View Full Version : Spot painting advice

06-25-2001, 06:00 AM

I am trying to paint something realtively simple: a contemporary spot painting as a wedding present for a friend, eventually this will be a 1.2 metre square with hundreds of spots

I have been doing a fair bit of experimentation on how to get the most perfect and smooth looking circles using:

- opaque liquitex acrylics
- gloss medium
- circle templates made from plastic sheet and cut with a scalpel

after lots of research to try and find the best way, I am still having two problems:

1) templates - when painting over the template, paint always seeps through the paper and edge of plastic to smudge the circle
2) non-smooth surface of paints, i would like a very smooth almost lacquered finsih to each spot, however the gloss medium just thins the paint and doesn't seem to have a huge gloss effect

I'd appreciate any help that members of this forum could give.


06-25-2001, 07:07 AM
My 2 cents.

1. better quality paint - winsor newton, Golden or M Graham in jars.

2. Templates used by Interior Designers or Landscape architects maybe? or you might use a template to trace the circles and then paint each carefully by hand. Time intensive, but might be pretty interesting ala Chuck Close.

3. Don't mix paints with gloss medium but varnish painting afterwards with Shellac - very high sheen.

06-25-2001, 08:55 AM
Rather than use a scalpel (no matter how sharp, probably some jagged edges which allows the paint to seep through) why not use one of those single hole punches?

You might have to make several templates about the width of a ruler but, what do you think?

06-25-2001, 09:08 AM
thanks for the help mame

will try and borrow a single hole punch from work and give it a go, aswell as trying out your other ideas

i have a feeling that i will be freehand painting each circle and i don't mind doing the work, but with a stencil i would get "better" circles and most importantly i don't want to ruin the whole painting by ruining several circles (not to mention the cost)

i have to do some more experimentation but hopefully i will be able to clean the edges of a circle with moist cloth followed by white paint correction

06-25-2001, 01:25 PM
You didn't say how big the circles needed to be but if you want a craft technique to try, here's one.

Use a round circular object the size of the circle you want. Dip it into the paint, dot on another surface (this removes the glob part of the paint) then dot on the surface where you want the dot.

Every dot must be done in this manner or they will not be uniform in size. Of course if you want the dots to grow smaller you can dot several times with the same application of paint.

Do several test runs for this with different size circular objects...it might work great for you!

06-25-2001, 01:28 PM
I meant to add...no medium! It will just make the paint more transparent. Use a gloss medium or gloss varnish at the end to cover the entire painting. A couple of light coats are better than one heavy coat!

Keith Russell
06-25-2001, 05:36 PM

I don't know how big the 'spots' are, or need to be.

But, if they're more than 1/4 inch across--

--airbrush the sucker!


06-26-2001, 12:36 PM
i think I will be relying on trial and error to find the best method.

Carly: I will give it a go, but I must admit I was apprehensive whether this would give clean circles, hence i didn't try it before

Keith: the circles are 2.5 - 3 cm and paintbrushing is more expensive than I wanted to go as I am a beginner, but I will look into it, I just won 50GBP off my friend at work betting on pool so might invest my winnings ....

06-26-2001, 07:25 PM
Maybe Keith could tell you the particulars and what to look for and what to be careful about and you could check out e-bay.

I've seen a ton of them for sale but don't know what's a good deal...


06-26-2001, 08:52 PM
I don't know if this will help, but, for a template, you might check the party decoration section of your local craft store. I have seen wide ribbons, 4", of Mylar. They look like they were left over from punching out sequins, very uniform. You could stick it down with a low tack spray adhesive.

As for the smooth surface, there is a pre-gessoed, masonite board on the market, smooth as glass...but, the largest size I recall seeing is about 24"x18", I'm not good at converting from inches to cm...sooo.. Hope this helps.