Surface Exploration – Working with Acrylic on Metal

Acrylic artist Darlene Olivia McElroy is a brave and bold experimenter. There is not a surface material or medium from which she shies away, so we asked her: Why work on metal, and what do we need to know before we begin? Here’s what she told us.

AlternativeSurfaces-Aluminum

Painting with acrylic on aluminum, from the book Alternative Art Surfaces.

Why Acrylic Artists Love Painting on Metal

Metal allows an artist to create a background on a surface that lends a truly unique feel to their work.
– Print: Using your printer at home, you can print on soda tins coated with Golden Digital Ground.
– Tarnish: It’s easy to tarnish metal using gel bleach to stamp or write on the surface.
– Emboss: Give your work depth by embossing the metal to create a raised surface.
– Paint: After preparing the metal surface, reach for your familiar acrylic paint and acrylic paint pens for mark making.

Here’s what you need to know before you undertake your first acrylic on metal project.

5 Tips for Painting on Metal

– Lightly sand the metal surface and wipe clean before painting.
– Sand the backside of the metal before gluing it down to your surface with metal glue.
– Use acrylic glazes or alcohol inks if you want the metal surface to show.
– If your ferrous metal is rusted, use a rust remover then seal the metal before you begin painting.
– Seal your work when finished.

Alternative Art SurfacesFor more creative inspiration and expert tips and techniques from Darlene Olivia McElroy read Alternative Art Surfaces from NorthLightShop.com today! Available in print and eBook formats.

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