I finally finished the Big Journal covers! Why do I have three photos of the same thing? Because Symon is in them.
While in Laurel (2010) I experimented with varnishing my acrylic paintings. Varnishing is the final step in finishing a painting. It is an added layer of protection as well as UV protection from sunlight. I consulted Golden (the experts) for advice, both on their website and via email.
They made some recommendations:
Soft Gel Gloss diluted with water 2:1 Gel: Water as the 'isolation coat' over the painting.
Let dry completely before brushing on Varnish:
Golden Varnish diluted with water 3:1 Varnish: Water.
NOTE that finishing should be done with the paintings flat and elevated.
I varnished several of my 'women' paintings, but never got any really good photos of them varnished. They have all been taken off of their stretcher bars, so here are a few pics I took recently of the surfaces.
Back then I tried mixing the Soft Gel and spraying it on with a spray bottle. This was too messy and cannot be stored in the spray bottle or it will dry up and clog. Brushing it on worked better, but these mixtures have a tendency to foam up if shaken - I had to brush it on and then use a second dry brush to smooth it out. These paintings had some mixed media elements on them and the liquid pooled in the crevices and had to be brushed out.
Here is the painting Elizabeth, now the front cover of the Laurel Big Journal.
Early last year I wanted to finish the book covers for the Memphis and A Lovely Dream Big Journals, since I made those from chipboard and covered them in canvas. I brushed straight Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid on the covers, and it looked just fine. It protects the painted canvas. I didn't bother with varnish. I wrote to Golden to ask if Acrylic Glazing Liquid could be used in place of Soft Gel and they said yes, it's essentially the same material and if I am getting good results (always test first!) then it should be fine. So, Acrylic Glazing Liquid is now my material for the isolation coat.
VARNISHING THE COVERS:
I poured the Acrylic Glazing Liquid directly onto the covers of the Atlanta, Bloomington and Stillness Journal Covers, and brushed it out using my big gesso brush. I put 2 or 3 coats of the Acrylic Glaze, depending on the covers.
After letting it dry for 24 hours, I then mixed up some Golden Varnish 3:1 with water and brushed it on. I never measure the amounts, I always just eyeball it. Actually, I just added water to the bottle and shook it. These covers didn't really need varnish, but I've had a third of a bottle for several years, so I wanted to use it up. And it was a nice excuse for this blog post.
After letting the varnish dry for 24 hours, the covers are done.
Bloomington front cover (left) and back cover, done and varnished.
See all the Big Journal tutorial blog posts here.