This weekend was one of painting and one of testing. If you remember last week I did a post showing a small painting on the Ampersand Aquabord. This particular product works very well. I also mentioned in the comments that Golden has a product known as Absorbent Ground which I had not tried, but owned a pot that I wanted to try. And try it, I did...
To use this product, you have to thin it with twenty percent (20%) water and paint it, thinly, on a gessoed surface. The directions said the thinner and more layers used the better the product. So here is what I did. I had some Ampersand Gessobord, so on one I painted 2 thin layers of the product allowing the first to dry before adding the second layer. The second layer was allowed to dry thoroughly before dropping paint on the surface. For this first piece, I sprayed the surface of the prepared board with distilled water and dropped thinned acrylic paint on the surface. As you can see, it clearly did NOT take up the paint in the way watercolor paper would or in a way the Ampersand Aquabord did.
This particular material handles in a very different way. It is a surface unlike paper or Aquaboard. If you are more of a traditional watercolor painter, it might work very well for you, though. If you are more of an experimental painter or abstract expressive painter with watery paint, you will get a very different result than the other two products. I have already began to change this particular piece...it was very difficult to look at even as a test!
The second Gessobord, I did three layers allowing for thorough drying between the layers. This time, I also sprayed the surface with distilled water, but I used acrylic ink rather than the watery paint. The intensity of the ink was more appealing to me, but the ink still sat on top of the surface more than I had wanted. Since a lot of it was just sitting on top, I tossed a bit of sand on the surface (I am not really a good tester, am I?) to get this result.
I liked the result of this okay. It is fine, but nothing to write home about. I, personally, still like the other surfaces better than the Absorbent Ground.
But, once all this had dried, I noticed my pot of Golden Pearl just hanging out nearby. So I picked up that and did a bit of dry brushing over the sandy surface. Granted this is not controlled at all, but I really liked the result.
I know it is difficult to see the pearl effect here, but I thought being able to see the difference would help. Photographing those more reflective paints is a real bear!
So what experiments have you done recently? Are you willing to share the techniques? Do you think it is good to share this kind of thing or do you feel it is something an artist should keep to themselves? How do you feel about sharing just bits and pieces like this...not really art, but tests or how mediums and materials react with each other? And is this kind of blogging unfair to other professions such as writers or workshop instructors?
I look forward to hearing from you...
Have a Very Beautiful Day!
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