Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Painting: Underpainting and Gloss Medium

Thought I'd go into my process a bit for this piece.  Although I prefer acrylics for their less hazardous nature, I do have those days when I miss the slow-as-molasses drying time of oils.  It was truly a fateful day when my professor introduced me to gloss medium last spring.  I've been using it more in the past month than I used to.  I'm glad to say it's all but erased my oil paint longings.

For this underpainting (as with my latest ACEO and The Candle Wizard), I used a thicker paint layer then I usually do, the result being an even more oil-like experience when combined with my magic medium.  On a friend's recommendation, I also used a small spray bottle this time to mist my palette and painting as I worked.  It's a wonder what a difference more paint and simple water make.

More on this painting to come as I work on the layers of color.


  1. i love how you do involved portraits on a tiny little canvas. she is surround in a depth of feeling. I hope you share her completed.

    thank you for sharing the way you went about this. I have used Liquitex glazing medium in a similar way, it keeps the paint from drying so fast, but it does make it more translucent, almost more of a watercolor feeling depending on how much you use. Is that what the open medium does?

  2. Thank you Tammie! I'll be working on her this week, so a picture of the completed painting is definitely coming soon.

    Open medium is extremely versatile, which is why I love it so much. It can make the paint more watercolor-like as you said, though with a thicker consistency which is great for glazing paintings. I generally use it as a retarder though, so I add only a little to my paints. Usually that's about one or two small drops to every dime-sized blob of paint. That way the consistency of the acrylics remains thick, but they stay wet longer.

  3. thank you for answering my questions, so kind of you. I look forward to trying it out!

    1. You're welcome Tammie, glad you found this post useful!