Author Topic: acrylic + paper = cool?  (Read 741 times)

Offline mikealynch

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acrylic + paper = cool?
« on: February 13, 2011, 10:04:22 AM »
hi all,

sorry if this is a dopey question -- im new to painting w/ acrylics (ive mostly worked w/ oils and a bit w/ inks and random other cheapo junk) so im just kind of flailing around over here.

so ive got this pile of drawings from a few years back. mostly ink/crayon/wax done on these really thin little notecard type papers. although some are on slightly more substantial cardstock. anyway, theyre just hanging out in a box in my closet and id like to incorporate them in something larger. i was thinking about maybe using some -- or pieces of some -- in a sort of messy collage-y canvas heap w/ a pile of this heavy body acrylic smeared all over the place. some acrylic that's just watered down as well as some just right out of the tube. thing is i'm not really sure how the paper will react to contact w/ the acrylic. i feel like oil mixed w/ some alkyd would totally devour the paper but acrylic seems like a more friendly beast. seems like the two might be able to cohabitate.

anyway, sorry about the babbling! long story short -- does anyone have any experience layering paper w/ acrylic on a canvas? how did it turn out? i'm a little reluctant to attack these papers w/ acrylic before i know whether they'll just get mangled and ruined. but i'm inclined to just dive right in. better to have them ruined on the canvas than buried in a box in my closet forever, eh? FUN.

later!
mike
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 10:06:38 AM by mikealynch »

Offline BarryS

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Re: acrylic + paper = cool?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 09:20:39 PM »
Mike--  I've done some experiments with acrylic media and inkjet images printed on a variety of papers.  The thing to remember is that acrylic mediums have a high water content, so think of what happens to your papers when they get wet--e.g. rippling, warping, etc.  Papers that are made to handle wet, like 100% cotton rag watercolor papers are easier to deal with, but you'll need to experiment.  I'd adhere the pieces with a thin coat and seal them in with a thin coat to start--and after that dries, you can go crazy with thicker mediums and colors.  I like Liquitex High Gloss Varnish as a general purpose acrylic medium.
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Offline mikealynch

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Re: acrylic + paper = cool?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 10:35:42 AM »
Mike--  I've done some experiments with acrylic media and inkjet images printed on a variety of papers.  The thing to remember is that acrylic mediums have a high water content, so think of what happens to your papers when they get wet--e.g. rippling, warping, etc.  Papers that are made to handle wet, like 100% cotton rag watercolor papers are easier to deal with, but you'll need to experiment.  I'd adhere the pieces with a thin coat and seal them in with a thin coat to start--and after that dries, you can go crazy with thicker mediums and colors.  I like Liquitex High Gloss Varnish as a general purpose acrylic medium.

i hadn't considered sealing the pieces before hand. bet that looks cool. does it make the paper really stiff? wonder if the high gloss varnish is non-toxic... anyway, thanks for the tips! i'll give it a look for sure.

Offline Gone

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Re: acrylic + paper = cool?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 05:40:30 PM »
Hey Mike,

You may find that the paper becomes somewhat transparent once it gets wet from the acrylic.  That effect is due to the water.  The transparency can be a good thing or bad thing depending on what effect you want.  To avoid transparency you could paint the back side of your drawings with a white acrylic (or another color) first.  Then when you collage them into the piece they will have that back color at a minimum.  If you use really thin paper like rice paper to collage, it just about completely disappears.  So say you print your drawings out on rice paper and then collage them in.  You would see jsut the drawing itself and the paper would be basically invisible.  If you do this and use an inkjet printer, make sure to let the ink dry for several days first, as it is water soluable and can bleed easily.  And don't do a lot of brushing on the first layer, just give it a quick light coat of acrylic and let it dry completely.

Offline BarryS

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Re: acrylic + paper = cool?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 11:03:15 PM »
The paper gets stiff, but retains some flexibility--one of the properties of acrylic polymer.  The gloss varnish medium is completely non-toxic--it's in a water base.  Paul's advice is good--try not to do too much brushing of the paper, because it starts to break down.

i hadn't considered sealing the pieces before hand. bet that looks cool. does it make the paper really stiff? wonder if the high gloss varnish is non-toxic... anyway, thanks for the tips! i'll give it a look for sure.
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Offline mikealynch

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Re: acrylic + paper = cool?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2011, 05:47:55 PM »
painting the back of the papers makes a lot of sense since they're kind of on the thin side. i'm hoping to have my current project done in the next day or so. i'm eager to fiddle around with paper so i'll probably take a crack at integrating some of this stuff in the next one.

thanks for all the feedback!