Friday, June 19, 2009

Q&A - "What is Matte Gel Meduim?" (tutorial links included).....

"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."
~Og Mandino~

I live with the Question Queen. That is a title we have bestowed upon Darling Daughter. Ever since she learned to speak she has been full of questions. They mostly start with, Who, What, Why, Where, When, and How...maybe she should have been a reporter. She has always had an insatiable curiosity and her catch phrase today is, "Hey, I've got a question."

I admit to not always being able to answer her questions, often being amazed at the things she was curious about. When I did not know the answer I would tell her I did not know but I would find out. Nothing like being given homework by your child! Many times we would sit together and look things up, the meaning of a word or how something worked.

The "Why?" questions were always the hardest to answer because the why of something or some situation is not always clear. She once asked why ducks quacked and cows did not. That was an easy one, because that is the way God designed each one of them, unique and special in their qualities and abilities. When she asked why some mommies and daddies did not love their children and were mean to them, that I could not answer as readily. The biggest question she ever asked me was, "Mommy, who IS God?" That question sent me off on a journey of exploration that still continues today but that is a whole other blog post!

I am wondering if there are any other question queens out there who might have a question for me, something that visiting here at Quill Cottage has made you curious about. I thought it might be fun to answer some of those questions in a blog post.

I was recently asked by someone viewing my archives if my kitchen floors were maple.
The answer is, no, they are knotty pine. We left the pine natural and coated it with three coats of oil based polyurethane which gives the floors durability and a honey golden hue accenting the dark knots and grain of the wood.

Penny, who is a fantastic mosaic artist (Lavender Hill Studio) and decorator (The Comforts of Home) recently asked, "What is Matte Gel Medium? Is it like Modge Podge?" after viewing this post. I sent Penny and email telling her probably more than she ever wanted to know about matte gel medium and I wanted to share some of that information here with you in case you too are curious.I use Liquitex brand Matte Gel Medium (MGM), there are other brands such as Golden, Studio, and Grumbacher, etc. MGM is an artist acrylic glue that is a heavy bodied, translucent gel that creates a matte, non-reflective finish, unlike Modge Podge which is thinner in consistency and has a shiny finish when dry. You can get MGM in a gloss finish if you so desire. Gel mediums also come in regular, soft, medium, or heavy consistancy.

(I used MGM on the above project to adhere not only the paper pieces but the lace as well)

It is an excellent glue for collage or to use as a transparent ground for acrylic paintings. MGM is opaque when wet, dries translucent and matte. It will retain brushstrokes. MGM can be used to extend acrylic paint volume, it slows the drying time and enhances blending. It is permanent, non-yellowing, flexible, and water resistant when dry. You can not only use it to adhere but to seal as well.

(I used MGM here to adhere paper to wood)

You can mix it with acrylic color but do not mix with oils. You can thin it by adding up to 25% water if its paste like texture is too thick for your use. Since this is an acrylic based product, clean up is simple soap and water.(The box above was made for a mermaid art swap I did. I used MGM to apply fabric to a paper mache box)

QUICK TIP: When washing out a brush after using an acrylic product, never ever use hot water! Hot water will actually set the paint or glue in your brush by hardening it and ruin your brush. Always use cold water for acrylic clean up.
(MGM even has a great bond for heavier paper like some of the thicker handmade papers like the ones I used above to cover mini blank journals)

You find this product in most art supply or hobby stores. Both Hobby Lobby and Michael's carry it. It is found in the fine arts department usually near the oil paints and artist canvas. This product is quite pricey with a small container being $10.99. I use the store coupons for Michael's or Hobby Lobby to purchase mine with to cut down on the costs.

(One of my favorite MGM uses, a simple paper collage)

One of the ways I like to use MGM besides adhering my collage work is to add a little acrylic stain or paint to the gel, mixing well, and top coating a project to give it an antique finish.

(MGM was invaluable in its uses for this Valentine Assemblage, from gluing on glitter to paper and beyond)

You can also use gel medium to make transfers onto paper or fabric. Here are links to two fantastic tutorials one using inkjet copies for transfer onto fabric and another using photo paper to transfer onto paper:

Lara Berch ~ is a site where you will find great free tutorials! (image source, Lara Berch)

A Spattering~ Toni is a wonderful artist who was featured in the winter issue, volume 2, of Artful Blogging. On her blog she shares her wonderful talents and techniques. I am in awe of her bird paintings!
(Eastern Phoebe by Toni Kelly)


So, now that you too know more about matte gel medium that you ever cared to, if you have something you would like to ask just leave your question in the comments section or email me, my email link is on my upper sidebar. I will address the questions in an upcoming post and with your permission link back to you if you so desire.

Miss Sandy


Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy, I enjoyed this post and learned so much. I've been collecting bits and pieces of things to experiment with ATC's so this was very interesting to me. I hope you and your family will have a wonderful Father's Day weekend.

Vee said...

Ohhhh, you answered questions that I was too numb to even ask, but I'm so glad that you did. I'll be looking for some of this gel. Also, I so appreciate the tip about using cold water. Anything that makes clean-up easier is great.

What a great question your daughter asked...Who IS God? Pretty deep. I used to drive my mother nuts as a child by asking her who I was. There were times I truly didn't know. Not sure I'm much clearer now. But I do think I'm clearer about who God IS. ;>

Ruby said...

I have enjoyed your blog for awhile and have never commented before, but today I just had to, to thank you for answering the matte gel ? that I've never had the nerve to ask before. Thank you so much!!!!!!

Shopgirl said...

I thank you so much for sharing about Matte Gel. I have used it as a glue, but not as a finish. Something I will do for sure.
You have been a busy girl.
I did some of the tags that I learned from you. I only have 200 to make. But they are so much fun.
come by and see what I have done so far. Thank You so much.
Hugs. Mary

Helen Read said...

Always fun to drop by and see what you are up to! Always inspiring and lots of fun :)

Decor To Adore said...

I am SOOO glad that you did this post. I have seen you reference MGM on previous post and wondered but forgot to ask.

Did you use it to make the wonderful tags for last years swap?

kathy said...

Sandy , I knew about gel medium -- and have somethat i hardly use -- but you really gave great info -- even to adding the paint -- Thank
you for the update - Kathy - ga ♥

KathyB. said...

See, you NEED to write a book ! Patterns, ideas, easy to understand descriptions and explanations with your love of God and life thrown in...and done as beautifully as your art and heart!

Anonymous said...

I am a new artist, just been taking classes 18 months. I found your blog through everything vintage and will return. I picked up a couple of new ideas. You are a busy lady. Stop by my neck of the woods for a visit if you want to. Blessings

Debby said...

Just found your blog through Jodie and I have enjoyed my visit. Fabulous art!

LiLi M. said...

Thanks for learning us all about matte gel. I will look for it here too. A lot of glue like things will not stay good after a while, so I will try this one. Too bad we don't have the coupon system over here.
Have a nice day!

Cindy said...

I was told about your blog by Mary from Sandy's Tea Socity chat. What a fun blog this is so I'm glad I visited!

Marlene said...

I found your blog very informative! I
have never used this product and will give it a try..good idea to use the Michaels 50% coupon to save! Love your Art pieces very creative and lovely..will be sure to follow your blog to see whats coming up! have a great day! Marlene

BellaRosa said...

Hi Sandy, Thank you for visiting my new blog and making me feel so welcome! I will be back soon to visit ALL your sites, tutorials, all I can say is loves it :) Can't wait to see all the beauty you have created. Hope you visit me again soon, take care...Rose

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