Two acrylic gouache paintings with a bit of mixed media. (Quite a lot actually 😀 )
The main driver for these paintings was the coming exhibition, a dark room with UV lights in a paradise theme. So fluorescent acrylic painting was used in these paintings as well. The flower paintings cannot be seen in the museum in other than the UV lights on, so here you get to see what they look in normal light 🙂 I wanted the pieces to work in normal light as well, not requiring UV and then to have a hidden bonus.
This is quite a long post as was the work process, since I used some many different things:
- the panel preparations
- glass pieces
- painting the panel
- modeling and painting the flowers
- adding gold leaf
You can jump to final pieces in the end.
I started the panels with gesso and modeling paste. I spread the modeling paste here and there and formed flower petals with a palette knife. Then I drilled tiny whole in some places, attached copper wires to the canvases and finished the surface with gesso.
(I did not use the crackle base after all, only the modeling paste and gesso)
Then I went a head to make the glass parts from dichroic glass. I prepared the pieces for some melting time over the night, making tiny squares with different colors.
I did not use all of the pieces I made, but I wanted to make the plate full for the program and also have different options available, in different colors and sizes.
Then I painted the pieces with acrylic gouache (Liquitex), since I wanted a matte finish painting. There was also used for the UV light purposes fluorescent acrylic colors, but I used those quite moderately.
After painting, I attached the finished glass pieces with additional modeling paste on the panel and once dry, painted the paste.
Work in progress:
Some changes I did after this, was to strengthen the UV effect on the flowers, since using my tiny flashlight now did not have much of an effect and I had no idea how the light in the museum would hit the painting.
Then the last part, making the additional 3d flowers into the painting. The flowers were attached into the heads of the copper wires protruding from the top of the paintings.
I wondered quite some time what medium to use for the flowers. Modeling clay or just paper. I tried Super Sculpey, but those turned too brittle. I was pondering on using crepe paper but then I ended up using Fimo Soft as I made some trials with even thinner petals and those were still bendy after baking.
- Super Sculpey is not suggested for thin pieces and stronger Premo, Fimo, Pardo, Kato, Cernit, or Souffle are suggested instead
- NOTE: of course with all modeling clays, too short baking time can also leave the pieces brittle
I was also investigating cold porcelain for the flowers, but did not want to go there (start cooking the mass myself) and I was running out of time to start ordering abroad. That would have been an interesting path also, if I could have purchased ready made cold porcelain quickly. I did try silk clay also, but since the fimo soft was fine and I found some from local super market, I stuck with it.
If I would do something differently, would be to blend the acrylic color into the fimo, not paint on top. Then the varnishing part would not be that necessary. I did do last petals like this on the smaller orange flower, but that of course made the clay also very sticky, so then have to wait a bit for the clay to get more manageable again.
The crepe paper could have made some pretty delicate flowers, but I felt with the bulky modeling paste flowers in the painting itself, the fimo flowers work better.
Final touches and varnishing
As final touches I added also gold leaf here and there, mainly to the right side areas starting from the bigger flowers.
The varnishing was a bit of a trial as well, as I was aware the Fimo pieces might end up sticky if using wrong kind of varnish. So I did first some trials on broken Sculpey parts and Fimo test petals I had baked in earlier trials to ensure the fimo flowers would be bendy.
In the end I used the Gamblin Gamvar satin to varnish the painting itself and then the SpectraFix Degas fixative on the clay flowers.
- the golden archival varnish was sticky on the fimo and sculpey
- and the gamvar varnish even more sticky
- luckily I had bought for soft pastels this Spectrafix Degas Fixative, and that did not leave the fimo pieces sticky
(the trials I made months ago are still sticky)
And then the finished paintings. Left in normal light and the right side in UV light: