Acrylics and Other Media on Wet Media Film

November 27, 2012

For my final media test on Dura-Lar Wet Media Film from Grafix, I will show results of using watercolor, casein, acrylic, and various inks and markers on this surface.

Before starting my watercolor test I wanted to reuse two of the film sheets I had tested gouache samples on earlier. It was a simple matter to wash away the dried paint in the sink rinsing them off with water. The magenta paint was a heavy staining pigment (PR122) so it took a little more effort. Soap and water got most of it, but there was still a faint stain left behind, as seen in the image on the left.

Acetone & Alcohol

I figured this would be a good opportunity to see how acetone and alcohol affected this film surface in order to remove the last bit of pigment. I cut off two small pieces and dripped one in acetone for a few seconds. When I wiped it dry I didn’t see any sign of damage, but was wondering how the special coating that makes the film accept paint might have faired. I painted a little bit of gouache back on it, and the paint behaved just the same as before, even as a thin wash. Alcohol on the other film piece didn’t cause a problem either.



Watercolor performed just as well as the gouache paint on this surface, not surprisingly. You can see with the cadmium yellow how the amount of water causes the paint to fade very well. Being able to see through both sides gives you a particular advantage here that you can’t get when using watercolor on paper. Casein also performed well on this surface and there’s nothing more to add to that I haven’t already stated.


This is a scan of a few acrylic paint swatches and mediums. After waiting a few minutes to dry, it’s easy to scratch off. The paint tears and peels instead of making a clean scratch. It’s a weak bond but adequate. The drying time is also still slower on this than on other surfaces. The sample of Golden’s GAC 100 medium shows how it can give the shiny surface more of a matte sheen, but brushmarks still show up clearly. I also noticed how the thicker mediums made the film pucker slightly when they dried due to their shrinkage.

Below is a picture of various inks and markers on the film. I’m still seeing very good performance from them. The only one of these that didn’t do well was the Uniball Gelstick pen, which has a hard metal point and did not leave very good marks. The best working markers were those that had soft tips, especially those with brush tips. Steel point nibs also did well, as did the various inks using a brush. Those are crowquill marks to the right of the brush swatches. In the bottom right corner I show a swatch of ink made with the PITT “big brush” marker that has been scratched with a penknife, and the top corner was wiped with a cotton swab after the ink dried.

Inks & Markers

In the next post I’ll share my final thoughts on using this surface as well as some ideas on mounting and presentation of finished works.


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