Saturday, June 22, 2013

Varnish Experiments

I am thoroughly enjoying living near a big city. I have had to order my art supplies online because my only art stores in Keene were Michaels or my local frame shop, who was great but had limited items or you had to know what you wanted to special order. I went to the Dick Blick the other day in Portland and was able to pick up several varnishes to try out. If you order online you have to pay a fee for the flammable products so I never ordered too many online to be able to experiment with. 

I am varnishing on a makeshift table made out of a wardrobe moving box. I'm glad they get to be used for something. 

Here's The varnishes I got to try. On the left is Grumbacher final fixative that I sprayed on first. It did a good job not altering the colors much. It slightly darkened the darks which I am okay with. It did also eat a little of the green background on my slug picture below. That, however is probably because that was straight Coloursoft and I was told that some Coloursofts are actually water soluble to an extent. Next time I will make sure to layer some prisma over that color or at least a colorless blender. 

The other two were mentioned by Ranjini Venkatachari who works very similar to me. This stuff is AMAZING. I bought satin and gloss. When the satin dries you wouldn't even know it was there except when you touch it and feel the protective barrier. I think I can even photograph it without glare. The gloss will bring out your colors more and make them slightly more vibrant if you are looking for that. 

This is my CPSA etry that will be going to the International show this summer. I was worried about varnishing it because I was having issues with a lot of things changing or pencil being eaten away with the Krylon I was using in Keene. I am SO pleased. It really didn't change at all and I can feel confident sending it off to California. 

This is the one that the background green got eaten away by the fixative. I really think that color must be a little water soluble so I am not too worried about that. 

Next I need to try the Golden Varnish without the fixative and see if that is okay as well. 


mitchellart said...

I love Golden Varnish... I also use some water based products so I fix my pieces with lascaux fixative before I varnish. This might help with Colorsoft.

Jan Pope said...

Thanks for posting this. I've had an awful time finding a varnish that doesn't affect my artwork. I'm with you on the Krylon - it has nearly ruined several of my pieces - to the point of me having to work over it with pencil to fix colors. Not good. I have been using Blair's archival spray for digital photographs, but I don't think that it is being produced any more. I'll be giving the Golden products a try.

Carolyn A. Pappas said...

Are you varnishing them so you can frame them without glass? I saw some like that at the DC112 group show and I want to try it out.

Nicole Caulfield said...

Thanks Mitchell - I'll give it a try.

Jan I hope you like it!!

Carolyn - yep I frame 99% of my still-lifes without glass.