varnishing challenges [Archive] - Artist Forum

: varnishing challenges

05-05-2018, 01:26 AM
Hey there,

I just finished a figurative black and white painting using acrylic paints. I'm having some reflective problems that I really really hope a smartly executed varnish might help.

The first problem is that I mixed all of my shades of gray using a titanium white and a deep matte black. because of this, many of the lighter grays reflect the light so much that they don't look gray at all - they look white.

The second problem is that to apply sheer layers of paint, i used what's called a "transparentizer" which has caused additional reflective problems so that in the areas of the painting i used the additive are highly reflective while the rest of the painting is not.

I want to note that these issues only are present during the day when sunlight comes into the room. at night time with my recessed overhead lights, the painting looks perfect.

is there a way to varnish my painting to level out all of the reflective imbalances so that everything is either matte or gloss? i've never really "varnished" anything before. the most i've done is used a spray on "sealer" that the people at Blick tell me is more used for watercolor, but "could" work for paintings too.

to sum it up, the problem i'm having is that some of the areas of the painting are highly reflective and other areas of the painting are totally matte. can a varnish save me?

any advice or links to additional literature or videos would be greatly appreciated.

07-04-2019, 01:41 PM
No I do not think varnish will save you. Varnish seals and depending on the type of varnish matte or gloss it will reflect that look over the overall painting. I think you should go back in with paint and make corrections before you think of varnishing. Best of luck