View Full Version : Lightning?
08-14-2008, 10:26 AM
I was thinking about what would be the best way to paint lightning and remembered a type of art work we used to do as kids in school.
Scratch Art. Remember that. That's where you paint the colours on your board in layers and then use a nail to scratch through the top coat to reveal the coloured layers below. Depending on how much pressure you put on the nail dictates how many layers you penetrate and which colour shows through.
Now can this be done with artist's acrylics? Not sure. The acrylics I use do have a rubbery consistancy when dry so I am not sure if the nail would scratch thin lines or just rip it. And acrylics really seem to adhere together so a barrier coat of varnish or sealer/hardener between the under layer (the colour you want the lightning to be) and your top coats.
I think I will try and experiment on the weekend to see what results can be accomplished.
Anyone ever try this with modern acrylics?
James (aka Mad Scientist) :)
08-14-2008, 10:42 AM
Scratch art is neat I have seem amazing art with this in the animal and wildlife forum, with the specily bought white boards covered in ink, you scratch away the ink. Looks so easy, but never tried it with acrylics I'm sure if you do it Quickly it might show the underneath color!
Good Luck with your experiment, would be anxious to see how you do!!
08-14-2008, 11:13 AM
Now can this be done with artist's acrylics? Not sure. The acrylics I use do have a rubbery consistancy when dry so I am not sure if the nail would scratch thin lines or just rip it.
Yep, that's my main reservation to ideas of scratching back to a base colour (which some painters do do). But I'm very particular about surface in my work and any ridges or scrappy torn edges would bug me.
And acrylics really seem to adhere together so a barrier coat of varnish or sealer/hardener between the under layer (the colour you want the lightning to be) and your top coats.
You could consider scratching back to the 'gesso' layer, that would seem to me to provide the best results working just with acrylic.
A more friable paint type could be used (like gouache or casein) and I think they'd probably give better results with scraping, but with the tricky application of the next layer of paint I think it'd be much easier to just paint it normally in acrylics!
08-14-2008, 11:45 AM
James, I don't know if this will work for what you want to do. When painting the label on my wine bottle, my teacher had me do everything on the blank label. Then painted 2 coats of matte medium varnish drying between coats. When second coat was dry, I painted on top of the varnish, let it dry. Then with my finger put a small amount of water on the area that needed repair and with a sharpened end of the paint brush (dampened) and easily scraped away what I wanted to remove. Easily lifted with a dry paper towel. Then sealed with 2 more coats of varnish when dry.
Hope I explained this process well enough.
08-14-2008, 11:50 AM
I've seen an example of paint being scratched somewhere. I believe they used a sharp knife or razor blade.
08-14-2008, 01:19 PM
I use alot of toothpicks when I am doing hair and fur....works great unless you hate ridges. Mostly I have done that painting on paper tho'...should work on canvas, less likely to rip as paper does, believe me it does...lol! Ought to work for lightening, but that is one I have not tried yet.
08-14-2008, 01:36 PM
You can also get coloured scratch bored...it is along the same lines except that the layer underneath is a rainbow...you don't really know what colour you are getting
08-14-2008, 01:50 PM
I paint on hardboard so not worried about tearing. But anyone using canvas or paper would really have to be careful with punctures or tears.
Anyway, I will try and experiment on the weekend. Will post the results.
08-14-2008, 02:06 PM
I think your best method would be to employ a set of fine brushes and just paint the lightening strike as you want it.
If you want to try scratching it in, you would do so while the paint is still moist, and just use a painting knife (or any object with an edge and you can vary the width of the scratch area) to clear away the paint used for the sky. This will create a ridge in the paint. If you wait for the sky paint to dry, it will be very difficult if not impossible to not damage the paint or gesso underneath. If you are painting onto canvas, the canvas texture will retain some paint. A medium to slow the drying time of the paint may help.
Another method would be a masking paint. With this you would paint the masking paint where you want the ligtening strike to be, then put on the sky, and then peel off the masking paint to reveal the lightening strick below. This works great for when you want to add a wash or glaze behind an object that is already painted...
Another method would be to cut up some painters masking tape into the shape you want, and lay it down. Seal it with clear medium (to stop other paint from bleeding underneath), then paint your sky. Peel up the masking tape to reveal the lightening strike.
Have fun. Experiment first to see if you like the effect before trying it on the painting.
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