Matisse Gel Medium
Modern paint technology has facilitated the production of a true Gel Medium. The purpose of the Matisse Gel Medium is to act as a clear transparent colour extender in the production of brilliant coloured glazes and as a transparent impasto for thick 3-dimensional brush and knife applications of Matisse Structure. Its prime requirement is to be thick and buttery whilst remaining fully transparent.
Matisse Gel Medium is perhaps the most versatile medium in the Matisse range because of its multiple effects, particularly when intermixed with other mediums.
It acts as the main intermixing medium in acrylic painting when its rich buttery consistency is required for impasto work, 3-dimensional extrapolations, multi-layer work and heavy, smooth or textural glazes.
When dry, it maintains the structure, brushstrokes and textural effects of undiluted Matisse Structure colours. Its inherent firm and buttery consistency makes it ideal for application by palette knife in order to achieve heavily textured grounds.
Reduced with water and Spreader Medium, it adapts for thick but smooth flowing glazes.
Matisse Gel Medium, because of its viscous non-spreading consistency, enables the artist to apply thick and heavily defined brushstrokes.
It is well known that acrylic paints “surface” dry very rapidly but heavily imposed brushstrokes of paint take much longer to dry than thinly applied coats. The fact that the surface of the paint film dries rapidly causes moisture entrapment in the film underneath. This effect need not be detrimental to the painting as acrylic mediums are porous and allow for the gradual release of moisture during air drying. Nor does the artist experience any great problem of cracking or wrinkling because Matisse is a highly concentrated paint and once the available moisture has evaporated, the paint remains as a strong, solid, pliable and non-cracking film.
Further Technical Information
MM4 GEL MEDIUM (High viscosity binder medium)
One of the most versatile mediums in the Matisse range, MM4 Gel Medium is designed to mix with acrylic paint to form transparent impasto layers that dry to a high gloss finish. The word impasto refers to the application of a thick paint that leaves visible brush or palette knife marks. It is recommended that 5% acrylic paint be added to this medium. When mixed, the blended paint and gel medium should be a very pale version of the original paint colour. As it dries, the transparent qualities of this medium become apparent, and the richness of the acrylic colour will develop. Although it may be tempt- ing to add more paint, doing so will reduce the trans- parent qualities, resulting in an opaque, gloss finish. As this medium dries from opaque to transparent, artists may need to wait between layers to see if the desired effect has been achieved. MM4 Gel Medium is not suitable for creating very thick and clear, resin-like finishes. If applied directly from the container in a layer thicker than 2mm, it will dry to a semi-opaque white, cloudy gloss finish. This medium will take several hours to dry (even in thin applications), depending upon weather conditions and the thickness of the layer applied. Using heat from either a blow dryer or a fan heater in order to speed the drying process of thick layers is not recommended. This could cause surface layers to dry prematurely, per- manently trapping moisture underneath. Subsequently, the painting could crack and the canvas shrink or dis- tort. MM4 Gel Medium dries to a glossy finish. Matisse acrylic paints are designed to dry to a subdued low sheen. Blends of MM4 Gel Medium and Matisse paint will tend to increase the gloss level of the finished work. Artists who find this undesirable can intermix MM4 Gel Medium with MM5 Matt Medium, thereby producing a non- glossy gel medium (or use MM30 Matt Gel Medium). Alternatively, if a uniform gloss finish is required over the entire canvas, two coats of MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish and Gloss Medium are recommended. Frosted glass finish For a frosted glass finish apply MM4 Gel Medium directly on the glass surface. Clean the surface first with a good window cleaner or methylated spirits, then apply the MM4 Gel Medium with a brush or sponge. The pattern formed will be dictated by the way in which the MM4 Gel Medium is applied. Apply the MM4 Gel Medium in coats no thicker than 2mm and do not force dry. Leave approximately 6 hours between coats. This will result in a clear textured finish that will allow light through but will still obscure the view, making it suitable for bathroom windows, etc. (Hint – if applying to a bathroom win- dow, apply to the inside of the window as the texture of the finish will tend to attract dirt if applied outside applying to a shower screen, apply to the outside of the shower screen as constant exposure to water may cause lifting. Clean with most mild household cleaners. Do not use window cleaner or ammonia-based cleaning products).