I have been creating mandalas (sacred circle art) every day for the past year. Over time I felt the need for my artwork to extend beyond the circle. This started with creating ink backgrounds for my mandalas and eventually led me to take a number of online art classes.
I feel amazing when creating intuitive abstracts and my inky backgrounds. Recently, I’ve decided to prepare a large number of my mandalas for sale. I love the look of resin, but have been hesitant to use resin as a coating on these 8″ x 8″ creations. I think of resin as a pain to use because most varieties are at least a little toxic & you need a little heat gun (or blow torch), etc etc. I discovered through some googling that some people use pouring medium or self-leveling gel to create resin-like layers over paintings and you can even use it to paint with once tinted with fluid acrylics or acrylic inks (actually, I think this is what it’s supposed to be used for).
So I decided to experiment! I made a quick trip to Michaels for liquitex pouring medium & decided to use a mandala that I had smeared in the varnishing process (don’t brush varnish onto watercolors, fyi, use spray varnish, even though it takes a million coats to get the effect I want, sigh…).
First, I taped off the edges of the cradled wood panel that I mounted the paper onto. Then I set it on some plastic on my work table & checked that it was level with my level. Then, I started pouring the pouring medium. It self-levels, so I just poured it until it started running off the edges. This stuff is super messy & takes the path of least resistance (much like my inks)–glad I had plastic down (once it’s dry it just peels off of the plastic).
The medium starts as cloudy, but as it dries it clears. It apparently takes a day or two to dry and may need even longer to fully cure.
It provides this great shiny, resin-like surface! So exciting!! The work still requires spray varnishing afterwards and I’m going to wait a few more days before I do that. Also, the smearing from the brush-on varnish doesn’t seem as bad now, so this may have “rescued” this piece.
I have so much experimentation to do with the medium. I’ve started by using a gessoed cradled wood panel and pouring the pouring medium on it and then dropping acrylic inks into the medium. Then I tilted it in any number of ways before letting it sit. I love it right now & can’t wait to see what it looks like dry!
Eventually I could see doing my ink background using this medium, letting it dry, painting a mandala and then finishing with another layer of pouring medium. Also, I think you can embed items into the medium, which could make for really cool mixed media pieces and creating multiple layers of inky backgrounds on top of each other to give depth could be really fun.