a few. I also really, really want to try resin sometime, but that’s very expensive so for now its got to wait but I love the effect that has on these.
I did try resin on two small ones yesterday, looked at them after about 3 hours and clearly my table wasn’t level and its run off on one side so today its try adding a second coat to fill the gap. I do love that effect, really want to work it out. My new paints came too so today hopefully its more playing!!