Warning: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
(OR in your studio!)
Previously to finishing the raven I was working on a landscape; autumn scene reflected in water. I thought I was being brilliant when I decided to cover the reflected scene with a translucent medium, attempting to add a ripple affect which I will then add more paint to once it dries. So I am up in my studio without running water (which becomes important in a bit.) I lay my canvas (16x20) on the floor and hammer some nails (in the floor) at one end to keep the canvas from moving toward me. I then lay two larger canvas boards along either side and place a canvas on top of each canavs board. So I figure I now have the depth of a canvas board above my painted canvas. I lay on an entire $15 dollar jar of heavy gel, confident I'll recover half. I've got a large quilters ruler and am going to run the ruler top to bottom over the reflected scene, sliding the ends along the canvas on either side hoping to fill in my painted canvas to a depth of a canvas board. Are you with me so far? Away I go, scraping the gel down the canvas with the large clear ruler.
It quickly becomes apparent that I did not allow for the "give" in the painted canvas itself. One lovely large dip right in the middle where the gel simply would not spread evenly and, lets face it, was as thick as at least 6 canvas boards. Panic.
I quickly grab another smaller canvas and place it under my gel disaster canvas. Respread gel.
GAK! Made a bad situation worse. Now I can see where the bottom support canvas edges are and there is still a glacial covering of gel in the center.
Quarters being somewhat cramped I have to step over my painting to locate a foam core board knowing full well that I was dribbling floor crumbs all over my canvas as I did so. Can't be helped. I'm certain I can blow it all away.
Located foam core, but hands are covered in gel, which is drying quite fast, and not a working water tap to be had! Nor a cloth. Nothing but a few tissues. Like THAT is going to wipe away heavy gel!
And do I have the proper cuting tools? No sirree. I have to use a seamstress's pattern marker ( you know, those spiky wheel thingys) and then rip and tear with my elbows and feet, hands being what they were. Then there is the awkward job of picking up gel covered canvas and placing gel covered foam core board into back for support. Re-lay the canvas, re-spread the gel.
Whoa! Is that...? Is that...paint smearing? Why yes! Yes it is! Once again, black acrylic ink strikes again by reconstituting and smearing it's merry self across the full lenth of my canvas.
Purse lips, clench teeth.
Thankfully, the foam core is an improvement. *whew*
Today, the gel is still drying. Yep, it is still rather thick in the middle, and thin on the edges, but it is at least rippled! And drying clear. Yes, I will definitely have to paint over some areas, especially those containing . . oh. . . wood slivers, dirt, specks of this and that . . . you know . . . floor crumbs!