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Old 03-19-2019, 10:58 AM
NanJoSimp NanJoSimp is offline
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Frustrated with paints

I've started a new painting and it is giving me fits!

I applied 2 coats f white gesso to a primed canvas (the type that I've nearly always used---inexpensive canvas). I then lightly sanded between the coats of gesso and after the final coat to give a smoother finish to the canvas.

While painting the sky, and attempting to blend the clouds, I noticed that the paint was not moving around as much as I would like, and I added a bit of medium, still not blending well. So I let it dry---and several areas were quite glossy and stayed that way.

After a week away, I started working on the piece: same problem, and then the paint would lift in areas when blending.

So, now I've applied gesso over the painted areas and will try again.

Any suggestions on how to make the acrylic painting blend better? and not lift? Is it better to paint in thin layers and add paint as needed to blend the colors? Medium vs water?

As always, thanks for your tremendous help.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:37 AM
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sykirobme sykirobme is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

Maybe the surface was too smooth? Rough up the gesso layer a tad?
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:39 PM
NanJoSimp NanJoSimp is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

Quote:
Originally Posted by sykirobme
Maybe the surface was too smooth? Rough up the gesso layer a tad?


I was wondering about that....thought I'd possible created more of a problem by sanding the surface....I've not done that but one other time so my experience with sanding is limited.

Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:42 PM
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~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

What brand of paint, heavy body, soft, craft?
I only use water as my medium, so can't give any info on other mediums.

Maybe try a tinted under painting layer, to seal the gesso layer, then try painting on that.
If acrylics get to a tacky , lifting stage, best to stop and let that dry and add a layer on top.
I get much nicer blending with a few layers that seal & smooth the surface..
Cool room temperatures & humidity help also..
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:20 PM
Linda Wolff Linda Wolff is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

What kind of acrylics are you using? Sounds like the gesso or paint was still soft when you began to paint on top of it. I see lifting of lower layers often among my students who are impatient, or who use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process of the gesso or the paint. Yes, if you paint in thin layers they will dry faster. I often work on two or three paintings at a time so I have something to work on while the others are drying. I, too, like to add gesso to my purchased canvases to fill in the weave and create a smoother surface. I now add modeling paste to my gesso, about 50/50, mix well before applying.
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:44 PM
NanJoSimp NanJoSimp is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

Paints are Master's Touch Acrylic; inexpensive but what I've mostly used for years.

I think I'll try layers....and the gesso had tried for over a week...so don't think that's the problem here (although I've been known to be a tad impatient )


JMW and Linda: Thanks for your replies...so much appreciated
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:29 PM
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eoghan eoghan is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

I recently had a problem with one canvas where the gesso was very chalky and just sucked up the paint too much and made it impossible to paint the sky. Maybe the gesso was too thick or maybe just bad! - Not sure if this is the issue you are having! I bought new gesson and haven't had this issue since. Good luck with your painting.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:45 PM
NanJoSimp NanJoSimp is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

Quote:
Originally Posted by eoghan
I recently had a problem with one canvas where the gesso was very chalky and just sucked up the paint too much and made it impossible to paint the sky. Maybe the gesso was too thick or maybe just bad! - Not sure if this is the issue you are having! I bought new gesson and haven't had this issue since. Good luck with your painting.

hmmmm....that just may be the case as I've had the gesso for awhile....I think I'll try putting a base color down over the gesso and see what happens. And buy a fresh bottle of gesso. Thanks! you may have solved the problem
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:34 PM
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Re: Frustrated with paints

I just googled "gesso" before I posted anything. While I was correct with my question, gesso is made of chalk, there are about a million and 1 other questions and answers regarding gesso. I think I'll skip Netflix tonight and just read up on the many qualities of gesso!

(I had always thought that one had to paint on acrylics while they remained wet. It's been a huge change for my work waiting extended periods for all layers to dry to prevent lifting and muddying.)

Sheila
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:19 PM
NanJoSimp NanJoSimp is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

Sheila: sorry that my question kept you from Netflix but how interesting to know that google has so much info on gesso.
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:52 AM
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eoghan eoghan is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

When I had the problem with Gesso - it was a very standard local brand and a thick chalky paste - impossible to paint on in a thin layer. I put it over a primed canvas (palette knife) in an attempt to make the surface a bit less textured. But the paint just soaked right in when i tried to blend a sky.
I varnished the painting to seal it - then put new clear gesso over (liquitex clear) and continued to paint with no more problems. Actually the resulting effect was wonderful and artists like Turner used such techniques to create light and depth!! I now use either liquitex clear or Winsor & Newton gesso and i only apply a very thin layer to give a nice 'tooth' to the surface. This might not be the problem but it is one of the lessons that I learned the hard way. Good luck
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:12 AM
tiago.dagostini tiago.dagostini is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

Quote:
Originally Posted by NanJoSimp
hmmmm....that just may be the case as I've had the gesso for awhile....I think I'll try putting a base color down over the gesso and see what happens. And buy a fresh bottle of gesso. Thanks! you may have solved the problem




Gesso doe snot get too old.. gesso is powdered rock.. it has at least a billion years of age.. a couple of years in your shelf makes no difference to the rock.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:43 AM
NanJoSimp NanJoSimp is offline
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Re: Frustrated with paints

The gesso I'm using is pretty thick.

I suspect a couple of things might be causing the problems after reading the responses:
Gesso too thick …and I guess age really doesn't matter
I may have over-sanded in an attempt to get a smooth surface, which then was too smooth
I do have the clear gesso as well that I might try
It has been frustrating as I've truly not had this problem in the past so I am going to assume that the sanding was the culprit. Although I do like that the canvas had less texture to it.
I sure appreciate the responses....great community!
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:23 PM
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Re: Frustrated with paints

I think pre mixed gesso can get old & moldy, or frozen if in unheated area during winter..
I suppose it could expire, too or even have temperature issues during shipping from the manufacturer..
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:27 AM
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Re: Frustrated with paints

I like to mix some of Golden's fine pumice gel medium into my acrylic gesso to give my painting surface a bit of tooth when it dries. This is very helpful in pulling the paint off the brush and getting it to stay adhered to the painting surface. It has the added benefit of helping to seal the painting surface so it is less absorbent.

As to the problem of the paint lifting up, as others have suggested, once the paint has started to dry or get a little tacky, stop trying to blend it or paint over it. Just let it dry thoroughly before you begin painting again.

When you sand a gessoed surface during prep phase, it's a good idea to clean the surface completely with a wet cloth or sponge to remove ALL of the fine dust particles before you apply another coat of gesso or begin painting. Let the surface dry completely, also.

To extend my blending time I like to use Golden's Open Gel Medium. You can use it with your regular line of acrylics, heavy body or fluid. You can mix it into your paints, apply a thin layer as a couch and paint into it, or just work a little of it into your brush to help keep your paints moist while you work. I call it my secret weapon.

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