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View Full Version : Strange request: Help me figure out how I did this


domswen
03-21-2019, 11:49 AM
This is probably a strange request, but I'm looking for some advice/input on how I accomplished a recent oil painting, or rather I guess I'm trying to figure out how to reproduce the effect. Thus far I've failed in about a dozen attempts to do it again. Here's a link to a photo of the painting:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JsAYvKZOnbfe21yjpOoRY_CHN1h5-jam/view?usp=sharing

Here's the background on how I remember doing this one-off abstract work. I took a new primed canvas and sprayed painted it with a Krylon gold gloss acrylic paint. This is the kind that dries to the touch in about 5 minutes. While letting the canvas sit for about 30 minutes, I mixed several small containers with various colors of oil paint mixed with a bit of mineral spirits. The consistency was sort of like a thick cream. I then stood over the canvas and dripped/poured several colors on the gold spray paint. I immediately noticed the gold base layer start to dissolve and "run." This was unintentional to the original idea I had in my head when I started. I quickly turned the canvas on its side, figuring I'd let the excess paint run off and dry before I re-purpose the canvas for another project. But after it dried, I decided I liked the look. People comment that they think it's one of my best paintings. Go figure...something I never intended. :lol:

So here's the rub. Since it was unintentional, I took no notes and I can't figure out how to reproduce the technique or effect. I've tried it a dozen different times and ways and I can't make it happen a second time. The main problem always seems to be that no matter what I try, I can't get the gold base layer (or whatever color I choose to use) to dissolve again, and/or I can't get the right consistency of the oil paint and mineral spirits. I've tried running the thinned oil paint on it within seconds of painting it, and I've also tried it up to 30 minutes after (like I recall doing it originally). It just won't budge. I'm certain I was using only mineral spirits the first time around as that's all I ever use for thinning.

The only thing I can think of is perhaps I was using some oddball Krylon paint that had different properties the first time around. (I no longer have the original can) I've also thought about using an oil paint as a base layer, but I'm afraid the effect wouldn't be the same even if I could get it to work.

So, any advice on things I could try to try to make this "accident" happen a second time? :lol:

stapeliad
03-21-2019, 12:29 PM
So the question is how to get the base layer of krylon gold paint to dissolve?

I honestly have no idea... how long ago was this painting done? Maybe the gold paint was a different formula. Try using a stronger solvent like spike oil.

bhindi
03-21-2019, 12:29 PM
:lol: :lol: *snort* *snort* :lol:

You should name this painting "strokes of genius"

Really nice painting but :lol: :lol:

domswen
03-21-2019, 01:59 PM
So the question is how to get the base layer of krylon gold paint to dissolve?

I honestly have no idea... how long ago was this painting done? Maybe the gold paint was a different formula. Try using a stronger solvent like spike oil.

Thanks, I may try that. I've even tried acetone and it won't do a thing.

domswen
03-21-2019, 02:00 PM
:lol: :lol: *snort* *snort* :lol:

You should name this painting "strokes of genius"

Really nice painting but :lol: :lol:

Oh, I've been tempted, but I just can't get myself to do it. :lol: There's definitely some (intentional) potential for the technique, but alas I just can't figure out how to reproduce it yet.

contumacious
03-21-2019, 03:17 PM
The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps the spray paint was not adhered well to the canvas. I remember reading that some ready made canvases have some sort of coating on the surface left over from manufacturing, that prevents the paint from sticking well unless it is cleaned off first.

domswen
03-21-2019, 03:39 PM
The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps the spray paint was not adhered well to the canvas. I remember reading that some ready made canvases have some sort of coating on the surface left over from manufacturing, that prevents the paint from sticking well unless it is cleaned off first.

Now that's something I hadn't considered...that it could be related to a difference in canvas I'm using.

Delofasht
03-21-2019, 05:49 PM
Try hitting the drying acrylic with a rubbing alcohol solution, you should be able to dissolve parts and cause all sorts of fun. Good old isopropyl alcohol, also works to reopen dried acrylic for several days after drying to the touch in case you wanted some fun with smears or blending.

RomanB
03-21-2019, 06:35 PM
Mix your oil paints with acetone. Be careful, read MSDS, use ventilation and personal protective equipment.

