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Aesthetics of Varnishing Transparent Watercolor

This article briefly explores the permanent changes created by varnishing transparent watercolor on paper, in particular the aesthetic changes to color, value, texture, and sheen. Keep in mind that varnishing also changes the nature of the painting through the permanent addition of acrylic. While there are several approaches to varnishing watercolor, we only focused on […]

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SID Testing of Various Sealers on Hardboard where we looked at how effective GAC 100. Polymer Medium, and BIN were when using OPEN and Regular Gel.

OPEN Acrylics, Shellac, and SID

In many ways this article is a continuation from an earlier one,  Waterproof India Inks and Shellac-based Primers, which focused mostly on the alkaline sensitivity of shellac-based india inks when used with acrylics. However, towards the end of the article we briefly looked at  Zinnser’s B-I-N®, a common pigmented shellac primer, to see if it had similar […]

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Here is the same sample board with a different light angle showing the full interference and iridescent effects.

Layering and Mixing with Iridescent and Interference Acrylic Paints

We’ve all seen Iridescent and Interference effects when viewing soap bubbles, oil slicks, flower petals, bird feathers, and more. They are fairly common in the natural world. If they are somewhat less common in artwork, it might simply be that they still represent new and unexplored possibilities for most people, even after being part of […]

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The aluminum apex (9” x 5”) from the Washington Monument was cast by William Frishmuth of Philadelphia, the only domestic producer of the ore.  At that time, it was a rare metal more valuable than silver.

Painting on Metal: An Introduction

Question: How often do they repaint the steel on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge? Answer: Every day, non-stop, repainting areas of corrosion (28 painters). Painting metal, especially metals exposed to variable environmental conditions is not something even our most advanced coating systems can stand up to over time, measured not in decades but in just […]

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Testing Inks on Various Substrates for Sensitivity to GOLDEN Gesso, GAC 100 and QoR Watercolor

Waterproof India Inks and Shellac-based Primers

We all get tripped up and surprised sometimes. Even the simplest description can set in motion assumptions that lead us to expect one thing only to be sitting there, moments later, head slightly tilted, a quizzical glance showing equal parts frustration and fascination. Which is where we found ourselves a few years back when testing a variety of […]

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