Purple HazeI attended a demo for Liquitex pouring medium and soft body acrylic colors…and this is the result of my time at the demo. It’s a marbleized 8×8 canvas painted with a bunch of my favorite colors. And while the colors are bright, fun and interesting in their movement, they were a little too strong for the way I usually work.

So I pulled out my collection of casein paints and decided to work the casein over the acrylic to tone down the intensity of the acrylic.

I love the soft, velvety look and feel of casein and thought I could create a landscape incorporating the acrylic colors.  I used Shiva Violet, Titanium White, Terra Verte, Golden Ochre and Ultramarine Blue Deep and the subject was a small section of the view outside my studio window.

The painting became an exercise in experimentation. Even though you should be able to get a translucent look to the casein…I can’t…so I used shop towels, the tip of a palette knife and razor blades to remove some of the color as I applied it. And what happened as I worked – the high gloss of the acrylic started shimmering through the matte of the casein creating interesting visual effects across the surface.Most of the green, some of the yellow and a lot of the blue that you see in the photo below is the acrylic undercoat.

Purple Haze 2

After I completed the basic design, I wanted to add some branches using random squiggles to create some energy on the surface. I used the tip of a scalpel to scrape away some of the casein leaving behind multi-colored branches from the acrylic undercoat. Great fun! And this one small piece is only going to lead to more, and larger, landscape paintings in casein and acrylic.

By the way, if you want to try pouring the colors onto a surface, here’s what I did. Mix about one tablespoon of soft body acrylic (pre-mix your colors) to about a half cup to a cup of pouring medium in a paper cup.Don’t mix too vigorously or you’ll create air bubbles in the paint.

Prepare three or four colors (any more colors and you run the risk of creating too much mud). Start pouring the colors on a canvas or gessoed hard surface. Pour a little of each color, or pour all of each color at a time. Then tilt and twist the surface to watch the colors flow together. Stop  when you’re happy with the pattern on the surface. Let dry overnight.