Friday, August 21, 2015

Guadalcanal Table Part 2

So, things are not going real well.

I tested super heavy acrylic gloss gel medium, and I thought it would work great, which it would, if I had three months to let the gel dry and clarify.  Not going to work this time around (although I am excited about the prospect of working in heavy gel medium in the future.)

Here is what the test panel looks like with a thick schmear of super heavy gloss gel.  I'll show you another picture in late Autumn, it may have dried by then.

But now I am out of time.  I could go small and lame and douse the water with varnish and call it good.  But that's not my style.

I really want to make the spot where the muddy water of the river mixes with the clear ocean water work, and the only way to do that is with a medium that gives some depth to the water effect.  I went back to the art store and bought some Liquitex medium acrylic gloss gel and a tub of acrylic gloss medium/varnish.  I mixed about one part gel to two parts varnish, and rolled the dice.

I kind of sucked.  Applying the gel totally disrupted the modulation pattern I had carefully laid down with the blue pigments and turned the whole ocean part into hodge-podge impressionist seascape.

Nothing to do but move forward.

I next mixed about 1 part gel with 4 parts varnish and about a half-tablespoon of light sienna pigment, and carefully poured the river.  This went OK, but I am very nervous that it will dry with a concave surface (if it dries with any body depth at all).  I have also accepted the reality of bubbles in the river due to mixing the medium, but I'll worry about those later (I went through and popped the big ones).

Thoroughly dissatisfied with the way the ocean looked, I scooped some medium gel medium directly onto it, sprinkled the lumps liberally with snow flock (foam and bubbles), and stirred them into waves using a toothpick and a "sideways tornado" stirring motion to replicate water turning in waves.  Finally, I filled the lagoon with acrylic gloss medium.  I have absolutely no idea what I am doing at this point.  Here's how it looks right now:

If I am very lucky, the waves will dry and clarify by game time next Sunday.  The river and lagoon should dry in a couple of days, so I can go back and fix them if they are too assed-up to live with.

Alia iacta est.  Tune in in early September to see how it turned out.


  1. Ug, sorry your medium didn't work as planned steve. Scaling some of this stuff up just results in crazy problems sometimes.

    1. It's all good. There will be a game on Sunday, ti will be on a table, and that table will have a beach...

  2. Damned sorry I'm going to miss this one!

    1. We'll miss you. Hope you can make the Foy game next month.