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Old 05-12-2012, 07:59 AM
serendipity6363 serendipity6363 is offline
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Painting with blood as medium

One of my artist friends is planning to use his own blood in small quantity for an art project that is very close to his heart. We were wondering what stabilizing agent may be mixed with blood before to help prevent it from decaying after the painting is done. Also what can be used for fixing or sealing the painting?

Would appreciate any suggestions from those who have experience with painting with blood as medium.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:37 AM
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Eraethil Eraethil is offline
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Re: Painting with blood as medium

From my wife, the med lab tech: if you can get the blood to stain a raw canvas, perhaps linen, then the iron in the blood will stick around (soak in) and maintain the stain.

Blood is problematic, because all flesh decays. We talked about preservative agents added beforehand, but the only agents she knows that are used in a lab setting are anticoagulants to prevent the blood from becoming solid and being difficult/impossible to process in the lab equipment. If you use the blood before it coagulates, that should be sufficient to allow it to stain the canvas.

Perhaps the more important thing is to use a sealant instead to encapsulate it and the canvas. A gel medium (or a GAC medium from golden - perhaps 100 the sealant?) may be all you need, probably applied to both sides of the canvas. Maybe you won't even require raw canvas in this case.

Blood won't be anywhere near lightfast, of course, so you may want to use a UV filtering varnish? And let the buyer (?) know that a darker room and subtler lighting will make the painting last longer.

Cheers,
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:40 AM
SoniaA SoniaA is offline
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Re: Painting with blood as medium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraethil
From my wife, the med lab tech: if you can get the blood to stain a raw canvas, perhaps linen, then the iron in the blood will stick around (soak in) and maintain the stain.

Blood is problematic, because all flesh decays. We talked about preservative agents added beforehand, but the only agents she knows that are used in a lab setting are anticoagulants to prevent the blood from becoming solid and being difficult/impossible to process in the lab equipment. If you use the blood before it coagulates, that should be sufficient to allow it to stain the canvas.

Perhaps the more important thing is to use a sealant instead to encapsulate it and the canvas. A gel medium (or a GAC medium from golden - perhaps 100 the sealant?) may be all you need, probably applied to both sides of the canvas. Maybe you won't even require raw canvas in this case.

Blood won't be anywhere near lightfast, of course, so you may want to use a UV filtering varnish? And let the buyer (?) know that a darker room and subtler lighting will make the painting last longer.

Cheers,

This is the best and informative answer at all. Thanks
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:19 PM
serendipity6363 serendipity6363 is offline
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Re: Painting with blood as medium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraethil
From my wife, the med lab tech: if you can get the blood to stain a raw canvas, perhaps linen, then the iron in the blood will stick around (soak in) and maintain the stain.

Blood is problematic, because all flesh decays. We talked about preservative agents added beforehand, but the only agents she knows that are used in a lab setting are anticoagulants to prevent the blood from becoming solid and being difficult/impossible to process in the lab equipment. If you use the blood before it coagulates, that should be sufficient to allow it to stain the canvas.

Perhaps the more important thing is to use a sealant instead to encapsulate it and the canvas. A gel medium (or a GAC medium from golden - perhaps 100 the sealant?) may be all you need, probably applied to both sides of the canvas. Maybe you won't even require raw canvas in this case.

Blood won't be anywhere near lightfast, of course, so you may want to use a UV filtering varnish? And let the buyer (?) know that a darker room and subtler lighting will make the painting last longer.

Cheers,

Eraethil, thank you so much for this most comprehensive information. Very helpful. Met my friend today and told him about your suggestions. He says thanks too He had not thought about the UV varnish at all. So that was another important pointer. Sorry for the delay in response
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:36 AM
PAH PAH is offline
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Re: Painting with blood as medium

I lost a bit of blood after a cycling incident. My jersey got some blood on it. I used the jersey in a collage (see Collage art therapy). I used Damar Varnish (from Art Spectrum) to preserve the blood. It is a few years old now and has not altered at all. The varnish slightly darkens the hue of the dry blood, but at the same time gives it a deep thick appearance about it. Anyway, that is blood soaked in cloth, I have no idea about dry blood on non-porous material.
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