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Snail
01-27-2010, 12:10 AM
Hi everyone,

I am a newcomer to the acrylic and painting world. A few times, when it has been raining, I have (intentionally) left paintings out in the rain for a bit. This creates all sorts of wild patterns and extremely eye-catching glossy colors that swirl all over the place, reflect light in amazing ways, and do other nice and nifty things. They look amazing... that is, until they dry. Then they looked washed out, they seem to lose all their chroma and intensity, etc.

I assume the problem is that the water is causing the acrylic to break down and therefore the resin is not left to maintain the film of the acrylic? So my question is, how would I be able to maintain that super-glossy, intense look? If I mixed the paint first with a gloss medium, would that make a difference? Or is there some other way?

I feel sad when I see some amazing patterns and want to "freeze them" there, knowing that they will soon fade away. I'd be very grateful to anyone who could clue me in! Thanks so much. :thumbsup:

idylbrush
01-27-2010, 03:57 AM
From my understanding, if to much water is added it will diminish the acrylic to the point where it can no longer bond. I have only experienced this on one occasion so it tends to be rather rare. It sounds as though you are experiencing the same issues.

Consider allowing the surface to dry thoroughly. Before touching or even experiencing air flow over the surface, spray several layers of thinned gloss medium to seal the surface. Rather than spray directly at the surface I would maybe spray parallel with the surface and allow the acrylic medium to fall onto the surface for the first several layers. When a skin has been set I would then spray direct until it is completely covered and sealed.

This would definitely be experimental in nature and may require a bit of experimentation. I would consider ending with a UVLS varnish to protect this somewhat delicate surface. You can read up more on varnishing acrylic paints on the Golden Paints Web Site.

Consider something like a Preval sprayer or even a small Wagner style spray unit.

http://www.prevalspraygun.com/

or

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=100661562&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=100661562&ci_src=14110944&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googlebase-_-D24X-_-100661562&locStoreNum=6319&marketID=4

timelady
01-27-2010, 04:13 AM
Not all acrylic paint is glossy (and it also doesn't have resin in it, it's acrylic polymer binder). It could be impurities in the water, too much water, or just the nature of your paints. You can easily varnish with a gloss if you prefer that finish. :)

Tina.

Einion
01-28-2010, 10:51 AM
I assume the problem is that the water is causing the acrylic to break down and therefore the resin is not left to maintain the film of the acrylic?
No, it's probably merely a wetting of the surface which changes the refractive index of the binder (the resin).

I'm assuming you're putting dried paintings in the rain; once dry acrylic paint is pretty resistant to damage from water falling on it.

I feel sad when I see some amazing patterns and want to "freeze them" there, knowing that they will soon fade away. I'd be very grateful to anyone who could clue me in! Thanks so much. :thumbsup:
I think the only way to do this kind of thing permanently would be to experiment with different paints and additives and try to replicate what is achieved randomly/accidentally but in a more deliberate manner.

Einion

Nilesh
01-28-2010, 03:26 PM
Hi everyone,

I am a newcomer to the acrylic and painting world. A few times, when it has been raining, I have (intentionally) left paintings out in the rain for a bit. This creates all sorts of wild patterns and extremely eye-catching glossy colors that swirl all over the place, reflect light in amazing ways, and do other nice and nifty things. They look amazing... that is, until they dry. Then they looked washed out, they seem to lose all their chroma and intensity, etc.

I assume the problem is that the water is causing the acrylic to break down and therefore the resin is not left to maintain the film of the acrylic? So my question is, how would I be able to maintain that super-glossy, intense look? If I mixed the paint first with a gloss medium, would that make a difference? Or is there some other way?

I feel sad when I see some amazing patterns and want to "freeze them" there, knowing that they will soon fade away. I'd be very grateful to anyone who could clue me in! Thanks so much. :thumbsup:
They look amazing... that is, until they dry. Then they looked washed out, they seem to lose all their chroma and intensity, etc.

Have you tried coating them (after they are dry) with a gloss medium? This should bring back some (possibly quite a bit) of the color, and reverse the washed-outedness, to some significant extent at least. You might need more than one coat.

In case you might have missed this video demonstration, it mentions and shows this effect of coating with gloss medium:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6MGVkiCVo4

[However, it should be mentioned, along with this video, that gloves should be used. There are people, including acrylic artists, who are not well informed in this area. They don't know about possible reactions to the many chemicals in acrylics, which are assumed (quite incorrectly) by some people to be *entirely* safe and non-toxic. Many of these people sooner or later have health problems, including problems that are persistent and serious, and difficult to deal with or cure. Nitrile gloves are inexpensive, and they provide a good barrier to the chemicals. Liquid acrylics on bare skin should be minimized -- you can confirm this at goldenpaints.com and elsewhere.]

