Crackle Paste by Golden is a thick, opaque cracking material designed to develop deep fissure-like cracks as it cures. The size and extent of the crackle pattern is dependent on many factors, including the thickness of application and the environmental conditions (temperature, relative humidity and air flow) during drying. It is considered a Gel Medium.
On the above panel the crackle paste has been spread out using a palette knife. The thickness is about that of a coin. The panel background was painted yellow to highlight the cracked areas. Generally the thicker the product the larger the cracks and the thinner the paste the smaller the cracks. You can use a variety of tools to apply the product to a number of different surfaces, a rigid surface is the best.
Here I’m demonstrating to students the application of crackle paste and how to achieve different looks.
On the panel below we are using QoR Watercolors by Golden to paint the surface of the crackle paste, the surface is fairly absorbent and can create a number of different effects when using water to fluid the surface.
You can also use Fluid Acrylics and High Flow Acrylics on Crackle Paste. You can apply multiple, thin, watercolor-like layers of fluid acrylics or thicker applications of paint. The more paint you apply and the more successive layers the more you can reduce the absorption of the Crackle Paste. And if you use traditional heavy body paints you can even begin to fill in some of the cracks and smaller fissures.
On the panel below we used the Iridescent Bronze, one of the cool things about Golden’s Bronze is the effects you get when you flood it with water and the Phthalo Green pigment starts to separate out.
Crackle paste can be used to create traditional landscape paintings or abstract work, and as it dries you can allow the shapes of the paste to dictate what it is to become. The Crackle Paste can be painted like a mosaic or landscape.
Here a student is using both Fluid and High Flow Acrylics to create a landscape painting.
Below are a few sample boards created for a lesson I do on Crackle Paste in my mixed media painting class. The idea came from a book titled “rethinking acrylic” written by Patti Brady. The image is based on a similar work created by artist Bonnie Cutts (page 39 in the book “rethinking acrylics”).
Below are two panels from the lesson board. The first shows the first few layers of Fluid Acrylics washed onto the surface. The second panel is towards the end of the process – You can coat the final work with a layer of glaze, or a coat of Polymer Medium Gloss or in this case I used Matte Medium and a little fluid pigment to achieve an encaustic look on the last panel.
Hopefully I’ll be adding a link to a short video you can watch on Crackle Paste.