Impasto Inquiries - DAY 1

You know what time it is? It's Trio time! Trios are posts that I started while I was a member of the Seth Apter Creative Team. I enjoyed making a series of three posts so much, that I decided to continue them at least for a while. If you want to see the older Seth Trios, you can find them under this label (link). The Trio posts usually had a topic, or a product, to which I concentrated, like Izink ICE (link). Or I could challenge myself with limited supplies (link) or use one source of inspiration for three pieces, like I did with "Mothers of Kalevala" (link). In a way they are extended versions of the "Inspired By" posts we used to make together with Marsha Valk. You can explore those posts under this label (link).

Some months back I was inquiring about topics for Facebook lives. One topic that was suggested was the Impasto paints from the Finnabair line. I saved that suggestion and pondered about it. I felt that a simple Facebook live might have been too short of a time to study the paints so instead I decided to do a Trio out of them. So, in the course of three next posts I'm showing different aspects of the paints, sharing some techniques but also making comparisons. 

Impasto paints are thick acrylic paints - Impasto referring to the impasto technique. Impasto is a painting technique where a thick layer of paint is applied to the surface. Usually the brush strokes or palette knife markings are clearly visible and the paint layer is dimensional. Here's the MoMa's explanation of the term (link) and here's the link for the Wikipedia article (link). Like I mention in the videos (might not be in this first one), there's huge differences in thickness of different colors in Finnabair Impastos, although that might be because my Impasto paints are quite old. But if my memory serves me correctly, for example the yellow paint has always been much more fluid than any pastel color. 

Because of the thickness of the paint, Impasto acrylics are excellent for dimensional things, where the paint layer needs to be raised. So if you don't feel like coloring your Modeling Paste or adding a color on top of the raised effect, you can use Impastos. They are thick enough to give a nice, crisp, dimensional stenciling for example. Naturally you can use them for impasto technique and paint with a palette knife. And like I show in this first video, I find them really handy for dry-brushing as well as they are so "dry". 

In this first video I'm not only sharing some technique ideas you can do with Impasto acrylics but also comparing the Impastos with two other thick paints. Or rather, two thickening agents to regular acrylics. Because of course you can thicken your existing acrylics to match the Impastos. I'm using heavy body gel medium for the other and Modeling paste for the other try. 

The Impastos are matte paints, so the biggest difference to the one I used gel medium to thicken is the shine. I used glossy gel medium so that difference is easily removed by changing to the matte version of the heavy body gel medium. I was worried that Modeling paste, that has white pigment in it, would turn all the colors into pastels, but luckily that didn't happen. That of course greatly depends on the Modeling paste you're using - the Finnabair one I used is not heavy pigmented, but a bit more like translucent paste, so in this case that helped to preserve the colors more vibrant. 

If you look at the crispiness of the stenciling, there isn't big differences between the three. There's some, but not major. Impastos seem the most detailed, then the Modeling paste version and lastly the gel medium version, which seems more rounded and soft than the other two. But again, that depends on the style of gel medium you use. I used the 3D Gel, but there's even a thicker gel in the Finnabair line. So, experiment! See what works for you! 

What you can't see from the pictures is the drying time. Impasto version was the one that dried fastest, then Modeling paste and the gel version took the longest. That might be something you want to considerate if you are in a hurry. Although, have to be mentioned, there's add-ons you can add to your paint to make it dry faster or slower.

I hope you have liked this first part of the "Impasto Inquiries" -series! Please be back tomorrow when there's another video and another angle on the Impastos! Thank you for your visit today!

Materials: Prima Marketing, Paper Garden, Paper Artsy, Sinelli, Posca, Tim Holtz

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