AnnieA
03-21-2019, 09:00 PM
This might be a good question to address to a Krylon representative. They have a Q&A section on their website. And/or, given the comment above by contumacious about the absorbency of the canvas perhaps having an effect, you could try painting the surface with white oil paint, which would make it slicker and thereby the gold paint would be less likely to adhere. I can't guarantee it would work, but if you don't find anything else it might be worth trying.

I have to say that it seems worth it to me to spend as much time as you need to to figure out how to replicate what you did. The textured surface you show in the image is gorgeous.

AnnieA
03-21-2019, 11:09 PM
Hey, I just ran across something else that could at least somewhat explain what you might have done. It was in a MOMA youtube video, "Paint like DeKooning." At about 4:35 minutes in, the instructor is mixing up red oil paint, and he adds water, explaining that it creates a really interesting texture. He said it was not really a mixture in the sense of a solution, but more like "a suspension," which he described as "alligator skin." It might not be exactly what you're looking for, but it might lead you somehow in the right direction. Maybe your Krylon gold paint was water-based? Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7sJ_WNiSrs

domswen
03-22-2019, 08:41 AM
Thanks, Annie. I'll check that out!

AnnieA
03-22-2019, 03:25 PM
Thanks, Annie. I'll check that out!
Whoops, I may have not been clear with part of that first reply. If you try the idea of using white oil paint over the already-gessoed surface (prepared with, presumably, acrylic gesso, since that's what's most typically used today) before painting with gold paint, you'll have to make sure that you're using an oil-based gold paint, as acrylic paint will not adhere properly when you apply it over oil paint. As I think about it further, I wonder if something like this might explain the results you got in the first place. Are your canvases prepared with an oil primer? It might be possible to experiment with using a layer of acrylic titanium white + an acrylic medium that's got a slicker surface, but again, you might have adhesion problems. Someone more knowledgeable than I may be able to advise you on a workable approach using this idea.

If it is the case that you'll use an acrylic gold paint though, or if your original surface was oil and that's why you got the unusual texture, Alex (Gigalot) may have some ideas about best to prepare the surface to allow it to slide, as he mixes acrylic and oil paint.

domswen
03-22-2019, 03:47 PM
Whoops, I may have not been clear with part of that first reply. If you try the idea of using white oil paint over the already-gessoed surface (prepared with, presumably, acrylic gesso, since that's what's most typically used today) before painting with gold paint, you'll have to make sure that you're using an oil-based gold paint, as acrylic paint will not adhere properly when you apply it over oil paint. As I think about it further, I wonder if something like this might explain the results you got in the first place. Are your canvases prepared with an oil primer? It might be possible to experiment with using a layer of acrylic titanium white + an acrylic medium that's got a slicker surface, but again, you might have adhesion problems. Someone more knowledgeable than I may be able to advise you on a workable approach using this idea.

If it is the case that you'll use an acrylic gold paint though, or if your original surface was oil and that's why you got the unusual texture, Alex (Gigalot) may have some ideas about best to prepare the surface to allow it to slide, as he mixes acrylic and oil paint.



Wow, so much to think about there (which is good). I can't say about how the canvas was primed. Often I'll buy canvas at Walmart, but sometimes I'll buy it at Michael's if they're having a sale. But that's clearly something I hadn't thought about...what kind of primer the canvas was prepared with. The spray paint was definitely an acrylic. I've never bought anything but. However, I have occasionally purchased different paints based on drying time. Some of them are the quick dry, like about 5 minutes, and others take up to an hour to dry to the touch. I'm pretty sure the stuff I used on this was the 5 minute variety, but I can't be 100% sure since I no longer have the original can.

AnnieA
03-22-2019, 07:01 PM
Wow, so much to think about there (which is good). I can't say about how the canvas was primed. Often I'll buy canvas at Walmart, but sometimes I'll buy it at Michael's if they're having a sale. But that's clearly something I hadn't thought about...what kind of primer the canvas was prepared with. The spray paint was definitely an acrylic. I've never bought anything but. However, I have occasionally purchased different paints based on drying time. Some of them are the quick dry, like about 5 minutes, and others take up to an hour to dry to the touch. I'm pretty sure the stuff I used on this was the 5 minute variety, but I can't be 100% sure since I no longer have the original can.
Given the sources of your canvasses, the gesso was probably acrylic, as it's cheaper and more common. If the spray paint dripped, my guess would be that it's more likely the gold paint was slower drying - maybe that was the issue.