Good pointers Delores.... We are of the same vintage it sounds like....we had none of these additives and it worked just fine. I rarely had to use the photo flow, I think I have the original bottle still that I got about 1980! I have had to resort to it a few times.....due to, as you said the manufacturers changing the formulas. I also suspect they are not big on quality control as to how much dispersant they add (for acrylics usually a detergent of sorts) and one lot of paint will work and the next, from the same company, same color will be what you call a "chaser".
I never even heard of marbling with distilled water when I started, in 1978, thus my hard water always worked, because I guess it didn't know it was not supposed to, LOL! I never told it, and yes it still works! I tried marbling with distilled, and also rain water I collected, and the hard water..and I mean seriously hard, won out each time. The only difference....if I am in a soft water area, I used to travel to teach a lot... like NYC, you need to use a little less size powder than in a hard water area. But it ends up all the same as far as my usage of it all.
You think that's bad... if you have been marbling as log as I have Delores, and I think perhaps.... recall the days of boiling handfuls of dried seaweed to make the size? And trying to strain it? It never came out the same way twice. I very much appreciate the carrageenan powder you can whirl up in the blender. Way back then, well it was not far off from how it was done in the 1800s.
On 05/17/14, 'D or Jer Guffey' dguff@... [Marbling]<Marbling@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
I've been marbling for over 30 years with acrylic tube paints (mainly Liquitex & Ultrecht) and have never added any flow release, or photo flow of any type. Just mix the tube paint with distilled water until you get the right consistency (about the consistency of half & half - a little thicker than milk). Thick paint will not make a darker color and will just sink. Temperature can also affect the spread of paints. You didn't mention what type of size you are using? I've only marbled on carragheenan which should be used in a room at least 60 degrees (I marble in my garage, and that is about as warm as I can get it). Make sure your size isn't too thick, that will also allow the colors to sink.
That being said, not all paints react in the same manner. The paint industry keeps changing their formulas from year to year. A color that worked great one year, when purchased again doesn't. Some colors are "chasers" they push the other colors aside. In that case, put them down first and then add your other colors. Work with just 2 or 3 colors until you can get patterns you like. Stay away from metallics until you are comfortable with regular colors. For the most part they are pure trouble...mainly they tend to push all other colors aside.
Before I start to marble, I use a Styrofoam meat tray with just a little bit of size in it. I drop the color on that size to see if it spreads or sinks. I keep adjusting the paint to make it spread before I ever put it the main marbling tray. That way I don't junk up the whole tank if something isn't working. If it is sinking, it usually is too thick (or the size is too cold). Try flicking the paint on with a popsicle stick and flicking your wrist. Try using an eyedropper and put the paint down one drop at a time.
Don't forget to skim your surface prior to applying the paint - you need to break the surface tension to allow the colors to spread.
Hope this helps, if only to get you to try again.
From: Michelle Herren herrenfam@... [Marbling]
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:42 AM
Subject: [Marbling] About to Give Up On Paint!
I'm so frustrated I can't even go in my craft room. That's how frustrated I am.
This all started when I decided that my paints were too translucent, and I needed to make them brighter and more opaque. So I bought some acrylic flow release, mixed it to a 7:1 water:flow ratio, and preceded to make ALL NEW PAINTS. I used more of the tubed acrylic (Utrecht, recommended to me by Galen), about a 2" stream. I then mixed it with one part distilled water and one part AFR.
All my paints sank. I was using a dropper to place the paint so I could sit down and not make a mess. I tried using the broomstick brush. The droplets were smaller, but they half spread and half sank and made terrible patterns.
So I tried dumping out half of the paint mixture (which was the consistency of thick cream, I realize that was too thick) and added in nothing but the diluted AFR. Some of the paints, like the yellows and the whites, started to spread. But the blues, reads, greens, and purples still didn't spread and sank.
I repeated this dump 75% out and fill up with AFR dilute three times, and none of my paints will spread on the surface. I mean, I don't know how much more diluting I can do before just starting over again, and I don't think I have enough AFR to do all 30 of my 1 ounce paints again.
I've even tried adding anywhere from 2-40 drops of Galen's Gall to one of my blues in an attempt to get it to float to no success. The colors are all the consistency of almost water - not even skim milk anymore. Should I have just added a drop or two of AFR straight from the bottle to the paint?
Also, how do you get metallic colors to mix? I've never been able to get one to float no matter how little paint I've used. I've tried liquitex ink and soft body paints for the metallics.
If anyone could please guide me back to the path of success, I'd really appreaciate it. I feel like just buying a bunch of Galen's marbling paints, but 1) I don't have any money to right now and 2) I have a whole drawer off tubed acrylics I bought for this specific purpose knowing that they will work.
Save me from my frustration! :)
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