How to Varnish acrylic paintings tips and tricks for beginners and DIY cheep

How to Varnish acrylic paintings tips and tricks for beginners and DIY cheep


(Music) (Clapping) (Music) WOWWWW! All right! Listen, its varnish time. Now I am with you in spirit in the art store, but I am not always there in body So what I like to do is go into the art store and imagine, imagine, that we are together and what it would be like if I would be standing there right next to you recommending products. Because really that’s what you need. You need a little Sherpa hand holding sometimes when you are looking at the matrix aisle of endless products of who knows what this stuff is. So one of those really difficult aisles is varnish. And the first question is, Do I really have to varnish, do I really have to? Yes, yes, you have to. And you know why you have to? Because acrylic paintings are slightly porous and they actually attract dust, dirt and honestly in most of our lives we don’t live in a museum where there is a nice little guard protecting the pretty things we love. We have sticky fingered children, we have friends who came over and partied and made bad life decisions that can do things to our art work and we have furry pets that shake and go “poof”, hair. I got a lot of that going on in my life, so I am telling you varnish is your friend. Cause varnish creates a protective layer bzzp bzzp bzzp bzzp a shield between your hard work and the world. And believe you me, we know the world touches our stuff! In fact, probably nobody’s respecting your stuff. So you gotta respect it for them first. Varnish is the way to do that. Now, the first question in varnish Is spray or not to spray, that is the question. Cause your gonna be looking at this aisle, pssst, pssst, pssst, millions and millions of jars of gloss, semi-gloss, matte, spray, and solvent based and oil based and acrylic based, and you know you need acrylic based Cause what are we painting with? We are painting with acrylic paints. Oil painters, I love you, another tutorial. This is not your tutorial. You guys lost me at my painting has to dry for six months before I can varnish it. That is a you thing. Acrylic paint, here we are. All right. So spray or not to spray. What does that really mean. Okay, what they are really talking about is how bumpy and textury is your painting. Now most of the paintings that we do here are pretty smooth. But I am going to show an example of one of my awesome mother’s paintings. Okay, this is actually from one of her crazy waves and water classes that she does. You are going to see here, I am even going to drag my nails across it. See, hear that? (Dragging fingernail sounds) That’s from all of the texture. Can you see all that texture? If you tried to use a liquid varnish on that, it would pool up. It would completely destroy the piece. This needs a spray varnish. Has to have it. Okay. That’s required. All right. Now, it can have a spray varnish that is not solvent based, but it does have to have a spray varnish. But for the purposes of us, I am going to put this over here, ohhhhhhh, disrepectful to the artwork. Don’t tell my mother. But you know, that’s very hearty art work. Good canvas. This is mostly us, isn’t it? These are like kinda leveling paints, there is not a lot of texture here. So we could do a spray or a liquid varnish. Now our next question is, you are going to see some of these that are solvent based varnishes and varnishes that are just acrylic gels and mediums. What’s that? Right? Well what that is, is and I guess if you are this person you are following along with me (Waves) Hi! If you are so awesome. You are the next van Gogh and in 500 years we might need to take off a layer of varnish to restore the painting and put another one back on. You would want to do a solvent based varnish. Listen that is a lot of steps, cause one of the things that you have to do to do a solvent based varnish is do an isolation coat. That’s right. An isolation coat is a coat of gel medium and then you yell at the painting, you say YOU ARE THERE! DO NOT MIX WITH THE LAYER OF VARNISH! YOU ARE CONDEMNED TO BE BEHIND THIS SHEER AND SHINNY COAT. Okay. But, we are probably not, I mean, probably the painting only has to last like a hundred years. And acrylic paints and regular varnishes actually kind of have you covered for that. So isolation coat for the purposes of varnishing, not our problem. So now we are down to the next series of choices. The next series of choices is do I want gloss, semi-gloss or matte? Well let’s talk about those. In the varnishes, and I’ve got some Liquitex here, see this is Liquitex. Liquitex. This is gloss varnish. It’s not gloss medium and varnish, different product. This is gloss varnish. Right here. And this is matte varnish. And I used this black owl on this crazy ochre background because again we are talking about paintings that you might be doing at home. And it is done with student paints and I did have some of that lifting or moving that you might have. Now if you are finding your paint is moving, my biggest recommendation would be like up grade your paint, right now, because the binders are not helping. If that is not possible, you could use a spray varnish. Seriously read the warning labels on those things though. I can’t even demo it in my studio. In the Big Book of Acrylic Facts from Liquitex, which I have, I love this one, I love all the big books. Their thing is you need to wear a dual filter respirator, NIOSH approved with neoprene gloves. All right, they lost me there. I cannot be anywhere near something like that. I will get dizzy, I will throw up, I have a reaction, so