Art Journal Under The Sea!

We had a LOT of fun on the U-stream show last Thursday night!  The chat room was a buzz full of great people and lively conversation.  During the show, I experimented with using heavy gloss layers in my journal.  If you’ve ever seen any of Wyanne’s work, you know she adds layers of 2-part epoxy to her pieces.  She will lay down an acrylic painting, put in a layer of gloss, paint, gloss, paint, embellishments and it is GORGEOUS!  I wanted to try to emulate that in my journal.  Obviously, I can’t add a 1″ layer of 2-part epoxy to my book though.  I’d never be able to close the book.  I’m having enough trouble doing that now with all the paint on the spirals.

I had gone to The Hobby Lobby to find something called Triple Thick Glaze.  I thought since it put a layer in equal to three layers of standard varnish, I could put two layers of this in between my  layers of paint and still maintain the flexibility of my journal.  Also, it’s spray paint and I LOVES me some spray paint.  However, while I was at The Hobby Lobby I discovered they had clear vinyl on sale for $2 a yard!  OH MY GOODNESS!  All the things I could do with that, not the least of which involved my current project in my journal.

I started by running some tests to see what might give me the effect I was looking for.  This appeals to the scientist in me.  Using a full text page in my Golf Digest, I sectioned off test areas for vinyl with spray adhesive on one side, vinyl with spray adhesive on two sides, vinyl with mod podge, vinyl with liquid medium, mod podge without vinyl, liquid medium without vinyl, vinyl with gel medium, triple thick varnish, and a control.  Whew!  Someone in the chat room said I had entirely too much time on my hands.  At the time of the show, the three best adhesives that maintained transparency were the liquid medium, the gel medium, and the triple thick.  The triple thick required the page to be sealed first though.  I decided to continue with gel medium and liquid medium for phase II testing.

In Phase II of the testing, I took two playing cards and painted on them.  starting with a foundation of watercolor and acrylic I began adding layers of vinyl using gel on one and liquid medium on the other.  The second layer of paint was an acrylic flower and some paint spatters.  This is where the gel medium really outshined the liquid.  The gel smoothed over the edges so that there were no air bubbles around the spatters.  However, a week later and the gel medium still has not dried and so is still cloudy.  The liquid medium did dry clearly and quickly so it got the shot in the journal.  I still want to watch the gel medium, however and see if it will eventually dry.  This will be important if I ever want to do this again with larger embellishments.

I am very pleased with the final results.  You can see in the close up that the layers are quite distinguished from one another, and it is all VERY shiny.  I couldn’t get the vinyl across the spirals, of course, so I ended up using the triple thick spray there.  I also need to treat the sides to hide the edge of the vinyl and protect them from catching on things and being peeled up.  The transparencies also added a layer of atmospheric perspective that just REALLY made the foreground pop.  I love that.

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