Monday, July 27, 2009

The Great Pearl-Ex + Mediums Experiment of Ought-Nine - Part Two

So, here we go, for Round Two of the Great Pearl-Ex + Mediums Experiment of '09. This time, I'm trying out my more unusual acrylic mediums, of the gel and paste variety. For Part One, please see this post. If you'd like to know more about Pearl-Ex, please visit Jacquard's website.

The Products:

For my Pearl-Ex mica powder, I again chose Aztec Gold (Product # 658), to use throughout these experiments. It's a rich, warm yellow gold that reminds me of gold leaf.

Here are the mediums that I mixed with the Aztec Gold for this round of experiments:
  • Golden's Clear Tar Gel
  • Liquitex Glass Bead Gel
  • Golden's Garnet Gel
  • Golden's Acrylic Ground for Pastels
  • Liquitex Blended Fibers Gel
  • Golden Light Molding Paste
  • Golden Crackle Paste
The Process:

Here, because of the nature of the mediums I was using, I chose a slightly different process than the first experiment. I took the same mini-scooper of Pearl-Ex powder, but used a full scoop of the powder (instead of only the 1/2 scoop in the 1st experiment), and added it to a little Dixie cup. Then, I added about a tablespoon of each medium, one per Dixie cup. It's too hard to pull out these mediums in 1/2 teaspoon quantities, so I opted to increase the amounts, while keeping the ratio of medium/Pearl-Ex about the same.

I then mixed each medium with its Pearl-Ex with a popsicle stick. Then, I painted all of the Pearl-Ex mixtures onto pre-labeled 3 inch x 4 inch black cardstock, so we could see how vibrant the Pearl-Ex would turn out. Each piece of cardstock only got one layer, although some of the layers are thicker than others, due to the nature of the medium (Light Molding Paste, Blended Fibers and the Crackle Paste). The only medium I didn't paint right away was the Clear Tar Gel - I waited about a half an hour before painting with it. Clear Tar Gel gets air bubbles in it very easily when it's stirred up, so I had to wait for some of the air bubbles to come to the surface.

After all of the mediums had dried, I taped them all together onto a larger piece of black cardstock, and photographed the results. I took two sets of pictures - one with flash, and one without. Because of the metallic nature of Pearl-Ex powders, it's easier to see their properties when you can view them in two different sets of lighting. It's kind of a virtual way of being able to "tilt the card", like you would in real life.

The Results:
Here are the mediums I used, labeled 1-7, as they correspond to the pictures:
  1. Golden's Clear Tar Gel
  2. Liquitex Glass Bead Gel
  3. Golden's Garnet Gel
  4. Golden's Acrylic Ground for Pastels
  5. Liquitex Blended Fibers Gel
  6. Golden Light Molding Paste
  7. Golden Crackle Paste
Here are the results, from a picture taken with my Sony DSC-F828, without flash:
(click to enlarge)

Here are the results, from a picture taken with my Sony DSC-F828, with a low flash (higher levels of flash, on my camera, tend to wash everything out):
(click to enlarge)

Conclusions:

Again, the Pearl-Ex Aztec Gold mixes beautifully with every medium I've thrown at it (no clumping or non-mixing, which has happened with some Pearl-Ex powders on me - namely "Flamingo Pink", "Brilliant Yellow" and "Turquoise").

Now I have another keyword to add to my "These Don't Do Well with Pearl-Ex" list - Opaque. So, "Matte" and "Opaque" - got it. The Crackle Paste and the Light Molding Paste are both opaque (I assume they have some Titanium or Zinc White added to them), and the vibrant metallic color of the Aztec Gold Pearl-Ex just disappeared in them. The same thing happened with the Acrylic Ground for Pastels, although, I can see what looks like a glittery-shimmer mixed into the medium (not obvious in the photo, but I can see it in real life). I think a wash of Pearl-Ex over these mediums will show up beautifully, just not mixed in them.

It's hard to tell in these photos (and I'm not sure why), but the Clear Tar Gel and Glass Bead Gel are just as vibrant as the results I got with Liquitex's Gloss Medium and Varnish (now my favorite Pearl-Ex medium paint-maker, besides Gum Arabic). I'm not really sure what to do with the Glass Bead Gel, and haven't been since I first got it, but I love the effect of the Aztec Gold in it. The Garnet Gel showed a more muted effect, but there's just enough shimmer with the Pearl-Ex to make it interesting. I can see adding one of the darker, more bronze colors of Pearl-Ex, to make this look like authentic rust.

The Blended Fibers is interesting - it looks a bit like paper on the page, and with the Pearl-Ex, it looks old and slightly shiny at the same time. There is some opacity to the Blended Fibers, so I believe a wash of Pearl-Ex would do much better than it being mixed in. I'm glad I did this experiment, as prior to this, I had no idea what to do with Blended Fibers, but now, I think I can add it to molds, and it will look like a tissue paper cast.

Next up will be the last part of this experiment, where I show you how Pearl-Ex and things like Linseed Oil, Minwax's Polycrylic, Dorland's Wax Medium and Isopropyl Alcohol look.

3 comments:

Dove Tussah said...

I like liquitex gloss the most :') was wondering if you use liquitex iridescent medium for anything else? I'm surprised it's almost clear in your photo. I saw a few photos of iridescent medium by other brands and they tint color you add to it.

Dove Tussah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dove Tussah said...

Oops this reply is for Part 1