Acrylic Mediums, Acrylic Paint, Educational, How To, Mediums -

Matisse Mediums, Varnishes and Grounds

Matisse Painting Mediums are complementary products designed to make acrylic paint more versatile. They can be used with the Matisse Structure and Flow formulas, Matisse Fluid, Matisse Inks and Matisse Background ranges.

Acrylic paint technology has achieved a much higher level of specialisation in the last decade, resulting in superior quality acrylic paints and mediums that have set the current standards.

To see our range of Matisse mediums click here or to see our range of Matisse varnishes click here


MATISSE MM4 GEL MEDIUM

Modern paint technology has facilitated the production of a true Gel Medium. The purpose of the MM4 Gel Medium is to act as a clear transparent colour extender in the production of brilliant coloured glazes and as a transparent impasto for thick 3-dimensional brush and knife applications of Matisse Structure. Its prime requirement is to be thick and buttery whilst remaining fully transparent.
MM4 Gel Medium is perhaps the most versatile medium in the Matisse range because of its multiple effects, particularly when intermixed with other mediums.
It acts as the main intermixing medium in acrylic painting when its rich buttery consistency is required for impasto work, 3-dimensional extrapolations, multi-layer work and heavy, smooth or textural glazes.
When dry, it maintains the structure, brushstrokes and textural effects of undiluted Matisse Structure colours. Its inherent firm and buttery consistency makes it ideal for application by palette knife in order to achieve heavily textured grounds.
Reduced with water and MM8 Spreader Medium, it adapts for thick but smooth flowing glazes.


MM4 Gel Medium, because of its viscous non-spreading consistency, enables the artist to apply thick and heavily defined brushstrokes.

It is well known that acrylic paints “surface” dry very rapidly but heavily imposed brushstrokes of paint take much longer to dry than thinly applied coats. The fact that the surface of the paint film dries rapidly causes moisture entrapment in the film underneath. This effect need not be detrimental to the painting as acrylic mediums are porous and allow for the gradual release of moisture during air drying. Nor does the artist experience any great problem of cracking or wrinkling because Matisse is a highly concentrated paint and once the available moisture has evaporated, the paint remains as a strong, solid, pliable and non-cracking film.

Hint

Avoid force-drying: The application of intense heat in order to prematurely dry paintings constructed with heavily imposed layers of colours is not recommended – the surface layers of paint can seal off, permanently trapping moisture underneath. Subsequently, the painting could crack and the canvas shrink or distort.

MM4 Gel Medium dries to a glossy finish. Matisse artist acrylic colours are designed to dry with a subdued low sheen. Liberal additions of MM4 Gel Medium to Matisse paint will tend to increase the gloss level of the finished work. Artists who find this undesirable can intermix Gel Medium with Matt Medium, thereby producing a non-glossy gel medium.

Glass: MM4 Gel Medium can be applied directly to glass either by itself or with Matisse Colours added.

Frosted glass finish: If a finish such as frosted glass is required, apply MM4 Gel Medium directly onto the glass. Clean the window first with a good window cleaner or methylated spirits, then apply the MM4 Gel Medium with a brush or sponge; the pattern formed will be dictated by the way in which the MM4 Gel Medium is applied. Apply the MM4 Gel Medium in coats no thicker than 2mm and do not force dry. Leave approx. 6 hours between coats. The resultant finish will dry clear and allow light through but will still obscure the view and is suitable for bathroom windows etc.*

*(If applying to a bathroom window, apply to the inside of the window as the texture of the finish will tend to attract dirt if applied outside. If applying to a shower screen, apply to the outside of the shower screen as constant exposure to water may cause lifting. Clean with most household cleaners. Do not use window cleaner or ammonia-based cleaning products).

