Once a painting is completely done, and I’m satisfied, I sign it. Signing is important for many reasons as you can imagine, not the least of which is to signal myself that I should leave the thing alone. Done, already! I’m careful to place the signature in a location that will either enhance or at least not take away from the composition. These days I’m using a little squeeze bottle with a fine tip to paint my signature on my paintings, though I’m not locked into that. It’s just easier to write.
After the signature is completely dry, an isolation coat of acrylic polymer medium, a Golden product, is brushed on. One or two coats are used, depending on how much texture there is on the piece. I dry this layer about 24 hours.
Finally, two coats of a varnish go over the isolation coat. I use Golden UV Varnish in a satin finish. I used to use gloss, which allows the depth of color to show, and I really like that. Many of my paintings are finished with gloss. But the trade off is that the glossy finish reflects light, making it slightly harder to light, or to view in person and also causes specular highlights when photographing the art.I tried matte varnish, but to me the end result looked almost foggy. Matting agent is made of tiny particles in the medium that refract light, so of course it will look foggy. The happy medium (do I sound like Goldilocks?) is satin varnish. It’s a blend of gloss and matte, and the appearance is a pleasing, almost waxy looking finish. That’s nice because of the current interest in encaustics. The varnish should be brushed on slowly and evenly, avoiding bubbles. I use a wide soft brush that won’t shed. The varnish will seek it’s own level and dries within about an hour. I leave a space heater on in the room, and a window open as it’s somewhat toxic.
Nest time, I’ll show you a new trick I learned about attaching hanging wires.