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Alcohol in gouache or water colour paints

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  • J Dolphin
    The local library had a copy of Wendy Addison Medeiros book Marbling Techniques . For readers who have this at home, page 64----refering to preparing
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 6, 2000
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      The local library had a copy of Wendy Addison Medeiros book "Marbling
      Techniques". For readers who have this at home, page 64----refering to
      preparing gouache---" Keep adding water until you have something that is
      about the consistency of cream. Add several drops of rubbing alcohol. You
      are now ready to add ox gall as a flow agent."
      My question is--what is the alcohol for? Just to keep the paint kind of
      loosened up---and wouldn't the ox gall be enough?
      Jill
    • Jan Walker
      ... I m afraid I can t answer the question! But I ve seen mention of alcohol a few times in preparing fiber reactive dyes (not pigments). With dyes, I think
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 7, 2000
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        > The local library had a copy of Wendy Addison Medeiros book "Marbling
        >Techniques". For readers who have this at home, page 64----refering to
        >preparing gouache---" Keep adding water until you have something that is
        >about the consistency of cream. Add several drops of rubbing alcohol. You
        >are now ready to add ox gall as a flow agent."
        > My question is--what is the alcohol for? Just to keep the paint kind of
        >loosened up---and wouldn't the ox gall be enough?
        >Jill

        I'm afraid I can't answer the question! But I've seen mention of alcohol a
        few times in preparing fiber reactive dyes (not pigments). With dyes, I
        think the alcohol helps promote the dyes entering into solution with the
        water. Perhaps the same thing happens with pigments (as in the watercolor
        paints). Some pigments are notoriously difficult to "wet" and the alcohol
        might help the little clumps of ground pigment disperse a little more
        easily in the water, reducing tendencies to graininess. This would be a
        separate effect from the surfactant role played by the oxgall. But this is
        really speculation on my part, based on reading I've done.

        More on the topic of alcohol -- I was looking in the store the other day at
        something packaged as a marbling base for acrylic paints. (I think it was
        Liquitex or maybe W & N. Can't recall.) It had health hazard labels,
        which seemed to be because it contained rubbing alcohol. I didn't end up
        buying it so can't report on what it does.

        I wish I understood more about which kinds of compounds were in which kinds
        of products.
        Then I could make sense of seemingly inconsistent advice between one book
        and another.

        Perhaps people with more technical knowledge could share. How does the
        medium/binder/carrier differ between acylic marbling paints and watercolor
        or gouache marbling paints?

        Is there a difference between acrylic marbling paints and acrylic fabric
        marbling paints? If there is some kind of medium needed to make acrylics
        permanent on fabric, would the same medium make watercolor permanent on
        fabric? Or why not?

        Confused in Massachusetts,
        Jan Walker
      • Laura Sims
        Jan, In reference to the kit you saw, if it was Liquetex it may have included Marbleze (spelling?)to help it spread. When I ordered some it seemed to be
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 7, 2000
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          Jan,

          In reference to the kit you saw, if it was Liquetex it may have included
          "Marbleze" (spelling?)to help it spread. When I ordered some it seemed to
          be acetone based and I wouldn't use it.

          PRO Chemical and Dye Co. (800-2-BUY-DYE) send a hand out with their paints
          that recommend using rubbing alcohol as a spreading agent for their
          acrylics. It has been a while since I did watercolor marbling, but it seems
          that I would put a little alcohol in the colors that had a grainy quality to
          them.

          best, Laura



          >From: Jan Walker <jwalker@...>
          >Reply-To: Marbling@egroups.com
          >To: Marbling@egroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [Marbling] Alcohol in gouache or water colour paints
          >Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2000 14:54:12 -0400
          >
          > > The local library had a copy of Wendy Addison Medeiros book "Marbling
          > >Techniques". For readers who have this at home, page 64----refering to
          > >preparing gouache---" Keep adding water until you have something that is
          > >about the consistency of cream. Add several drops of rubbing alcohol. You
          > >are now ready to add ox gall as a flow agent."
          > > My question is--what is the alcohol for? Just to keep the paint kind
          >of
          > >loosened up---and wouldn't the ox gall be enough?
          > >Jill
          >
          >I'm afraid I can't answer the question! But I've seen mention of alcohol a
          >few times in preparing fiber reactive dyes (not pigments). With dyes, I
          >think the alcohol helps promote the dyes entering into solution with the
          >water. Perhaps the same thing happens with pigments (as in the watercolor
          >paints). Some pigments are notoriously difficult to "wet" and the alcohol
          >might help the little clumps of ground pigment disperse a little more
          >easily in the water, reducing tendencies to graininess. This would be a
          >separate effect from the surfactant role played by the oxgall. But this is
          >really speculation on my part, based on reading I've done.
          >
          >More on the topic of alcohol -- I was looking in the store the other day at
          >something packaged as a marbling base for acrylic paints. (I think it was
          >Liquitex or maybe W & N. Can't recall.) It had health hazard labels,
          >which seemed to be because it contained rubbing alcohol. I didn't end up
          >buying it so can't report on what it does.
          >
          >I wish I understood more about which kinds of compounds were in which kinds
          >of products.
          >Then I could make sense of seemingly inconsistent advice between one book
          >and another.
          >
          >Perhaps people with more technical knowledge could share. How does the
          >medium/binder/carrier differ between acylic marbling paints and watercolor
          >or gouache marbling paints?
          >
          >Is there a difference between acrylic marbling paints and acrylic fabric
          >marbling paints? If there is some kind of medium needed to make acrylics
          >permanent on fabric, would the same medium make watercolor permanent on
          >fabric? Or why not?
          >
          >Confused in Massachusetts,
          >Jan Walker
          >
          >
          >

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