MATISSE MM1 DRYING RETARDER

Additions of MM1 Drying Retarder may be used in watercolouring, water wash effects, stain painting and hard edge techniques where it assists in pigment wetting, rapid colour diffusion and penetration. On raw canvas, the addition of 3-5% MM1 Drying Retarder, pre-diluted with water, will improve the mixing of inorganic pigments, oxides, earth colours, titanium dioxide and metallic pigments.
MM1 Drying Retarder will slow the evaporation of water from the paint. However, excess amounts of MM1 Drying Retarder (over 10%) will severely slow “cross linking” of the acrylic. Therefore, even though the paint may look dry (and indeed all the water will have gone from the paint), it will not have “cross linked” or “cured” so it is able to be re-wet, i.e. with a wet brush or cloth. This allows the Matisse acrylic colours to be used just like watercolours.

MATISSE MM10 GESSO

A great permanent flexible primer for canvas, board or even paper. An intense white ground with an excellent tooth for easy paint manipulation. Matisse Gesso is a water-based product and can be thinned down with water. Use equal parts of water to Matisse Gesso when working on raw canvas/linen. If working on canvas, Matisse Gesso will tighten the canvas, making a firmer ground to paint on.

Use

MM10 Gesso is suitable for creating a surface for both acrylic and oil paints. When priming for acrylic paints, two coats of gesso are recommended to ensure complete coverage. For oil paints, it is advisable to seal the surface first with MM5 Matt Medium or MM12 Clear Sealer, and then apply a minimum of 3 coats of gesso. As the oil in oil paints is readily absorbed by the gesso, a stronger sealed layer is needed to ensure the paint does not absorb through the gesso and onto the actual canvas. Matisse Gessoes contain Calcite grounds (calcium carbonate) which help to protect canvas from destructive gases given off by oil paints over their life-span.

Application

It is recommended that MM10 Gesso be applied with a spatula or blade on canvas. If applying with a brush mix with equal parts water, especially for the first coats when being applied to raw canvas/linen (alternatively use MM27 Low Viscosity Gesso). The application method can also affect the tooth. For a rough textured tooth, apply with a coarse bristled brush. For a smoother finish, apply with a soft bristled flat brush and sand the dried surface lightly with fine grade moist wet/dry sandpaper after each application. The moisture will minimise the amount of dust created when sanding. Coats take between 1-3 hours to dry, depending upon weather conditions.

Matisse Background Colours are also a highly pigmented “low tooth” gesso for use when a coloured background is required.

MATISSE MM11 POLY-U-SATIN VARNISH

MM11 Polyurethane Gloss Varnish is specially formulated for use in folk art techniques, this water-based finishing varnish provides a clear high gloss non-yellowing finish.

Application

  • For a protective surface coating use direct from bottle
  • Do not dilute with water
  • Allow at least 6 hours drying time between coats
  • Do not use Matisse MM19 Poly-U-Gloss Varnish over oil-based paints or oil-based antiquing finishes
  • Do not use on paper, canvas or other flexible substrates
  • Water-resistant, heat-resistant, quick drying, and flexible


MATISSE MM12 CLEAR SEALER

Specially formulated for folk art techniques. This Medium is primarily used to provide a clear sealant layer to substrates.

MM12 Clear Sealer can be used on raw wood if you are not using a Matisse Background Colour (which has a built-in sealer) and want to paint a design on the raw wood leaving the natural grain revealed. MM12 Clear Sealer will block tannins from wood bleeding through subsequent layers. It can also be used on glass, ceramics, terracotta pots and new metal. All surfaces should be clean and dust-free before

Application

For porous surfaces such as wood, terracotta pots, unfired ceramics, etc. apply diluted with up to 1 part water to 2 parts MM12 Clear Sealer.
You can also stain and seal wood. For a great effect, add a small amount of Matisse Flow artists acrylic in the desired colour and apply evenly, finishing one surface at a time.
Water-resistant, quick drying and flexible. Do not allow to freeze.

MATISSE MM13 FABRIC FIXATIVE

A great idea for the all-round artist. A way in which, if you feel like painting on fabric and making it last, you need not buy a whole range of fabric paints. MM13 Fabric Fixative mixed with Matisse Colours, preferably Flow Formula, will become permanent on T-shirts or most other garments after heat fixing.

