I am new to acrylic painting, and I am enjoying it thoroughly! I just started using an acrylic varnish spray to finish my paintings. The first painting I sealed was made up of sky blues, reds, greens, purples, and other bright colors. I was so happy with how the varnish made the painting look. Everything just got brighter and popped!
However, I just sprayed my 2nd painting last night, and feel like crying. I don't know what happened, but I just don't like how it affected the final look. The painting has a dark gray background, black trees, and white brushed on the trees for a highlighting effect. I looked at the painting this morning, and it seems as though the white on the trees has dulled and the flaws that could not be seen with my eyes before... is now noticeable. My husband can't see what I see, and my daughter agrees that the white on the trees seems less bright. I loved the bright white on the trees, and now I am feeling really bummed.
I don't know if it's all in my head, but it has me feeling pretty down. Any help or advice anyone may have would be appreciated. I want to still love my painting. I'm also assuming i can't paint over the varnish. I think if I attempted that... it may ruin it more.
FYI - I used Grumbacher Oil and Acrylic Varnish in Matte.
I have never used a spray varnish so I'm not qualified to say much but I have painted over a matte finish and revarnished over that also would it hurt to put a small spot of gloss to see ? It might bring out the colors you can always put matte over gloss I would make very sure before I put it over the complete painting I hope this is of some use to you James
Jim C&C welcomed
Thanks J.V. Are you saying to apply a gloss varnish to a part of the painting to see if it brightens? When you say you have painted over a matte finish before, was it one that had a varnish on it?
I keep looking at the painting, and I want to pick up my brush and white paint to fix it... but I'm scared to ruin it further.
I would try a very small spot with gloss varnish you can put matte over gloss [assuming acrylic] yes I have painted over a [I think it was gloss] varnish to change a shape I didn't like then revarnished waiting a day or two between coats [I think some very very good painters would wait longer] since you have a painting you like experiment on scrap canvas [I like to use wood] I would hope someone else will give you some advice I don't want to see you ruin a painting hope this is helpfull
Ah, I'm understanding now. I will maybe wait to see if anyone else jumps in with some help. If not, then I will try your recommendation :) Thanks again! I'm so new at this and learning as I go.
I wasn't familiar with this product, so I looked it up on Grumbacher's site:
PICTURE VARNISH FOR OIL & ACRYLIC - MATTE SPRAY
Description: final varnish and protective coating for dry oil and acrylic paintings available in gloss or matte. Protects oil and acrylic paintings from dirt, moisture and scuffing. Non-yellowing, flexible, and quick-drying. It is crystal clear when applied. Can be easily removed with Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine, Grumtine™, or Odorless Paint Thinner. Available in two sizes: 4.5oz (127ml) and 11.25oz (318ml).
So, if you want to rework the painting, I would very carefully remove it with the recommendations above (Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine, Grumtine or Odorless Paint Thinner). You could try to remove the varnish only in the areas to be reworked, or else take the varnish off the entire painting.
Acrylics tend to dry matte, especially the blacks, which is why I prefer a gloss finish to my acrylics, rather than the matte. Some painters don't care for the shine on the gloss, but I find it's far more effective to bring back all of the colours & deeper values.
And please be careful with spray varnishes! Only use in well ventilated areas. I use gloss varnish in the jar, to be brushed on, thinned with no more than 20% water. Check out some of the manufacturers' websites, as they often have videos or indepth info on their products.
Nature knows no borders
Thank you so much Judy! This helps me a lot, and it's good advice. I've only been painting for a few months now, and I am basically learning as I go I will let you know how it turns out.
Just an update...
... a little late, but I just remembered to do this . I ended up painting over the varnished painting... just to retouch the white that faded and got lost after the first time I spray varnished it. It turned out just fine, and I re-applied the spray varnish again with success! The only minor thing, is that when you tilt the painting from side to side... you can see a little reflection difference where I did the touch ups.
Another artist I know says that she spray varnishes her paintings, then applies a brush on varnish after that. She says her paintings look amazing with this method. So, I may just try that... and it would take care of the small reflection differences on my painting.
Jenna, another commentor talked about safety using spray varnish, and I agree.
Even further, I suggest that sprays be reserved for instances where there's risk of disturbing the surface--like a charcoal drawing. Why breathe in those spray fumes when we don't have to??
Golden makes excellent brush-on varnishes for acrylic painters. My favorite is Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS (Gloss) It is self leveling, which means you lay the painting on a flat surface to apply the varnish, and don't end up with a bunch of varnish brush marks. It also comes in mat and satin finishes for those who like less shine-
try Soluvar made by LIquitex.It is fully removable. Apply with a tecklon brush or spray it in a safe enviornment with good ventilation and a respirator that will protect you from orgnic solvent vapors, take your time and apply in even strokes if you brush it on,don' t go back over the areas that you need to fix right away.. wait untill the varnish dries fully, before to go back in to fix an area that you may have missed.
try it on a small area on the piece, first ,to see if you like it.
all the best
Thank you Charles! :)