View Full Version : "Floating Medium"..what is it?

10-26-2006, 09:21 AM
Can anyone tell me what "Floating Medium" is used for, specifically? I was buying some gel extenders, and saw this for sale so thought I'd try it. The label has only generic instructions, no details. I've just been using it along with water as an extender, but would like to know if there are any special effects that can be created with it, or if there is some kind of unique process or use for it. Does anyone know anything about this product?

10-26-2006, 10:34 AM
Gosh, that's a term I am unfamiliar with unless you refer to Flow enhancer.
Flow enhancer is basically to decrease viscosity. It helps in the ability to spread the paint. I have used it instead of water- not with water. I have been experimenting with it in the glazing process.
I'm sure some one else will come along with some other thoughts.

10-26-2006, 04:01 PM
Can anyone tell me what "Floating Medium" is used for, specifically?

Painting ghosts, only sold in October.

Ok, not that funny.

I googled, cuz I'd never heard of 'floating medium' - and found it used by 'folk art' traditions. For example:

Plaid FolkArt Floating Medium
A special gel formula that eases "floating" of highlights and shades. It never runs as water can. Great for watercolor painting. Dries quickly without extenders.


Top 15 OneStroke Questions

1. What is the difference between Blending Gel and Floating Medium?
They are very similar however each has its own special properties.

Floating Medium will allow the paint to move further. This allows you to be able to make longer strokes. If double loaded with a color it allow for perfect shading and floating of color. Using too much Floating Medium during blending will cause the paint to lift and be moved. This is a good thing to know if you need to "clean up" and edge.
Blending Gel extends the open time of paint making it cooperative to extra strokes needed for blending. The area can be "worked' without causing the paint to lift and move. Blending Gel will not allow stokes to go further like Floating Medium will.
- - -

Load the brush fully with Floating Medium and then add a touch of color to make transparent leaves and flowers making them appear to be in the background or soft shadows.

Floating medium is used so that you can flow smoothly with your paints on porous surfaces that are very dry, such as wood, drywall, etc. Load your brush with paint and tip the chisel edge of the brush into the Floating Medium, blend into the brush and paint.

And from another site:
Tip 1 - Floating Medium and Clear Medium First, I want to mention the use of floating medium (for acrylic paint) and Clear Medium (for the enamels). As you may be aware, floating medium is a clear pigment gel that is used with your Folk Art acrylic paint and helps the paint flow more smoothly; making the paint easier to work with on any surface, including windows... read more http://www.carolinapaints.com/

Sounds a lot like flow enhancer or even gel medium.

But think of the fun abstract artists could have, if it did make pigment "float" a quarter inch off the substrate.

10-26-2006, 04:08 PM
If I'm not mistaken, floating medium is a product used mainly in decorative painting, mostly with craft paints. (Several years ago I took a decorative painting class with my Mom. Although I had drawn for many years, it was my first experience painting.) As I recall, the way we used it, you dip one corner of your flat brush in paint and the other corner in the floating medium. Then, on a separate surface from what your painting, like your palette, brush back and forth to blend the paint into the medium. It creates what is called in decorative painting, a float, a graduation from dark to light. It would be used for highlight or shadow areas.

You may want to post in the decorative painting forum. It seems to be mostly faux and mural painters there, but I have seen some decorative painters post there too.

Hope this helps a little!

10-26-2006, 04:33 PM
Painting ghosts, only sold in October.

Ok, not that funny.

LOL...Exremely funny!! Thank you for doing all that research, WRoget! Very good info there.
Thanks Nascent for responding, and Rese for the experiential info.
This stuff was in the folk art paints section, as I was checking to see if paint mediums were cheaper there than in the Art stores. (they are if you can find them, but I question the everlasting quality..great for experimenting tho). I'm open to trying new things especially if they're on sale, and with such an odd name my curiousity peaked! I tried it out this morning for layering of acrylics in a large painting where the effects I'm going for are soft and subtle. This medium does make the paint very smooth, and I really like it for this application. Recommended even if you're not folk-painting.
Thanks all of you!