Application

Mix equal parts of Fabric Fixative and Matisse Flow Formula Acrylic, then paint and let dry before you heat-set with an iron to become wash-fast.
Heat-set by ironing on the reverse side of the painted area or put a tea towel over the painted area and heat-set with an iron (see below). Do not allow the iron to make contact with the paint. Some synthetic fabrics are non-absorbent and thus not suited for paint application. It is possible to thin the paint with water and achieve stain effects or delicate watercolour brushouts. Test your fabric choice beforehand.

Although white in colour, this product will not alter the paint colour when blended in the correct ratios. Drying time is approximately 2- 5 hours, depending upon weather conditions and the thickness of application. Avoid the use of heavy layers and thick textures, as these may crack or peel over time. Do not allow to freeze.

Heat Fix Times & Temperatures
Please note heat fixing times and temperatures are subject to vary depending on the accuracy of the settings in the appliance to be used.
The following is a guide only:
• Cotton, calico, linen, rayon 4-5 minutes at 140°C – 180°C
• Synthetics, nylon, polyester, tetron, acrylic 5-8 minutes at 115°C – 130°C

It is important to remember that valuable projects always warrant a test. Heat fixing tests should always be done on the fabric to determine temperature and time required to make the image fast (permanent) but without scorching the particular fabric. Test by heat fixing a trial strip and washing on a heavy duty cycle.

MATISSE MM14, MM15 and MM29 SOLVENT-BASED VARNISHES

This varnish produces a hard non-yellowing, protective coating similar in appearance to Damar varnish. It is a final varnish that dries to a clear gloss finish, is quick drying and will increase the depth and intensity of acrylic colours. It is designed to give your painting that final glow. This varnish is removable, the varnish re-dissolves in mineral turpentine, and has no effect on Matisse acrylic paints: thus a painting may be completely cleaned and re-varnished without affecting the paint. Ideal varnish for use in restoration work.

Use

Both Matt and Satin varnishes should be stirred thoroughly as it contains a matting agent which will, in storage, tend to settle out and fall to the bottom of the container. It is clear and cannot be easily seen therefore always mix this varnish with a clean stick or mixing spatula before use. Shaking the container is not recommended as bubbles may form that can impact the final finish.
Two coats are recommended to achieve a consistent finish. Allow the first coat of varnish to completely dry before applying the next coat. This product is also suitable for use over oil paints after they are completely dry (approximately 6-12 months). Follow the same rule of two coats to achieve a consistent finish. Drying time is approximately 6-8 hours depending upon weather conditions. Over oil paints this varnish can also be used as a Retouch Varnish (a retouch varnish can be achieved with the addition of 80% mineral turps). Retouch Varnish is known as a temporary varnish. It gives the artist and indication of what dried colours would look like when wet, so the painting can be continued with colour accuracy. Retouch varnish is not a final varnish.

Clean up

It is recommended to clean your brush as soon as you finish the application. Always clean brushes with mineral turpentine first. This will remove most of the traces of varnish from the brush. Finish by using liquid or bar of soap in the palm of your hand and scrub the brush back and forth until you form a lather. Rinse well and let dry flat. Using soap and lukewarm water will condition the brush’s hair and prevent it from becoming stiff after drying due to any turpentine (or other solvent) residue left on them.


MATISSE MM16 MARBLING GEL

Use MM16 Faux Finish & Marbling Gel with Matisse Flow Formula Acrylic colours for a thicker and more transparent consistency. Also can be used for additional painted finishes and various marbling techniques.

Application

For painted finish techniques, mix MM16 Faux Finish & Marbling Gel with acrylic colour and apply with a stiff brush. Very effective patterns can be created by the use of sponges, erasers, combs, squeegees, rags, stencilling brushes, plastic wraps etc.


MM16 Marbling Gel may also be used in marbling processes to keep the colours from mixing together whilst at the same time creating colour effects from opaque to transparent. This medium is also called a scumble glaze or scumble medium.

MATISSE MM2 IMPASTO

MM2 Impasto Medium is a full-bodied texture paste and modelling compound. It may be thought of as a “heavy-bodied paint”, free of colour pigmentation (however, it is not clear).

