Friday, December 5, 2008

Watercolor Glassless Framing - the First Result

Cockatoo Before and After Varnishing
Jan Gibson

I thought you might like to see the cockatoo painting after four coats of the Golden UVLS gloss varnish. Actually, you can't see much difference between the two scans here but the varnished painting looks a little brighter in real life. At this point, I'm debating on whether to add another coat of satin varnish for a different finish or leave it as it is.

I like that it looks bright and rich in color and the fact that it's not real shiny in spite of the gloss varnish. I hesitate to use the satin varnish in case it doesn't look as good but this is an experimental piece so I think I'll try it. If I don't, I'll never know whether it would have looked better or worse, right?

I have been diligent in observing the different stages of the process and will give my thoughts here in hopes of helping someone else.

I do like the ease of the Preval sprayer for applying the Golden Soft Gel (gloss). I diluted it to 2 parts Soft Gel and 1 part water and it sprayed on beautifully.

However, when I diluted the Golden UVLS varnish (gloss) 2 to 1, I felt that it was too thin and may try it with either less water or will not dilute it at all and will apply it with a foam brush.

With the sprayed on varnish, I either got runs and drips or lots of air bubbles. I got rid of most of the air bubbles the same way you do with a cake batter - by rapping the painting sharply on a hard surface. The rest were popped with an old hat/corsage pin.

I don't like the Preval sprayer because I had to use quite a bit of the varnish in order for the sprayer pipe to reach the liquid. The jars that come with the sprayer are a little over 2 inches in diameter and are about 5 inches tall. They hold 6 ounces of liquid.

Of course, the bottle doesn't have to be filled to the top line for the sprayer to work but it seems to work best with at least an ounce in the bottle. This varnish (and the soft gel) goes a long, long way but I'm told that the varnish doesn't keep after mixing so that means that I have quite a bit left that will have to be thrown out. These products aren't cheap so I think this is a pretty good reason to at least try the foam brush instead of the sprayer the next time. Or, perhaps I can find a bottle with a lot smaller diameter that will work with less liquid. Or, maybe the airbrush is the solution after all.


Christine said...

Hi Jan,

this looks good! There is a definite difference to the varnished piece, but looks very good.

Jan said...

Thanks, Christine. I didn't know if the varnish was obvious enough for anyone to see it. I do like the watercolor varnished like this - the colors are so bright and defined.