Monday, January 14, 2013

Acrylic Skins - a tutorial for you!

Hi everyone!

we are having some seriously dreary UNsunshine-y days around here lately!  I usually don't mind winter much but this year - just ICK!  i think perhaps i am longing for the start of traveling season with our camper!  we have lots of fun things in the works for this year - can't wait!

of course i may be grumpy because i am missing CHA for the first time in years!  i can see all the new stuff online so that's no big deal.  i miss the PEOPLE!  all of the friends and fun that only happens once a year - BOO!

I am part of various artist groups online and one of them has brought up the topic of using acrylic skins in mixed media work.  A quick search in Google images came up with all sorts of beautiful things.   The idea seemed intriguing so I thought I would give it a whirl!  Rather than using plain acrylic paints I had to step it up a notch and decided to use Primary Elements Pigment powders and Gel Medium to make them.  Once the skins are dry they have a unique elastic-like material which can then be cut or torn and used in collage work.  Here are the steps I followed.I chose 3 colors for each skin.

Skinz 1

Place a small pile of each powder on a non-stick surface.

Skinz 2
Next put out a pile of Gel Medium alongside each one,  Use enough to ensure you are able to make a skin the size you want.
Skinz 3
Mix really well!
Skinz 4
Use a pallette knife and spread the paints across a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up).  Overlap and blend the colors into each other but keep them discernable to give the skin some interest.  The thickness can vary.  The thinner it is the more transparent it will be once dry.
Skinz 5
Because gel medium is a milky white when wet as you can see in the center of this piece.  Once dry it is crystal clear and you are left with gorgeous brilliant color and because they are done with Luminarte Primaary Elements the color is exceptional PLUS the added bonus of oodles of shimmer!  Coax the edge up and then gently pull it from the freezer paper.
Here are our finished pieces.  In addition to regular gel medium you can use some of the specialty mediums such as Ceramic Stucco or Glass Bead Gel.

Skinz 6

Skinz 7
Skinz 8
The Ceramic Stucco gives a sandy texture...
Skinz 9
Skinz 10
Here I used Glass Bead gel.

Pezza joined in and made her own set of skins too.

she picked her own colors...

and did her own mixing and smoothing (and yes she was in her robe but i couldn't resist the pics!)

we also have a new foster kitten, Fred.  Bubba has really missed having a baby around to play with and he and fred have made fast friends.  so last night while we were watching tv i, the cat LOVER sat on one couch alone and this is what was on the other couch with hubby the cat "tolerator"

really!?!?!?!?  you can see fred - the little black one - sleeping right up close to bubba.

Now to see what we can do with these skins!  Stay tuned!


  1. Not sure what I like more, the kitties, or the

  2. very fun...excited to see what you do with all of those gorgeous colored skins!

    best wishes!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the skins!

  4. I love the skins! AND I Love that you're a Cat Foster - so AM I! I Volunteer with local animal shelter

  5. I love skins! This is a great post! I have use them before but just in tiny sizes.... I think I will try a large colorful with texture next!

  6. Going to try this for sure. I have never heard of this before. Would surely make a great collage piece. Thank you.