This medium dries to a low subdued sheen which is similar to the sheen on a dried paint film of Matisse Colours and it is equally water-resistant. MM2 Impasto Medium allows for free intermixing with the Matisse Colours in any proportion. There is very little visual colour loss when, up to equal volumes of a Matisse Colour and MM2 Impasto Medium, are intermixed. The presence of MM2 Impasto Medium on the canvas does not increase or lower the gloss rate of the finished painting, nor does it cause any light reflection distortion.

Although MM2 Impasto Medium is not fully transparent when dry, it will not alter the richness of Matisse Colours in any substantial way. MM2 Impasto Medium can be used with Matisse Flow Formula colours, but Matisse Structure Formula colours are full-bodied acrylics and therefore complement the thick MM2 Impasto Medium.

Application

The MM2 Impasto Medium lends itself suitably for use as a light modelling compound. It can be applied by knife or brush in heavy blobs onto the primed canvas and, when dry, fully over-painted with Matisse Colours.

Do not use MM2 Impasto Medium as a transparent glue or size where its slightly milky opacity could cause some “cloudiness”.

Hint

MM2 Impasto Medium should not be used for glazing effects. Use MM8 Spreader and MM4 Gel Medium with water in various proportions to produce totally transparent glazes. Glazing with MM2 Impasto Medium will cover and distort the work with a slight opaque effect.

MATISSE MM20 PATINA (WATER)

MM20 Water Based Patina is a glazing medium designed to slow the drying time of the paint but keep the binding and waterfast capacity of the paint intact, no matter how little paint is used. MM20 Water-Based Patina will allow time for the free movement of the paint and contains extra binder so that only small amounts of paint can be used (as little as 5% paint) in a glaze form whilst still remaining waterfast once dry.

A great way to antique without the hassle of oil-based mediums. MM20 Water-Based Patina only takes 4 to 6 hours to dry.


Application

  1. Clean project of all dust, grease and oil
  2. Moisten your project all over with a cotton cloth soaked in MM20 Water-Based Patina to prevent the surface from absorbing too much colour.
  3. Dab Matisse Flow Burnt Umber or Raw Umber on the cloth soaked in MM20 Water-Based Patina and spread over your project beginning at the outside edge and moving into the centre.
  4. Wipe back excess colour to desired effect with a clean cloth.
  5. If you have made your item too dark, apply MM20 Water-Based Patina to a clean cloth and wipe over to remove colour while the project is still wet.
  6. Allow antiquing to dry at least 24 hours, depending on the weather and how heavily the project was antiqued.

(ed) I find it best to apply a coat of Derivan Pre-Antiquing Medium before antiquing to create a layer between the paint and antiquing so as not to move any of the under-painting.

MATISSE MM22 PRINT PASTE

MM22 Print Paste has been especially formulated for use with Matisse Colours to screen print on paper.

Application

Mix thoroughly equal parts of MM22 Print Paste and Matisse Colour (Flow or Structure Formula). Adjust ratio to achieve the required viscosity, intensity and drying time. The more MM22 Print Paste used, the longer the drying time and the more transparent the print will be. The more Matisse Acrylic Colour used, the quicker the drying time and the more intense the colour will be.

MM22 Print Paste is designed to stay open in the screen; however, if longer drying time is required, add up to 5% MM1 Drying Retarder. Sheen and waterfastness may be improved by adding MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish.

Wash screens and implements in water. If paste dries in the screen, soak overnight in lukewarm soapy water.

MATISSE MM24 IRIDESCENT MEDIUM

MM24 Iridescent Medium is formulated to be mixed with the Matisse Structure or Flow Formula acrylic paints to add an iridescence (metallic sheen) to them.
This medium can be mixed in any proportion with Matisse Colours.
MM24 Iridescent Medium is based on pure iridescent pigment and contains no fillers or titanium dioxide; therefore the resultant mixes of iridescent colours are far more intense and richer in colour.
Hint: The MM24 Iridescent Medium mixed with Matisse colours looks great over a black background.

MATISSE MM25 BLACK GESSO

Similar to the regular MM10 Gesso only black!


