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Workable Medium Techniques

Below are only some of the possibilities available to you when working with the new Workable Medium products.

Multiple Layering –

This technique is best accomplished with the Short Open mediums, as the Long Open ones take too long to dry.

Prepare a low porosity ground on your substrate, using a gloss medium. Mix 10 to 25% Fluid Acrylic or Heavy Body Acrylic into either of the Short Open type Workable Mediums, and apply in layers with drying in-between. When the final coat is dry, wet the area you want to remove and begin scrubbing with a piece of cotton duck canvas, or a stiff brush, or other soft abrading tool. Work your way down through the colors. You will need a sponge or paper towels to mop up the muddy water left after scrubbing off an area. If soft removal edges are desired with single or multiple colored layers of the Short Open mediums, it is best to complete the technique in the same day. However, the films stay soft and removable by a variety of techniques, usually assisted by water and some sort of abrading tool, for several days and up to a week after drying to the touch. Even after they have fully dried and lost much of their re-solubility, removal is possible by wet sanding or abrading and carving. With all these mediums, a less porous ground will enable a more thorough removal, as opposed to a more absorbent or porous ground. Any gloss medium applied to the canvas or other substrate, will work to this effect.

When multiple layers of the Short Open products are applied one after another, very soon after each one has dried to the touch, the re-solubility is enhanced due to the moisture from each layer slowing down the drying process. It is possible that several days could go by and one would still have the ability to easily remove all the layers.

Dry Removal –

All of the mediums can be easily scratched into, carved, sanded, or abraded in a variety of ways and with many different kinds of tools. With multiple layers of the Short Open mediums, when they are dry but still have moisture residing in the films, discreet removal of each different color layer is possible as inter-coat adhesion is slow to form. A knife blade can be easily used, in this case, to scrape off the layers and also to burnish the surface. The technique is much like scratchboard.

Long Open Time Wet Ground –

The Long Open mediums will easily stay workable for a day, and even when they begin to set up, can be re-solubilized for several days.  If a canvas is moistened with water and then a layer of this medium, possibly tinted with some color, is applied across the surface, one could work into it for a whole day, and probably for the following day as well, doing various blending effects.  Of course, in the areas where either Fluid Acrylic or Heavy Body Acrylic Colors are concentrated, there would be considerably less re-solubility.

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