***
I have (intentionally) left paintings out in the rain for a bit. This creates all sorts of wild patterns and extremely eye-catching glossy colors that swirl all over the place, reflect light in amazing ways, and do other nice and nifty things.

You might try this with mediums instead of water. There are thin acrylic mediums that can be used in place of the water. When they dry, they retain much more of the gloss and color. If you look up 'glazing' techniques, you can learn more. Marbling is another approach that you might like. I believe there are some marbling videos on the web.

Mixing techniques of glazing and marbling, and experimenting with them, might yield something that will work for achieving the sorts of effects you are interested in.

***
I feel sad when I see some amazing patterns and want to "freeze them" there, knowing that they will soon fade away.

Photography is one way of freezing them.

Some artists try hair dryers when they want to freeze an effect. This seems to work for some people, to some extent at least.

It seems to me that using gloss mediums rather than water will help in what you are trying to do. Mediums come in all sorts of viscosities. Marbling mediums and pouring mediums might be worth a try. Stiff, high-viscosity mediums won't give the sorts of swirls and liquid patterns that happen with the lower viscosity mediums.

Some mediums also behave differently from the standard ones they have different or specialized 'rheologies' and might be able to give you different looks and effects.

Flow enhancers would also affect the patterns.

Final isolation coats and varnishes will also affect the look and color saturation.

Snail
01-29-2010, 12:08 AM
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the helpful comments. This place is an amazing resource and I am very glad to have stumbled across it.

I should have been more specific in my original post. The paintings are _not_ dry when they are put out in the rain -- they are still "wet". Basically, what I am doing is applying the acrylic paints onto the canvas board (most of these I have done on canvas board). I apply them either by brush or else directly from the tube, creating various color patterns. In some places, the paint is applied very thickly indeed (maybe 1/3" high?). It is then placed outside in the rain, lying flat. The rainwater hits the acrylic paint, creates puddles and indentations, swirls in the paint, etc. It is left out for a while (a few minutes in some cases, 10-15 minutes in other cases) and sometimes the rain is light, but often it is relatively heavy.

I then take the canvas board back inside and either leave it flat, or else gently tilt it, which creates various swirls and merging colors.

Okay, so then comes the part I was talking about: at this point, the "painting" looks pretty spectacular. It is glistening, it is highly reflective, etc., because there is so much water on the canvas board.

But there doesn't seem to be any way to keep it in that shape, because part of the effect is being created by the water (sometimes pools of water) on the canvas. Even if there are not pools of water, when the paint dries, it seems to lose 80% of its gloss (and a lot of its color intensity too). Putting a gloss varnish on it afterwards (which I've done) does not really make a big difference. By the time it is dry, much, if not most, of the beauty is gone. (In a few lucky cases, the result retained a significant amount of interest despite the loss of color and glossiness after drying).

I haven't yet tried mixing the paint first with a gloss gel or anything or kind of medium first before putting it out in the rain. Would that make a difference?

(I recognize that this is a strange thing to do, but I do a lot of experimentation and this is one thing I've been working on. I'm sure it's not original and other people have done it, but it's very fun and, if I could keep the effect, it does create some eye catching pieces and vivid colors. I do do more normal stuff too!)

And thanks for the note on photography -- yes, I've tried to capture it with photographs but I'm not a terribly good photographer and it doesn't have the same effect. A lot of it is the reflection, and that doesn't come through well on the photos. Still, I will post two photos that I hope kind of show what is going on?

Again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your advice!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jan-2010/213187-Andromeda1.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jan-2010/213187-Andromeda2.jpg

Eraethil
01-29-2010, 02:50 AM
There are a few things that may be affecting your "rainy paintings" I think:

a) Some of the reflective glossiness is coming from the pools of water. You should be able to bring back at least some of this glossiness with gloss gels or perhaps pouring mediums.

b) I suspect that the longer periods of rain are causing the acrylic pigments to get diluted and run off the edges. Less pigment = lower chroma. Perhaps you could have the same effect by dripping/splashing in the studio, and being able to control how much water is in play. Or even put edges on your boards to keep the pigment pooled on the top of the board, even with a lot of water?

c) Acrylic paints darken a bit as they dry. The water in the acrylic evaporates as the acrylic polymers shrink down, which brings the pigment particles closer together and less light reflects off of the surface. Is your surface gessoed (bright white) and dried before you apply the acrylic paint?

d) The more mixing of multiple pigments takes place, often the duller (more gray or muddy) the resulting colour is - especially when complimentary colours mix. Careful placement of complimentary colours should help to prevent too much muddiness.

Someone suggested marbling above. You may really enjoy this technique, since you are already using that technique when you gently tilt the board to allow the pigments to move. Look up pouring medium.

Cheers!

cadub
01-29-2010, 09:28 AM
Liqutex glazing medium for acrylics dries with a fairly high gloss.
Hope this helps