Summary of Various Art Mediums
by Lindsay Teague (Jul 19, 2005)
If you’re like me, you like to have your hand in as many “pots” as possible. As I learn more and more about scrapbooking and different art forms, I’m discovering the vast world of art mediums. I never knew how much could be done within the realm of paper arts. In this article, I’ll give you the run-down of a few of the heavy hitters in the art mediums world and tell you a little about how each is used. Hopefully this will allow you to break away from your normal scrapbooking routine and get you interested in other art forms.
Gesso: Gesso is mostly used by artists to “prep” a canvas. It can be used on heavily patterned papers to give it a clean slate and blank out portions of the paper. Gesso normally comes in black and white but if you look hard you can find it in other colors. Made of glue and chalk or plaster of Paris, you can use gesso as a primer for any art journal or altered item, helping paint or other mediums to adhere perfectly.
Mod Podge: A popular product to use for the decoupage technique, Mod Podge dries clear but leaves your project protected from everyday use. You first apply a coat to your base (book, project, etc.) then you lay your papers over and brayer them. After the papers are dried, you go back over the top with another layer of Mod Podge to “seal” them. Now your project can be handled by children and the papers won’t tear away. Mod Podge comes in many different finishes, like matte or glossy, so you can find the right one for your project.
PVA: PVA is similar to Mod Podge, in that it is a liquid glue, but it is a bit thicker than Mod Podge and is only used under your paper. I prefer PVA to Mod Podge as a liquid adhesive.
Texture Paste: Often called modeling paste, texture paste is used with putty knives to apply over stencils or alone. You can mix it with acrylic paint to add a color to it, but it is white when purchased. When added to a page it adds a 3-D effect.
Gel Medium: Gel medium is a product that is used to make acrylic paint. It is very versatile as a glue and beyond! Many prefer it in the making of collages. Gel medium can be used as a tool to alter photos when combined with bleach and water. This product also dries clear and is easy to work with as well as clean up with water.
E-6000: E-6000 is a heavy-duty glue used by many artist to adhere “heavy” objects to their projects. This adhesive is a clear liquid and although you need to be careful when using it, it isn’t runny and whatever you stick down, stays down.
Polymer Medium: Polymer medium is another product similar to gel medium except that it has properties that are more similar to glue. This product combined with watercolor crayons can produce beautiful artistic pieces. You can put your papers down and then use the crayons and your finger dipped in polymer medium to “smooth” or “run” your crayons on your piece. You can create your own custom designs on your projects.
Crystal Lacquer: A clear adhesive, Crystal lacquer is similar to E6000 except not as heavy duty and much thinner. Use this to adhere acrylic elements or “see-through” pieces. It dries clear, but glossy, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t put on too much or it will show through and around the “see-through” pieces. Another way this is used is by applying a thick layer of crystal lacquer over an embellishment to create a “bubble” over the item. This creates a fun look similar to the epoxy letters and embellishments available in scrapbook stores.
Acrylic Paint: A quick drying paint, acrylic paint is very popular in the scrapbook industry because it can be added to almost any surface, especially if gesso is used first. It comes in a million different colors and is relatively cheap, depending on the brand you choose.
I hope these definitions help you sort out which medium is right for your next project. Make sure you keep watching the articles section of Scrapjazz for more in-depth articles on these mediums.