alcohol texture

Gloss Medium and Passion Vining

We wrapped up another 6-week series of Tuesday Muse Group this week with a lesson I haven’t taught for years – painting on a glossy surface.

First you coat the paper with a couple layers of gloss medium and let them dry. What you get is a surface with a shiny plastic-y surface which makes for some particularly odd effects when you paint your acrylics on.

I like to use fluid acrylics and wet the surface lightly in places so that the paint starts to move and colors blend. If you spritz the paint lightly with alcohol just before it dries, you get even more surprises as the alcohol pushes the paint around some more.

I can’t quite remember when the floral garland here grew the native face and then the feather? headdress appeared. There’s always a matter of brain off-line and resulting hallucination involved. The passion vine flower came into the picture as it resembled the flowers outside on my studio wall that lure the butterflies and mess with the mind of visiting artists as well.


acrylic and collage on acrylic gloss medium coated w/c paper, 10 X 11″

a native plunges ahead on the trail of passion’s twining

clad in fragrance of meadows and dark sky

of floral garland and warrior headdress

         . . .destination unknown

        (and unnecessary)

For more painting on gloss, you might want to visit another lesson on my blog and try it out.



The Supermoon has got a lot of pizzazz! We are treated to it’s dazzling display at dinnertime, rising up over the Santa Rosa hills. So we keep the lights off, except for a couple candles, just enough to see the food. That big ole moon that tugs the tides in the oceans also pulls us out of sight in the liminal worlds!supermoon

alcohol texture on acrylics with paper collage, 10 X 11″

Yesterday’s Muse Group lesson was alcohol textures. Coat the paper with acrylic first, gesso or acrylic paint or medium, and let it dry. Then paint on acrylic and while it is still wet, lob a loose spray of alcohol onto the surface and watch the little circles of it reveal the layer below. Repeat in more layers. Black is great over bright colors or white. Don’t expect to be able to predict what the alcohol will do without lots of practice, but enjoy all the spontaneous variations!

Note: The word “lob” is specific here. A direct spray doesn’t work as well. Spray up at an angle so that the alcohol comes down in an arc to hit the paper. Don’t ask me why. It works better.