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Old 03-13-2005, 04:43 AM
lemart lemart is offline
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Painting on foil

I've recently been experimenting with painting acrylics on silver foil - the kitchen baking variety. You can get an interesting wrinkly textured surface if you roll it into a loose ball and then flatten it out again. I've been pasting this onto my support with pva glue and then priming with gesso.
Although I'm quite pleased with the results, I'm concerned about its strength and durability. The finished product feels quite flimsy to the touch, and there must be a lot of air trapped beneath the wrinkles in the surface, which is probably not a good thing.
Has anyone got any views/hints/suggestions on this. I'm obviously interested to know if anyone else has used this technique.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:26 AM
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Einion Einion is offline
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The 'silver foil' is aluminium of course, I can't remember off the top of my head whether it interacts badly with alkalines but acrylic emulsions (I presume you're using acrylic 'gesso' primer) can have a high pH so it's possible it could start a reaction.

I don't think the trapped air should be much to worry about. The tents/ridges in the foil will be fairly fragile but you wouldn't want to knock against the surface of a painting anyway so that may not be much of an issue either.

I suppose the real question is how much you're worried about long-term stability in your paintings? It's possible this could last quite well for many years but I would want to investigate it more thoroughly if I were considering using it for work I wanted to be archival.

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Old 03-13-2005, 09:40 AM
Enchanted Enchanted is offline
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Re: Painting on foil

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemart
I've been pasting this onto my support with pva glue and then priming with gesso.
The "priming with gesso" throws me a curve, since I know artists have traditionally used various reflective metal foils to visually "excite" their work. But covering it with gesso totally would defeat the usual visual effect and the usual reason for using a reflective foil to begin with. So it appears, if I understand correctly, that you're doing this purely as a way of getting a certain irregular surface in the gesso.
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Old 03-13-2005, 01:54 PM
lemart lemart is offline
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Re: Painting on foil

Thanks for your responses which were helpful.
You're quite right. I'm using foil only as a textural effect and not to "excite" my painting.
As a matter of interest - is there any definition of how long a painting should last to prove itself of archival quality?
Richard
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Old 03-13-2005, 05:42 PM
nafa nafa is offline
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Re: Painting on foil

Pure aluminum interacts with oxygen quickly to form aluminum oxide. Hence painting on foil is painting on aluminum oxide. This compound has a reactivity rating of zero, ie, inert to acide and alkaline. There seems no point in priming unless you are doing it for other reasons (fine texture?)

It may be best to protect your artwork in glass frames (shadow box like?) If a buyer likes a piece because of the texture/contour, he/she may be upset if a gentle touch changes the contour or worse still cracks the paint.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:15 PM
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colin colin is offline
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Re: Painting on foil

I dunno if this helps, but as a metal worker Ive always had bad results trying to keep paint on aluminum ... I suspect precisely because of the oxide powder that forms on it .

Im not talking about 50 years here of the paint sticking either - more like a summer . But theres gotta be a primer or something that works on it -- Id talk to a good auto body guy or a pro car painter ... they work with aluminum body panels and would know the ins and outs of it I bet ...

Colin

Later: I just talked to my dad about this - said when he worked on airplanes they had to use a specificly made paint - " Alumiclad " or
something .

Last edited by colin : 03-13-2005 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:29 PM
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Marc Hanson Marc Hanson is offline
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Re: Painting on foil

I have no idea how this helps with painting on aluminum foil, but if I was going to paint on an aluminum panel it would be something to think about.

I'm one of those nuts who is building a 'home built' airplane. All of the surface metal is Alcad aircraft aluminum sheeting. The interior structure isn't alcad, doesn't have to be primed but most all of the builders out there do. There are two main ways to apply paint that sticks and prevents the oxidation under the primer/finish paint.

One is to use a one step 'acid-etch' primer, easy to find in automotive paint depts. Can be purchased in a spray can, or in brushable form. Vent it's nasty on the lungs.

The other is to use a two step process of first etching the metal then convert the surface with a 'conversion coater', then applying an epoxy or other primer. The etching/coating product is called 'Alodine' and is brushed on coating the metal to accept the primer. This gives the aluminum a gold tone once dry. Dupont makes this system for one supplier. This can be left without applying a primer, it protects the aluminum from oxidation, but in an airframe the security of also having the protective primer causes most of us to add it as a final coating. If you were painting on an aluminum sheet, this might be the method to consider. It's not worth the effort and expense for what you're doing though I don't think.

Back to the point, I'm sure the spray self-etching primer would be the best bet. It would provide a surface that will take the paint you're using, and it will stick to the foil. You could actually probably use the self -etch primer, coat with acrylic gesso(primer), then do the painting.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:08 AM
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Einion Einion is offline
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Thanks for the tips Marc, hope the plane is going well! Etching primer would be my recommenation in general for working with aluminium because it's what's recommended in hobby circles for working with mixed-metal construction projects to ensure adhesion of subsequent paint layers but as with all paint made for non-artistic uses one has to wonder at its durability over the long term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemart
As a matter of interest - is there any definition of how long a painting should last to prove itself of archival quality?
Hi Richard, as far as I know there is no single definition of archival but you'd want to think in terms of at least a century without visible change under controlled conditions.

Einion
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:38 PM
Blacklava Blacklava is offline
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Re: Painting on foil

If you adhere your foil to the paper or canvas using Heavy Gloss Gel medium it will be soft enough to draw designs into while wet. Then you can mix GAC 200 medium with Acrylic paints (transparent, opaque or metallic) and paint what looks like a lovely stain on the foil -- you can paint numerous layers on it you choose. IT DRIES HARD AS A ROCK! VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE! Give it a try!
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