we are not spraying varnish. Sometimes my husband sprays varnish for me when it has to be sprayed Cause I just, I can’t be around it. So here we see the gloss and here we see the matte. Are you noticing something here? This side the colors are richened and deepened and it has the nice protected barrier from the dust that we need, because that is what varnish is for. It’s to protect. It is to beautify. And its to unify the refraction or the shininess of the paint, okay. So, some people like to think … oh I really want a matte finish. Matte over dark colors will often translate as cloudy, no matter how you apply it. Now you could do a couple of layers of gloss and then put a matte over it. You will get a slightly better effect. But really, honestly, in my opinion, you can have a different opinion, you can let me know your opinion in the comments below, is stick to the gloss. Other thing. These are not shakers. Don’t shake them. In all varnishing and finishing, air bubbles are not your friend. They are not your friend at all. Bubbles outside in summer are your friend. Bubbles in your varnish are evil and need to be destroyed. So these are these two, you can use them, they are nice professional products. But of course I have a Sherpa version of all of this that makes this not a headache and much easier. Because when you are varnishing if you do it incorrectly, if you get dust in it, if you get dirt in it, if you are not paying attention, it can really cloud up on you. It is a type A personality activity, seriously. But there is a product, a product that I love. Gloss Medium and Varnish, oh and guess what? It does a whole bunch of stuff. Because it is a medium you can add this to your paint to do glazes. And gradient glazes. You can add this to your paint to extend it, to thin it. You can add this to your paint for all kinds of effects. Its fantastic for multi media projects, right. Like when you are doing the art journaling that we are going to start talking about. This is fantastic, but its also an varnish. How good of a varnish is it? Its Awesome. I use it all the time. This is the varnish I have literally been using since I was a child. Like since, I don’t even know, probably Liquitex could tell you when they came out with it. And they would if you write them a question, but it takes them 10 days to respond. I am learning that as I am asking questions, they can be kinda slow on their response time. Since I was a kid. Haven’t died yet from it. Okay. So it doesn’t give me a headache. I don’t have to wear a crazy respirator on my face and it is easy to apply. Tips for applying varnish. AHHHHH. Listen. I don’t thin my varnish with water. You can. The more you thin it, the more likely it is to break down, but it can be easier to brush. The other thing is synthetic brush. Now a lot of how to videos will tell you to have a dedicated synthetic brush and if that’s your will, then do it. Clean is really what we are talking about. A lot of the recommendations online, will suggest to you that you should be in a clean room that is dust free. Uh, if I had a clean room I would lock myself in it. There is no clean room in my life. Is there a clean room in your life? Okay, so that’s not practical. So basically just try not to do this near your dog when they are shaking off their shedding fur or near where your cats have run all over it and maybe until this stuff is dry, no kids in the room. So I am going to go, I have right here, a left over holiday paper plate and I’ve got some varnish on it and look, even pouring it out I got some air bubbles. cause these little things are everywhere. I am going to load up my brush with a little bit of this Gloss Medium and Varnish by Liquitex and I am going to just simply create a layer of coats across. Listen, there are temptations in varnish, terrible, evil temptations. All right. And you want good lighting to sort of see where you’ve been so you don’t go over the old areas because where varnish will turn on you, where it will just turn on you and ruin your life, is going over places that you’ve been before. You must never go back. Never go back. Then you are like, but what if I miss a spot? Let it dry and get it on the second coat. Varnish is not a thick process. It is 2 to 3 thin coats with at least 3 hours of drying time between them. But hey, if you’ve got the time to spare go ahead and let it dry a day. Let it do it. Everybody’s varnish, right, everybody’s varnish has a lot of instructions on the bottle but remember, many of the big companies also have a YouTube channel and they have a website with even more instruction and a help line. Pom Poms are super dangerous to the varnish, so we are going to get them out of the way. Because that will mess up my varnish for sure. Okay. Now what I am looking for here, right I’ve got to be careful not to work in stuff that is drying gloss medium and varnish is the most forgiving of this though. Pom Pom Danger. Pom Pom Danger (laughing). Now I am moving over here. Okay. Whew, I love varnishing. It really finishes a piece, but it is going to do something magic for you. Anyways. So you can go on YouTube and you can go to the little paint company websites. Umm, that is super exciting. I’ve got to tell you my favorite is Golden because literally its paint drying. It’s a lot of videos of paint drying on time lapse. Not people, just paint drying. But it is highly informative and if you really need to know the science and the molecular truth of all paint everywhere and often professional artists really do or if you are just minded that way, they will geek out on you on another level. Liquitex tries to get in there