Our upcoming production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson has a gallery in the audience of 19 portraits. These were described as oil paintings of “dead white guys”. We decided to begin experimenting with printing these portraits out and seeing how we can make them look more like a painted canvas.
I decided to try some of the Rosco Crystal Gel we received a while back. Crystal Gel acts a little like “Sculpt or Coat”. You can brush it on in thin layers, and it will hold the texture you give it. It dries clear and hard, but it remains fairly flexible. My idea was to use it to add textural brush strokes over a picture we print out on our large plotter.
The Crystal Gel has a consistency of mayonnaise. The instructions say you can thin it with water if you want. It starts out white, which makes it easier to see where you are applying it.
You can see in the above photograph that the painting is getting wrinkled. We weren’t really surprised by that; for our next test, we mounted the paper to a piece of foam core before painting.
We were very happy with the final result. The photograph above doesn’t really convey the best part about this method. The texture of the dried Crystal Gel catches the light differently depending on where you stand, so as you walk by the painting, it appears to be made with thick layers of paint.