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Mediums & Textures Uncovered

Paints and Tools

''What I find amazing about Liquitex mediums and gels, is that whether fluid or thick; they keep their integrity and flexibility so that even on a 3D object, they can be used to create a surface. Liquitex mediums and gels allow me to create textures without any fear of cracking; not only do they stay flexible but they also become translucent, allowing you to see the color underneath.''


                                                 Françoise Issaly 'Inner-Outer Circles'

Composition, color and hue are important elements in any painting, however texture is another dimension which is also used to communicate emotion and meaning. Artists manipulate the texture of their surface throughout the painting process using techniques from traditional glazing to collage. Liquitex Mediums & Texture gels provide limitless ways for artists to explore this texture, while maintaining vibrant color.

Professional artist and Outreach Manager for Liquitex, Françoise Issaly has experimented with texture over the years and as an educator, frequently demonstrates how effects can be achieved. In this article she explains how Liquitex Mediums can be used to interpret texture, drawing on highlights from her work and that of professional artist Wil Murray who has a unique mixed media style.

During art school Françoise experimented with imprints in plaster and sculpture using fabric and acrylic and today, she continues to explore the endless possibilities that acrylic paints have to offer. For many years, Fran
çoise has used traditional glazing techniques; these may not typically be associated with ‘texture’ but in fact, the building up of layers and the effects it creates, result in a highlighted, textured piece. Françoise explains, “What I particularly like about the Liquitex Mediums and Texture gels is that many of them are translucent or transparent when they dry, so that they can accommodate my technique.”


             Françoise Issaly 'Configuration'

This layering technique is expressed in Fran
çoise’s Configuration series. ''I would start my work by making an ink drawing directly on the canvas, then adding layers of color over the ink. Once the first 2 layers were set in place, I would apply Liquitex Resin Sand all over the surface with a large spatula until it covered the whole drawing/painting. Liquitex Resin Sand feels like a rough sand that has been added to a gel medium; the difference is that the 'sand' has no foreign particle that could be contaminating my gel, or painting. It is made of translucent crystals, which means that, whatever was under the layer of texture gel will reappear as it dries. I love seeing my painting disappear to re-appear a couple of hours later.” Françosie continues, ''What was even more amazing to me was the fact that when I was painting the next layers of glazes, it was as if the medium was becoming even more translucent; I could see the depth slowly happening. Once the painting was finished, the light was catching on the crystals of the gel medium''

In 2000, Fran
çoise further explored texture through the idea of 3D painted objects in her Migrators series. These objects were made of small wood sticks, tulle and tissue paper. ''On the top layer, I wanted a stronger surface to paint on, and I achieved this by covering the whole object with Liquitex Gloss Gel. This allowed me, once dry, to draw patterns and motifs on my objects, before adding texture gels (Liquitex Glass Beads this time), which I would let dry and then paint over it. The result was fantastic; the surface looking like a strange alien skin surface.''  



           Françoise Issaly 'Migrators'

Wil Murray, a Canadian artist living in Germany, is another artist who uses acrylic in an  unique way, by using acrylic skins. Acrylic skins are films of acrylic, with or without mediums but with no support (a process similar to putting pure paint in our hands which then dries out). Wil creates these acrylic skins by applying paint on a piece of clean glass, letting it dry, then covering it with Gloss Gel Medium, and peeling it off the surface. This procedure allows him to create colors and textures and re-integrate them on a canvas, similar to a collage. Some of his collages often end up being three-dimensional, with the shapes and colors seeming to step out of the canvas.


Wil Murray 'Casual Friday morning coming down' (2008)
                    acrylics on canvas, 38 x 48''

Acrylic skins are unique to acrylic paint and can be created with most Liquitex mediums. In order to create this effect, colors mixed with mediums or texture gels can be applied to non stick surfaces such as glass or plastic bags.  Once the acrylic is dry it can be peeled off to create an acrylic skin. Various gels, glosses or mattes can be used as well as string gels and white opaque flakes. To get perfect results the mediums must be fully dried and separated by using wax paper to prevent them sticking together.  Fran
çoise often tells her students that mediums don’t have to be used ‘straight out of a jar’. Texture gels can be mixed together to create a new and unique texture (e.g.  you can take 1/3 White Opaque flakes, 1/3 Black Lava, and 1/3 Stucco to create a granite-type texture) plus all Liquitex colors, mediums and gels are intermixable thus giving you ultimate creativity.  


In Françoise's own words, ''Liquitex mediums and colors can be used to create our own language, so that we can best share our ideas and concepts. All these textures exist to give artists the opportunity to broaden their artistic horizons.''

August 01, 2013 < Back To News

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