I’ve been playing around a bit more with textured acrylic gel mediums as a drawing surface. Last night I happened to notice that a pencil mark on some matte gel drew really well, so I wanted to investigate this further. My intention was to duplicate the look of frosted polyester film, such as Mylar.
When I applied the matte gel to some plastic I noticed that it didn’t adhere very well. The dried gel was easy to scratch through with even the sharp edge of a charcoal stick (see image at left.) Some directions I read said to abrade any non-absorbent surfaces for better adhesion, but I didn’t want to sand the plastic to avoid a scratched texture, plus it was a thin sheet. I checked the internet and saw that Rustoleum makes a “Frosted Glass” paint spray, so this morning I picked up a can to see if it would help the gel adhere better.
Good results. On a small sheet of clear acrylic glazing I’ve sprayed the Frosted Glass paint. This will work on glass too, of course, but plastic works just as well, and it’s cheaper.
Below you can see a scan of the sprayed plastic where I’ve tested different drawing mediums. I also scanned it with a colored print behind it so you can see the transparency effect. The frosted area on the left took all the pencil marks really well with the exception of a Wolff crayon; although, that worked well on the matte gel. Ink also works well on this, but I think markers feel better than a metal nib. Charcoal gets very dark on this, which is not something I’ve been able to do on frosted Mylar. I even painted a little burnt umber watercolor on the frosted side and it adhered surprisingly well.
I covered the center with ceramic stucco gel from Liquitex, and the right side with their natural sand gel. The texture feels about the same for both, but the stucco is a little more opaque. Both took all pencils and pastels well without anything scratching through. You can color the gels with acrylics or watercolor, or paint over them with acrylics or oils. A fixative spray can be used to help prevent the drawings from smearing.