Frequently asked questions
What can I use as an adhesive to attach canvas to wood?
We suggest using GOLDEN Soft Gel as an adhesive for wood to canvas. While it’s not entirely necessary, gessoing both the canvas and wood surfaces to be joined is a good idea for the best possible adhesion. You may be able to lay the canvas down on a flat table or floor, brush or roller the Soft Gel, and lay the board on top. It can be tricky to apply just the proper amount of gel needed, but try not to apply too much or it may seep out.
It’s important for the canvas to be very flat and even. Once the two surfaces meet, press down firmly and turn over. Use a rolling pin or brayer ink roller to smooth out the gel and air pockets. Try to remove any gel that seeps out. Once this coating dries, flip the panel over and focus on the flaps. These should also be glued down using the Soft Gel. The length of the flaps is up to you, but you probably want to measure at least a couple of inches on all sides.
What kind of paint can I use to paint plaster frames silver so that the plaster is fully metallic and the white plaster won`t show beneath?
You can apply Golden GAC 800 either straight or diluted with some water to enable better penetration into the plaster. This would serve as a form of clear primer/sealer to consolidate and prepare the surface for painting. It is useful as a modifier when adhesion to chalky surfaces is desired. An acrylic gesso could then be applied, or else the paints could simply be brushed directly on top or you can use Montana spray paint or frame colourants. As we have not done extensive testing with this approach on a variety of plaster surfaces, however, we would recommend doing at least some preliminary testing to make sure there are no unforeseen issues.
Golden GAC 800 for sealing and prepping surface
A mixed media artist asked a question recently
Can you please tell me which, if any, of your water-soluble lino printing inks are waterproof when dry?
I use mixed media techniques, layering watercolour on my linoprints, so I need a printing ink that won’t budge when dry. In short, I am looking for an ink that behaves like acrylic paint. All of the water-soluble lino inks I’ve tried behave like watercolours, bleeding when re-wet. Help!!”
“The Schmincke is bound with gum arabic so it is like watercolour.
But this info from Lukas says that theirs becomes water resistant- it just takes a little while. So I assume that theirs is acrylic based with a retarder so that it dries very slowly.
“Lukas Lino Printing Inks are water dilutable and remain on a glass pane or similar surfaces for a longer time wet to work with the lino roller. On paper they become non-wipeable after a short time. After some weeks, depending on the thickness of the colour layer and paper, Lukas Lino Printing Inks become water resistant.”
Link to Lukas Linol on the Jackson’s website.
Or you can use any acrylic paint with acrylic retarder that you add. This way you can control how slowly it dries.
Link to retarders on the Jackson’s website ”
“Thanks, Julie. This is just the sort of info I have been looking for. I’m going to look into using the retarder with acrylics, as you suggested.
Oil Paint Starter Set
A new painter has asked for a good starter set of oil paints. I made up a list for him and thought others might find it helpful.
Jackson’s oil paints are very popular. They are artist quality at student prices. So you get big tubes at a really good price. The 12 60ml tubes below are £32.65.
A basic set should include a warm and cool version of blue, yellow and red, some neutrals and 2 whites (a transparent and an opaque). A green is helpful.
I could suggest:
Lemon Yellow OJ60011
Cadmium Yellow Medium OJ60014
Alizarin Crimson OJ60036
Phthalo Blue OJ60042
Ultramarine Blue OJ60049
Green Light OJ60069
Yellow Ochre OJ60086
Burnt Sienna OJ60092
Burnt Umber OJ60126
Titanium White OJ60001
Zinc White OJ60002
These colours should allow you to mix every colour possible including greys and blacks. If you intend to paint any special subjects where you might like some more premixed colours, like greens for landscapes, you can add those. If you like violet for shadows you might add that.
Q: “I have no experience with encaustic painting but would like to find out the easiest way of starting something like this. I have seen naff videos on youtube that use an iron and what I assume is wax paint to just iron the paint onto a canvas – is this the best way to begin. I was initially inspired by this guy – but he uses a blowtorch!
Would you be able to tell me how much coverage I would get with a 100ml wax paint stick? As well as any other advice you could give me.”
Just as there are painters who paint to relax and enjoy making “30-minute easy paintings” to a formula, there are also encaustic paintings made with inexpensive wax smeared onto a piece of card using a hot iron so that it looks a bit like a landscape.
If you wish to do a more considered style of painting there is a lot of information you might need, more than I could give you in an email.
Encaustic means “to burn in” which refers not to the fact that it has to be painted while hot but to the fact that because you paint in layers or parts you will need to “burn it in” or fuse the layers together at the end, without melting the whole thing into a blurry mess. There is a bit of special equipment needed and some serious safety considerations including a method for ventilation. Blow torches are not uncommon for the final fusing, another option is a heat gun. You also need to melt your paint to work – some artists use heat lamps on their boards as well as hot plates or irons to melt the paint. It takes practice to develop the technical skill.
The R&F encaustic paints that we sell are the top of the range. The coverage would vary greatly depending on what surface you are using, how thick you paint, how much is lost to your hot plate and brushes on the first usage that I don’t know how to advise you. I think it might cover a few small canvas boards.
Best practice is using a rigid surface, canvas or paper should be mounted to a rigid surface, and for a primer you need to use genuine gesso not acrylic gesso. The first is to prevent cracking when flexed and the second is to prevent delamination from the surface.
Yes, making your own encaustic is cheaper if you are using a lot. But you will need to find a source for the bulk beeswax and get the unbleached kind or mechanically bleached not chemically bleached. You will need to find a recipe you like for the amount of damar resin to add to make the paint harder. I advise caution when working with powdered pigments as they are dangerous to inhale and they float around easily so you should wear an air mask, not just a dust mask.
Encaustic is a beautiful medium. But it is quite specialist and not easy at first.
I do hope you try it. I usually paint in oils and acrylics and have only dabbled in encaustics myself and do not yet have the control I would like.
I would like to see any work you make, if you want to send me a link eventually that would be great.