Friday, January 18, 2013

Self Leveling Gel

It can take awhile to fully implement any new technique. Some are fast, like everything in Anne Bagby's DVDS. Those techniques fit in with what I was already doing. Figuring out how to use true layers and then do it through self level gel (SLG), isn't quite so intuitive. I've tried new styles. I've tried adding more lines and new textures I'd normally avoided (like fabric), and now I can tell I'm looping back around to figuring out how to add it (and additional collage elements) to my cupcake owls. Oooooh the learning curves and decision making curves are a constant tripping hazard.

However, in all of this creative confusion, I am learning a few things about SLG.

What I'm learned (or am learning):

1. Bottle Approach
I currently squeeze the self leveling gel out of a squeeze bottle. This works great. I can create a border and then fill it in. I then run a credit card back and forth over it like I'm spreading frosting.

However, getting it into that particular squeeze bottle was a DISASTER including probably losing a half of cup to spillage that I couldn't scoop up. (And there was a lot of scooping up in this process.) Once it's in the bottle it's fantastic. But because that process is so difficult, once this bottle runs out, I may just try getting it out of the jar with a credit card and going directly onto my surface. TBD.

2. Spreading
If you're using the squeeze bottle method and you have a frame of SLG around your border, start with your edges. Scrape out to the edge to make sure you've got it all the way out. Then begins working left to right or top to bottom. I find it really easy to add more SLG to the center of a piece where maybe it's a little thin. The edges I find a bit more tricky so if the first thing I do is make sure they are set, I can move on.

3. Layering
This may not be true for other artists but by God it is true for me. I can layer SLG and then place something down on top of it so that the two (element and SLG) can dry together. Except in the case of embedding glitter, this is the wrong approach for me. I should pour a layer of SLG, allow it to dry, and then add my element with matte medium or gel medium. Once the element is dry, then do another SLG pour.

Now that this third truth is in writing, maybe I'll remember it.

Image: This is self leveling gel out of the squeeze bottle before I've moved it around. Notice how blue it is. That's a bit because I'm bad at color correction, but also it's because many of these mediums start with a tint of blue and then dry clear. 

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