Monday, October 5, 2015

Genesis Heat Set Paint On Polymer Clay Dolls

So much confusion about using these paints on polymer clay. And no wonder, there is so much conflicting advice. Your best bet is to go directly to the manufacturers web site and click on their FAQ page: http://www.genesisartistcolors.com/   Here is some of what we learned:

One of the characteristics of Genesis heat-set paint is that they are thick and like stiff paste in the jar. They must be stirred. Just lift a tiny amount from the jar, place on a ceramic tile or glass and work it until it is malleable and smooth. You can mix paint colors together to get the color you desire. Then add a Genesis medium.

Genesis has 3 mediums: thick, thinning and glazing gel (it is recommended that you do not mix Genesis paint with other oils, mediums, solvents or acrylics for use on polymer clay).

  • Thick Medium: This medium looks like heat-set paint without pigment.You mix your color of paint and the thick medium to get a good layer of paint with transparency but still maintaining the same paint body (it does not thin the paint). You can add as much thick medium to the paint as you desire. For painting a small scale doll this is often used to make a transparent 'wash'. The thick medium will dry matte.
  • Thinning Medium and Glazing Gel: Both these mediums give Genesis paint a thinner consistency and are very efficient so only small amounts are added to your paint color to permanently thin the paint. Add a tiny bit at a time because the ratio must not exceed 40% medium to 60% paint. Adding more medium than the recommended ratio may result in your paint remaining tacky after heat setting (doll makers have reported other problems too). For a matte finish, choose the thinning medium. Choose the glazing gel to get a finish with a slight sheen and some transparency.

These paints stay wet until heated to activate the curing agent. After the drying temperature is reached they dry immediately. For thin layers, such as when painting and blushing a doll, as little as 2 minutes with a heat gun or 5 minutes in the oven. To check if dry, touch lightly with the back of your hand and if it is still tacky, then heat it again.

No varnish is needed over polymer clay dolls but are used to add a glossy finish over eyes,lips and nails when painted with heat set paint. If you have another purpose that needs a sealer, check the Genesis web site for all their varnishes that are compatible with their paints and mediums.

The advantage to using heat set paint is that you can apply it in thin overlapping layers that you heat set between layers. The painting technique is similar to that used for china painting on a porcelain doll; apply a color, heat set it, and then apply more color until you achieve your desired effect.

Some tips:

  • A pallet can be made from any glass item.
  • Cover all left over paints on your pallet to keep them clean and to store them. Since they never dry, you can use the paint again and again. When left on a non-porous surface the paint will return to its original state.
  • Try conditioning your brush with thinning medium...a TINY amount worked into your brush bristles will help paint to slide.
  • Do not paint on a warm sculpt. Cool completely!
  • Keep dedicated brushes for use with Genesis paints.The paint in the bristles stays wet until you clean the brush (Genesis has a brush cleaner).
  • Click on the topic 'Painting' in the blog index for more information.

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