As I have said before, there are many good tutorials, articles, and videos on varnishing. I needed to see the effect directly on my artwork.
Top layer: Final Varnish Coat
The Final Varnish Coat differs from the Isolation Coat in that it can be removed with mineral spirits. Sometimes a turpentine base final varnish is used. I can’t use turpentine, so I used one with the base of mineral spirits.
1) What effect does each specific varnish (gloss, satin sheen, and matte) as an isolation coat have directly on the acrylic painting?
2) Which varnish would be similar to the natural look of acrylic?
3) Which varnish would be best for photographing the painting?
Isolation Varnish Coats
2- Golden Acrylic Med Polymer Varnish Matte
These I mixed 4/1 ratio with water for each of the above (4 parts medium + 1 part water) as directed on the containers.
3- For Satin Sheen: 4/1 (2 parts gloss + 2 parts matte + 1 part water)
Gloss varnish: it reflects too much light. If it is used as the only varnish to cover an acrylic painting, it would be impossible to photograph the painting because of the glare.
Satin Sheen Varnish: it resembles the actual reflective characteristics of an acrylic painting without any varnish applied. Thus Satin Sheen varnish is similar to the natural look of acrylic.
Matte Varnish: this varnish caused the acrylic colors to be darkened and void of life. The effect reminded me of a black hole, only allowing the minimal light to escape. One might think this would be an interesting effect for certain paintings, but matte varnish could not possibly portray the excitement and life that the original acrylics create.
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