Art Technical Q&A: Surfaces for casein

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on 3 Mar 2009 1:33 PM | Locked

Surfaces for Casein

Someone recently recommended using a stretched canvas as a support for painting in casein. I always thought casein had to be painted on a rigid surface. Which is true?

Both recommendations are true; but it is also true that rigid panels, museum boards, heavy papers, and thin papers and fabrics mounted on board are more typically used with casein. Because canvas has a fair amount of flexibility, and because casein is one of the most brittle of all media, only thin applications of casein dissolved with water should be used on canvas. Otherwise all the supports used with other water-based media are appropriate for use with casein painting. Casein is a relatively versatile medium and can be applied with moderate impasto or with a smoother, thinner technique. If used too thickly, the casein surface will crack. This is especially true if the top layers have more glue content than the lower layers. Also keep in mind that although you can thin the layers of casein paint with a generous amount of water it may also cause the fresh paint underneath to dissolve. By adding a drop of acrylic matte medium to the water you can avoid this effect.

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