Varnishing

Hello everybody, I hope you had a great weekend. It’s been unusually snowy in my neck of the woods, so I stayed in mostly. I decided it was time to do some varnishing of my previous paintings.

I’m sure there are varying opinions when it comes to vanishing paintings. Some say that you don’t need to and some swear by it. In my work, I noticed some paintings need it more than others. But, I am all for maximum protection when it comes to paintings and any other works of art. In addition to the protection that varnish provides, is its ability to re-saturate the colours, even out the painting and provide a way remove it for cleaning in the future. The varnish is removable with odorless mineral spirits.

I have varnished acrylic works before but never oils. So I was apprehensive when it came to varnishing oils, just because my lack of experience. After much research online, I decided to try it out. Traditional oil varnishes, (usually Damar) should be put on after the painting has been oxidizing of 6-12 months or more. So we are lucky that we have picture varnishes such as Gamblin’s Gamvar that you can varnish after the painting is touch dry. I decided to wait over a month anyway to make sure.

Below is one of my paintings before and after the varnish. On the left, you can clearly see the difference after the painting has “dried” some parts have sunken in and uneven levels of haze and gloss. On the right, after the painting has been varnished, the colours are resaturated, painting is more uniform and overall clarity is restored.
IMG_4595I used the gloss version of the varnish but there are different finishes as matte and satin as well. The varnish is touch dry in a couple of hours but totally tack-free in 24 hours. I think the trick is to get it on as thinly as possible. After doing a few, I think I’m getting the hang of it.  The worst thing about the whole procedure is avoiding dust and loose brush hairs.

I hope this has been informative to those who are interested.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,

Jeannette

 

 

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“The Dove”

img_3772 Above is an acrylic pouring medium painting I’ve done recently. It is a personal piece that I had in my head for a while. I won’t go too much into detail but this painting is symbolic of a specific moment in my life.

The effect that I like most about this piece is the “honed marble” look. Again, please excuse my iphonography (but it’s really hard to show in the photo), the matte but smoothness of the surface:
img_3775It was achieved by applying matte varnish to the painting. The whole painting was varnished thoroughly in gloss varnish for protection, and then varnished superficially in matte for effect. If you look closely in real life, the gloss is still present in the crevices; this is why it looks like honed marble. The painting feels really nice to the touch. It almost feels counter-intuitive to use a high-gloss medium to achieve a matte product in the end. But, the pouring medium really adds to the dimension and layered aspect of the painting.

You can see the built-up layers from the sides especially:
img_3773

And the undulating layers of the clouds:
img_3777

Detail of dove:
img_3776

I am really pleased with the way this painting turned out. Since, I’ve been mulling it over in my head for years on how to do this painting. It is really difficult to capture a feeling, the atmosphere and visual realities one had at a specific moment in time. In this piece, I was able to express what I wanted though the tactile and symbolic elements.

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