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Montreal Area Decorative Painters 
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Tips & Techniques

Surface Preparation

TIGHTENING YOUR CANVAS

To make your canvas tighter and prevent the wood frame from marking the canvas if you press on the canvas near the edges:

Wet the canvas on the back. Actually pour a bit of water on it, on the back - make sure it is wet all over. Let dry. Your canvas will now be tighter and ready to paint on.

SLUDGING

Use sludging to get a smooth surface on your canvas or if you are using Russian plywood – the poor quality one:

Make a mix of sealer and paint and apply a first coat to your canvas or plywood.
Wet black sandpaper slightly - sand canvas (plywood) in circular motion lightly.
Let dry.
Repeat the above three more times, but with no sealer in the paint these 3 times.

PAINTING ON CANVAS FROM MAUREEN MCNAUGHTON

'' I apply several coats of Gesso (i.e. Jo Sonja) with a roller. Apply as many coats as needed to clog the low areas. It won't be completely smooth and the slight texture is nice. Then sand it down - I use my mouse sander and in the past have even used a belt sander. It will come out as smooth as silk.''

Patterns

TRANSFERRING THE PATTERN

Have you ever transferred a pattern only to discover you left out an important line?

You can eliminate this problem by placing your pattern on the surface, placing graphite under the pattern and then placing a piece of waxed paper over the pattern.  As you trace the pattern, your stylus will leave an imprint in the waxed paper so you will always know exactly which lines you have traced.

PATTERN SIZING

Let's say you have a line drawing, pattern or image you need to resize. You want to make that line drawing fit onto a certain surface, but the line drawing is either too small or too large.

To reduce the pattern size: Your pattern is 15-inches long and you need to make it 12-inches long. Simply take 12, divide by 15 which equals 0.8. T
hen multiply that by 100 for a total of 80. Now you can set the copier or scanner to reduce at 80%.

To enlarge the pattern size: Your pattern is 12-inches long and you want to enlarge it to 15-inches. Take 15, divide it by 12 which equals 1.25. Then multiply that by 100 for a total of 125. Now you can set the scanner or copier to enlarge by 125%.

Cheryl Poulin
http:// www.earmark-decorative-painting-studio.com

Your Brushes and Palette

DRYBRUSHING

Because drybrushes are used without water, acrylic paint may start to dry and clump in the smaller brushes (1/8”-1/4”) if used for any length of time. To keep paint from drying and to help extend the life of your brush, load the brush first with Deco Art’s Canvas Gel. Wipe excess gel from the brush and proceed as usual.

Rebecca Baer
http://www.rebeccabaer.com/tipstech.php

KEEPING YOUR BRUSH MOIST WHILE PAINT DRIES

If your project calls for two or more coats of paint, you don't have to clean your brush between coats while you wait for the first coat to dry!  Just apply the first coat, then wrap your brush in plastic or put it in a plastic bag.  The paint in your brush will stay fresh until you're ready to apply the second coat.

FLOATING

Use refrigerated, distilled water to dip your brush in when floating your shading and highlighting. Your floats will go further and be much smoother than just using tap water.

http://www.tole-expressions.com

DELAY BRUSH CLEANING

If you cannot get to clean your brushes for a few hours, rub some retarder into them and blot.  They will be fine until you can get around to them.

KEEPING MOLD AWAY

You can stop mold from growing
in your sta-wet palette by placing a sugar cube in a small plastic container and cotton balls with a small amount of vinegar in a second small container.  Place both small containers in you palette.  This should eliminate mold from growing in it for days.

from Jerry Yarnell's web site

HAND SANITIZER

Hand Sanitizer is wonderful for cleaning brushes and conditioning them. It also allows you to clean your brushes and keep them 'dry' in between dry brushing. But be sure it is a gel and not a creme. Also be sure it contains alcohol.

BRUSH BASIN CLEANUP

To clean up your grimy brush basin, fill it with very hot water and then add a couple of denture tablets. Next morning, brush the sides of the basin with an old toothbrush - it should clean up quite nicely!

Your Paint

ELIMINATING PAINT SPATTER

After shaking up a bottle of acrylic paint, tap the bottom on the table before you open the lid and squeeze the paint onto the palette.

IDENTIFYING YOUR COLORS

When you purchase a new bottle of acrylic paint, pour a drop on your finger and swipe it across the top of the lid.  This makes paint selecting easier and more accurate than looking at colours through the bottle.

KEEP THE PAINT MOVING

Drop one or two stainless steel bee bees in each bottle of paint. Give the bottle a shake and the paint mixes together in half the time!

How to ..

ARTIST KNOW-HOW

Barbara Simmons is a local artist who does beautiful paintings, mostly in watercolour, but also in acrylics.  And she is kind enough to share all she knows. Her web site is:
http://artistbarbarasimmons.com/

ONE WAY TO REMOVE DRIED-ON PAINT FROM CLOTHES

Got a paint stain and not sure how to remove it? Try Winning Colours Stain Remover. It got the stain out after having been on a painting shirt for over a week. I soaked the shirt in cold water for several days while I hunted for the product, which the members of DAIC (Decorative Artists in Canada) swear by. Then I used Winning Colours on the wet shirt - and the stain came right out. The company says it also removes a wide variety of stains including red wine, blood, and ink.

Click here for more info and a store locator listing. (It is available at DeSerres in Brossard, and they list the other DeSerres stores as having it as well.)

HOW TO PAINT WATER DROPS

You can subscribe to Curry's newsletter (no purchase necessary) at https://www.currys.com/default.htm   Their January 2006 tip and technique was water drops.  It is a very clear and convincing tutorial and can be found by clicking here.

Water drop how-to is also available at:
http://www.davidadamsonline.com
Many other demos such as
water lilies, translucent water, breaking water, sunsets, clouds.......etc. are offered by David Adams at the following web site:
http://www.davidadamsonline.com/demo_start.htm

USING MASKING FLUID

Acrylic painters can use the masking fluid that watercolour painters use.  It can be useful if you want to do a dark background in a large area but you want to keep a smaller area inside it white or a pale color. Protect the small area with the masking fluid, paint the dark colors over the big area, and then later erase the masking fluid off the small area. The area has been protected, ready to paint your pale color.

USING PAINTERS' TAPE

Ever mask off an area or stripe on a project, only to have the stripe color bleed under the tape? Next time, first paint the stripe or masked off area with your background color. Any paint that sneaks under the tape will seal the gaps. Then when you apply the stripe color, you get clean, even lines. Using a low-tack masking tape also helps a great deal.

http://www.tole-expressions.com

USING GLAZING MEDIUM IN A NEW WAY

Glazing Medium is a very handy artist's helper. Use it to paint over tape so that paint will not bleed under when one is trying to get that perfect edge.

Another handy use is to brush glazing medium over pen and ink drawings or signatures first where one has used a permanent sharpie as the inking tool. The glazing medium will prevent the ink from smearing when varnishing.

Cheryl Poulin
http:// www.earmark-decorative-painting-studio.com

OTHER NEAT IDEAS ..

IDENTIFY YOUR WORKS OF ART

A suggestion for anyone putting items in a Sale:  Sign your work with your full name (or initial and last name/first name and last initial) rather than just with initials.  Customers recognize names and actively look for them.