View Full Version : Pros & Cons Modeling Paste VS Thick Gel ??

11-24-2009, 10:18 AM
I have always had a fetish for paintings with texture and even 3D buildings and such. I worked with Liquitex Modeling Paste last night on a tree leaf that I wanted heavy texture with a 3D effect on....
Can create the texture without worry about color and use pure paint later that is not weakened by other additives.
Easy to work and shape with modeling tools.
Slow process because it has to go on in layers because it shrinks as it dries.
Seems more expensive than Heavy Gel additives.

Thick Gel Additives to paint:
Can get the big picture of colors and shading as it is applied.
Paint additives always decrease some of the structure of pure paint (IMHO).
Doesn't get along as well with the modeling tools.

I am interested in your experiences and thoughts on these two methods as far as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Thanks in advance.

11-24-2009, 02:54 PM
Seems as though you answered your own question to some degree. It really is a matter of personal preference and how the individual artist works in the medium. There are no hard set rules for any of these materials other than the basics of good application.

11-24-2009, 03:03 PM
At times I use Liquitex Modeling paste which will crack if applied to a flexible surface, so I always use Linen Panels as my substraights - never stretched canvas. I've never had a problem with it cracking from putting it on too thickly. I put it on heavily with a palette knife and let it dry for 3-4 days. After that you can paint over it, sand it carve it - you can damn near eat it!!!
JUST KIDDING!!!! You can also mix paint into it before applying. I use it a lot in still life paintings and actually paint the "road map" for the still life with a palette knife using the modeling paste - let dry for 4-5 days and then with a very big brush & a palette knife and lots of paint - AWAY I GO with the actual painting.

11-24-2009, 03:49 PM
I picked up a tub of the light weight modeling paste at lunch today. Bravo :clap: ...it is much easier to work and mold into specific shapes than the heavy weight stuff, especially if one dips the implement being used to shape it or one's finger, (if that is the implement) into water and keeps it wet. This seems to be what I am looking for. I want to be able to feel the bark on a tree or the knothole on a tree instead of just a representation of a raised area or two.

11-24-2009, 03:55 PM
for The Bark On Trees, Such As Pine Trees, I Spread The Paint(s) On Thickly With Palette Knife And Then Use My Hair Comb To Comb The Paint Up And Down - Great Texture With Nice Grooves. You Can Use The Thin Teeth Or Thick Teeth Or A Combo Of Both.

11-24-2009, 10:55 PM
Mickey...I don't know what else I can add to this. Artists like Howard/idlebrush, Bret/howyadoin, Richard/aspenman....they have been doing this for alot longer than I have....and sell what they produce.

I have only sold one piece that was textured...tho' I had and still have hopes! I have only used the extra heavy gel once.....and I noticed no difference between the two, really. I may at a later date. Since I am self taught, and it did not say anything about it on the jar....I applied it all at once. ( Still looking for what I want to get to use with it...old-fashioned cookie press. Have tried a few other things but they were not so easy to clean....too much wastage. ) I did enjoy the tubes I found on sale....even tho' it was tinted lavender....it covered just fine with paint. I also have used it on small canvases....nothing over a 14x18...and that one I used it at the edge on top of the frame.

I just got some new modeling past and some other mediums...so I can play along with Howard"s class...one is a medium...one flexible...the one I have says molding not modeling...not sure about the dif...the other gel medium I found on sale was extra heavy.

Again....I may regret one day doing alot of what I did in the last two years....since I just 'did' it. I have learned more on here...such as keeping the shaping tools wet (from my good friend Kathleen) to prevent as much 'clinging'. I have a number of dif ideas that I had hoped to get to by now...but not yet.

11-25-2009, 06:56 AM
Having used both my main thoughts are:

Molding paste can have a cake-like texture (light moulding paste does, regular and hard are smoother) so it's not smooth. Gel is smooth.

Weight! I used light moulding paste specifically because it's design to not weight down the canvas and preventing sag in future. Depending on how much paste or gel you're applying (ie. if you're planning on covering the whole surface! :D) you might need to consider that aspect.

Light moulding paste is sandable. And, dare I say it, I've even removed it! (soak the surface in water, let it sit, then very very carefully pick away at the paste with a razor blade, it will lift off but only in bits and pieces)


11-25-2009, 09:30 AM
Thanks for all the help and ideas. On to the adventure.........