Sunday, March 20, 2011

I am trying to get more info on the blogs

So I am taking existing info,updating it and posting it here. Let me know what you think. Later this year I am going to make the final jump and do some online classes so keep checking back. It may happen sooner than I think!

Unique Antique

I LOVE a vintage look. Truly, brown is one of my favorite colors right after any shade of green. Lately I am looking for a bit lighter look and white antique is just the ticket. Since a bright white overlay does not take the vivid qualities of color away like more neutral antique agents do, I tend to use it with pieces I want to keep clearer and cleaner looking.

Most antique processes need to be applied at the end of a project and using white is no exception. I do not usually start projects with any antique methods in mind. Each piece seems to determine what it needs along the way. When I think a piece needs a more cohesive feel then I bring out antique techniques.

My main white antique medium is good thick gesso which can be applied over many surfaces including beeswax. Over heavily embellished areas I apply the gesso full strength. thick and gooey to fill textured areas.
This takes a while to dry and looks like frosting since gesso dries to a matte finish. Thick gesso can also be used as a glue for layers of glitter or mica flakes.

Apply gesso thinned with water over surfaces you want to show through. Allow the gesso to bead up on slick surfaces as it will dry in those little beads leaving a haphazard charm. You can gain control somewhat by wetting the surface first with water then applying the thinned gesso. Blot excesses with paper towel.
Gesso can also be applied by spritzer bottle which can give a fine mist of white similar to falling snow.
Mix 1 part gesso to 3 parts water and rinse the spritzer immediately following use.

When I am not sure if I want something covered wet gesso can be washed away by loading the surface with lots of water. This of course will not work on paper substrates so I apply Micro Glaze wax to paper surfaces I want masked.

Lightly brushing very thin gesso over dry surfaces is attractive. Old newsprint or any type of collage surface is enhanced with a thin layering of white.

If you are not a huge fan of pure white tinting gesso is really easy. A single drop of dye reinker or fluid acrylic will do it. Go slow here or else you'll have a thick pastel color instead of a tint.

Crackle paints are a great way to antique projects. Each type has specific directions so a good deal of testing is required. I like the spray varieties and have had good successes especially on outside edges. As with all spray paints masking is crucial.

White paste shoe polish is another favorite since it is easy to control. It does not have the thick snowy quality of gesso but is excellent on paper. I use it in altered books where a thick paint application is usually not advisable.
Shoe polish does have a distinct odor because of the solvent so let the project air out for a few hours the smell will quickly fade. This is not archival in any way and there are times I just don't worry about it!
Try a bit of white antique on your next project, it is vintage and unique.


Elaine A said...

Hi MaryJo -

Thanks for the antiquing info, especially about tinting gesso. Neat idea about using the white shoe polish paste. And it would be great to see you do some online classes. I miss seeing you at the stamps shows in NY.

Elaine Allen

Maryjo McGraw said...

I miss seeing everyone Elaine but I do not miss the horrible experience that is traveling these days LOL!