First experiment on DIY 3D liner using oil paint/medium

One day I wanted to paint like stained glass. Actually, I’ve tried glass painting in my college days. But I don’t want to purchase whole set of glass painting gear at this point. I wanted to try using what I have on hand, oil paint and medium.

Well, the painting part was straightforward since oil paint can blend smoothly. However I had to experiment my way for the 3D liner at last. The liner was the top layer. So it had to be oil based. My initial thought was making a icing like mixture and squeezing it onto canvas. I got some cellophane wrappers and rolled them into henna cone.

Then the experiment began–>

<1> Impasto medium only. Didn’t work well. Too thick to squeeze through the bag.

<2> Impasto medium + linseed oil + mineral spirit (very little). Not so much, the mineral spirit will make the line dried dull and lost volume somehow.

<3> Impasto medium + linseed oil. Works better but not sticky enough to drag a line string.

<4> Impasto medium + linseed oil + stand oil. I purchased a small bottle of stand oil because it looked like the thickest medium. It was OK. No significant changes than <3>.

<5> Impasto medium + stand oil. I tried to maximum the benefit of stand oil. Well, this time the mixture was sticky, glossy. But it was hard to put into the bag.

After all these combinations, I believe that <5> is my best choice so far. If I need it to be thicker I’ll use more parts of impasto medium. If I need it to be runny I’ll use more parts of stand oil, or adding just a little bit linseed oil/walnut oil. As little as possible.

Another thing, the open tip on the icing cone can not be too tiny. If it was too tiny, the mixture wouldn’t squeeze out smoothly. Cut open the tip a little bigger than you thought and then held the bag really gentle. It was all up to the pressure that from your hand. Even when I say squeezing, it has to be gentle too. I was thinking that it could be done sooner if I squeezed it harder.

But, NO—–

All movements had to be gentle therefore it was slow. Only by doing that (with a lot practice) it can generate a smooth line.

The canvas is better drying horizontally in order to prevent gravitational shifting. Don’t try to touch the line to see if it is dry at least for 2 weeks. If the line is thick then give it 4 weeks to be safe.

My experimental piece, well, here it is–>

Some detailed pictures–>

You can see that the line is not that smooth. I tried really hard…..I swear to god LOL. I would say it also depends on the paint. For example, burnt umber works better that metallic gold.

Moreover, I believe this method has other applications rather than liner only. For example, I can make a slightly runny paint mixture and let it drip out of icing bag onto canvas. By controlling the pressure of hand and position of canvas, I shall be able to create more abstract effect.

I intend to make this painting “give away” if you don’t mind the line work. You can find item here.

Hope you would enjoy this painting and my experiment. I will try again in the future.

Thank you.

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.

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