and give you a little more, like Dick Blick, all those guys, try to get a little more YouTubey going, ya know. So it’s whatever is your style. All I am saying is that the more technical information you need, its out there And the more you know the better it will be. But this, this for the purposes of us, you and me, hummm, this is what we like, cause this is easy. Okay, cause, yes, and you can comment below and I am going to talk about if I am hanging in a gallery I have to use this type of varnish because that’s what is expected for having a professional painting. And let me tell you if I am charging somebody like $6 a square inch, I’m going to bring it! But if this is for my life and this is for my home, then the quality of life I have, that’s the most important thing and I don’t want to be sitting over the varnish going, Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God, don’t cloud, Oh My God, Please, pleaseeee, don’t be destroyed! I don’t want to have that experience. And that is an experience you can have you know with other products. OPPS! You see I went over an old thing and your not suppose to go over an old thing. But again because this is Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish, I don’t know, actually I didn’t see any of this in a basic line, they have a basic gesso. But frankly let’s not save money here. Let’s just buy the real thing. This I know. They haven’t sent me anything. Frankly whenever I tell a paint company I have a show on YouTube, they have a panic attack, so they are definitely not sending me anything. I am just saying from me, my open heart, to you, love this. Use this. Now the matte version of this, it will also have that sort of clouding, dulling issue. But it is very nice if you are trying to take sheen out of a paint. Whole other tip and trick video. Final thing. The paint companies. Uhhh, especially the high end acrylic paint companies will tell you about how the UV protectants in the varnish will protect your painting on the surface of Mars. And that they’ve got paint chips spread across the country just baking in the sun. And your painting could be outside. Now for muralists, that is a very important bit of information. But for us, for you and me, for what we are doing, umm, don’t hang your artwork outside. That’s my general Sherpa advice. It doesn’t belong on the fence. Ummm, I’ve a really good friend, Homer Allen, he is an artist, he makes artwork for outside. If you want some of that, that would be where you would get it. The rest of this artwork is for in the house. Now, they have all kinds of crazy tests. None of which I can determine would ever happen in our lives. So it occurred to me, there is only one real test for varnish in the universe and that is the sticky finger test. Sticky finger test is the only real test. So I am going to get my product testers, my little champions of art. And I am going to put Mr. Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night here, which I am teaching you, HUH, later, Oh NO I am going to put this to the TEST! The ultimate TEST of art! And the only one that really matters in real people’s lives. Are you ready for it? Its awesome. Let me go get my kids. All right I’m back, with, you haven’t met her, you’ve heard about here, its Miss Luna Bella! Luna Bella wave Hi with your sticky fingers. (Luna) Hi! What are those? Are those sticky fingers? (Luna) Yes. Those are sticky fingers. Have you seen these in your life? I have. This is something that could really happen to your art. Luna, will you please touch Mommy’s painting with your peanut butter hand. Here touch it, smear it on there. Smear it on there. Ohh, more, more, get it, get it, get it, right in there. Ohhhh, that’s what we would see. All right, hey Mom, do you recognize that? Actually, some of you might have adult (Luna) Clean this! friends that do this. Now, Luna can you say bye bye to everybody? (Luna) Bye Bye! (waves) Should they paint? (Luna) Yes. Paint a lot?(Luna) Yes. Okay. (Crying, crying, crying) Peanut butter on my painting! Peanut butter on my painting! All right, ya. That can happen. That can happen. But if you’ve say, varnished your painting. If you have say taken the step, allowed it to dry for 2 or 3 days. If you have waited your time between coats and done a couple of coats, Then you can do this (Wiping off peanut butter) Ahhhh, you see me doing it and you are shocked! Right! Your just shocked at home! (Wiping canvas with water)(Music in background) Its true. In 500 years they won’t be able to remove this coat of varnish but frankly there’s enough UV filters in there to last that long any ways. And if there isn’t, probably nobody is going to be that concerned about it. But what you are concerned about, peanut butter hands? This is going to handle. So next step after you finish your fabulous paintings with me, What are we going to do? I’m going to hit it with a coat of Gloss Medium and Varnish Cause that’s awesome! (Singing) Everything you need to know about varnish, varnish, varnish, (Singing) Everything you need to know about varnish, varnish, varnish Tell me what you like. Tell me what you want to know. Tell me what you want to see more of. Yes I know tutorials. Tell me what you want in the comments. Click Like, Comment, Subscribe. Become a member of the Hartist Community Because you know what? Art changes people and people change the world and we can do literally anything! All right, you have a creative good week and I am going to see you for another tip and trick, lesson, tutorial or just general, talk soon! Bye Bye! Love you. Bye Bye. (Music)

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