Ren Wax Test

After a discussion in a Facebook group about sealing art with wax instead of varnish, I decided to do a little test. I had an old can of Renaissance Wax that I’ve used for sealing copper in years past, had never tried it on papers and it had never occurred to me to smear it over a painting.

The test subjects, left to right, are 2 acrylic pours on canvas board (one leaning on glass container) that were previously sealed with a gloss varnish – the wax dulled the gloss a bit and they’re no longer tacky. I can stack them now without them trying to stick together. In front of them (lower left) is a pale pencil drawing – think prismacolors (picked a variety of old works that won’t may me cry if destroyed in test). There was slight color lift while applying the wax but overall, the wax did brighten it a bit.

Next to those first three is an alcohol ink abstract on yupo. There was serious color lift applying the wax, but could buff it so as to not leave color streaks. The end result left a smooth plastic feel. It’s a use at risk on alcohol inks.

The next two were a fiasco. The pink one is a Faber-Castell polychromos pencil drawing outlined with a fine line Sharpie and the wax dissolved the black ink. I was able to buff the smears off, leaving the lines just a faded memory of black. The pastel drawing below it was destroyed, as expected.

The last drawing (below the can) was also done in polychromos. There was a slight color lift evident on the buff cloth, but the result was fairly decent.

Waxing the 5×5 acrylic on hard gessobord (shown leaning in back – all others are ACEO size) achieved the best results. There was no color lift and the wax gave the varied dullness a nice, even finish with a soft glow.

In conclusion, I’d wax acrylics again in a heartbeat but think twice before carefully waxing over pencils or alcohol inks.

Thanks for reading!

My Aura

I absolutely LOVE my new phone case. Yes, that’s my art… I uploaded an image of “My Aura” painting at Zazzle, dropped it into a Galaxy s10 template, added some text, and wha-la… cost less than 10 bones, too!

Yes, I put an email addy on it so if my phone is ever lost and found by a kind soul, they could easily contact me to return it. Sounds delusional, eh? But, this is Youngstown so it could happen. I once accidentally dropped a hand quilted tote bag on a sidewalk in a high foot traffic area, thought it was gone forever, but some kind soul had found it and neatly laid up on a little stone wall so I could find it on my way home. Dozens, if not 100 people had walked past it. I’ve seen people drop money and a total stranger running to catch up with them just to give it back. That’s the Youngstown I know, so it could happen.

Here’s the image of “My Aura” submitted with my entries to a juried show scheduled for this summer that may or may not be cancelled.

I entered four pieces, but My Aura is by far my favorite. It’s a “self pour-trait” to play on words… and, a little secret, it’s on a recycled 12 x 24 canvas. Yeah, I painted over another painting, which ironically, was also a self portrait. Maybe that’s why I like it so much… “My Aura” covered a grim painting of a girl swimming with the fishes. Yeah, I painted myself drowned and called it “Self Portrait: Married” in 1996 so I would always remember how it feels to be in a bad situation. I don’t need it anymore.

My Aura is framed in black wood. I cropped the photo as you’re not supposed to include the framing when submitting art to juried shows. I wish I had the new phone before snapping that photo as the camera on the s10 is so much better.

If you want to customize a “My Aura” phone case for yourself (or design your own) here’s a link and, if you’re new to Zazzle, use my referral code so we both get perks.

Thanks for reading!

DecoArt TOPCOAT Review

A picture is worth a thousand words… it is NOT supposed to dry to a crackle finish, so pour at your own risk.

Since I carefully followed the directions, I expected what the label promised. Here’s a direct quote, reading right off the back of the bottle: “Create a high end finish with this one-step pouring topcoat. Dries to a lacquer-like, high gloss finish. Ideal for canvases, wood panels, or other flat art surfaces.”

It did NOT crackle on the wooden crosses, but I was having problems getting it to flow evenly over the layered surfaces with all those side edges, too. I only bought two bottles, didn’t want to waste it, so I used a cheap disposable paint brush to help coat the sides and played with it so much that my brush strokes were retained, even after it dried. That’s okay… I will try pouring this stuff on simple shapes, like square or round wooden panels.

The third test was just a curiosity experiment. I dredged a little piece of scrap paper (cut from a acrylic pour on watercolor paper) through a thin layer of TOPCOAT that was left on my drip tray after pouring the excess back into the bottle, pretty much just to wet it with a thin layer of glaze without trying to smooth it or anything. It dried retaining the initial texture of application,, but did not crackle.

Is there anyway to thin this stuff?

I feel like it went on too thick… that one or two thinner layers would have much better results, would flow easier, and may even result in a smoother surface finish. As for the ruined canvas, I’m debating if I should try to fix it, maybe pour on another layer, or just let it go… call it Halloween Art, as if the crackles were intentional.

Hey, at least it wasn’t my best work. Here’s what “Crone’s Pass” looked like BEFORE pouring on that DecoArt TOPCOAT acrylic finish.

Maybe the clear glitter (sprinkled lightly over the surface here and there when the paint was wet 4 months ago, hard to see it in the photo) encouraged it to crackle? Does the brand/tightness of the canvas make a difference?

Can it be thinned? If so, with what? Did I purchase old stock? Maybe it’s not supposed to be that thick. Why did Blick ship it wrapped in what looked like food storage plastic wrap? Why wasn’t there some kind of seal under the lid?

Has anyone had any good experiences with pouring this stuff on canvas?