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Old 10-30-2011, 09:55 PM
mamagug mamagug is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Help with gel mediums

Hello! I'm feeling a little out of my element here, so many talented artists! I'm a PTO mom, in charge of creating a masterpiece for our classroom to sell at our school auction. We would like to do a large canvas, and have handprints from the kids on all four sides. Came up with the idea to use some sort of gel medium to give it some texture -- coat the perimeter of the canvas (except a rectangle in the center, where we will put something like "shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll fall among the stars" -- but then have the kids do handprint in the gel medium, so that it leaves a shallow indent without peaks, that they will then paint with acrylics in their own style. Hopefully.
I love artwork, but just don't have the skills needed for this. and am hoping someone would like to share their knowledge, give us tips, anything!
Is this even possible? Or maybe there's a better way to accomplish this. I just want it to be neat, and it's so very cool in my head -- but not sure how to turn that out on a canvas. It doesn't have to be done until February, so we've got some time!
Thank you in advance!
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:18 PM
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Autumnwillow Autumnwillow is offline
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Re: Help with gel mediums

Hello, Mamagug, and welcome! No one is out of their element here, we all started somewhere!

Not sure actually how you could create that much texture on a flexible surface that the kids' handprints would indent into (if I understand your intent). It would be easy to do colored handprints with paint, but not sure that's what you envision. My concern would be that a flexible surface like canvas would cause any heavy build up of texture to crack...

You could try doing this on maybe a more rigid surface like MDO (sign shop would be able to help you with Medium Density Overlay), or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard, if it will not be exposed to moisture). Depending on how big you want to go, weight could be an issue. Then, once you lay on your texture, the kids would have to press their hands into it before it was dry to make the impression.

There are plaster hand molds, that I'm sure you've seen (my nephew "made" one for me years ago, but it's small and heavy for its size).

If you went the "easy" way, paint handprints could be made to LOOK indented by adding a shadow and highlight with a brush after the print is made by the child. I could show you an example if this interests you. This would be a "trompe l'oeil" (trick the eye) effect, with the canvas actually being flat but painted to LOOK 3 dimensional... an effect I love

Hope this is of some help, and maybe someone else can chime in with better info...

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