A great permanent flexible primer for canvas, board or even paper. An intense black ground with an excellent tooth for easy paint manipulation. Matisse MM25 Black Gesso is a water-based product and can be thinned down with water. Use equal parts of water to MM25 Black Gesso when working on raw canvas/linen. If working on canvas, MM25 Black Gesso will tighten the canvas, making a firmer ground to paint on.

MATISSE MM26 TRANSPARENT GESSO

MM26 Transparent Gesso is similar to MM10 Gesso and MM25 Black Gesso only without pigmentation; therefore, giving a transparent (although not altogether clear) flexible primer for canvas, board or even paper with an excellent tooth for easy paint manipulation. If working on canvas, Matisse MM26 Transparent Gesso will tighten the canvas, making a firmer ground to paint on.

Use as a pastel primer

MM26 Transparent Gesso has been specifically formulated to be mixed with the Matisse Background Colours to give a coloured primer with extra “tooth” for painting and especially as a pastel primer. Mix 1 part MM26 Transparent Gesso with 2 parts Matisse Background Colour (up to equal parts), stir well; the resultant mixture will give a brilliant surface on paper, board or canvas with which to accept and hold pastels including oil pastels (Hint: Vary the ratio of MM26 Transparent Gesso mixed with Matisse Background Colour to vary the degree of roughness or “tooth” in the primed surface).

For Folk Artists

Although not formulated for Folk Art use, many decorative painters have contacted us to let us know how much they like using this product to prepare craftwood pieces.

Matisse have been told that by applying a coat of this and sanding before your first coat of Matisse Background Colours will help to quickly reduce ‘furry’ routed edges.

You can even apply MM26 Transparent Gesso between coats of Background colours, as it is relatively transparent, and shows little to no brush strokes when applied straight from the bottle. This is useful when you find a particular piece rougher than you expected. However, you should not use MM26 Transparent Gesso as a top coat.

MATISSE MM27 LOW VISCOSITY GESSO

Matisse MM27 Low Viscosity Gesso has been specially formulated for those artists who prefer a lower viscosity gesso. It has all the outstanding properties of the original MM10 Matisse Gesso formula including bright white colour, soft tooth and flat finish however, MM27 has a softer, creamier texture making it easier to brush out and manipulate with a knife.

We recommend always applying 2 coats of gesso (more if necessary) to your substrate for maximum adhesion and protection of the surface painting.

MATISSE MM28 POLYMER SATIN VARNISH

MM28 Polymer Satin Varnish is a water-based acrylic varnish containing matting agents to reduce sheen, resulting in a satin finish which is not too glossy but still has a lively look about it without being matt. MM28 Polymer Satin Varnish will help to bring out the intense, vibrant colours of the Matisse Professional Artist Acrylics range. Use as a final varnish over a dried, well-cured acrylic painting where a satin or semigloss sheen is required (and the use of MM29 Final Varnish Satin Finish (Turps-based) is not appropriate).

This varnish may be used to matt off a work for photography or wherever a subdued satin finish is required. It is most suitable as a protective coating particularly over large works exposed to damage in public galleries, commercial paintings required for floodlit photographic reproduction and paintings that would be improved by eliminating unbalanced glossy highlights.

Application

MM28 Polymer Satin Varnish may be used as a final varnish and dries non-yellowing and completely clear. As acrylics dry very rapidly, care should be taken to apply varnish pre-diluted with water. How much water will depend on the temperature, humidity and how thickly you apply each coat. However a good starting point is somewhere between 1 part water to 1 to 2 parts varnish. Polymer Varnish, applied in very thick layers on a hot day, could trap moisture, resulting in a cloudy film which would be very difficult to correct.

MM28 Polymer Satin Varnish can also be used as a matting medium added into the paint. This varnish should be thoroughly stirred as it contains a matting agent, which may, in prolonged storage, tend to settle out and fall to the bottom of the container.

Polymer water-based varnishes may appear to be slightly hazy whilst in solution. This is an optical effect produced by light refraction of acrylic particles suspended within the water-based medium. The effect disappears when the film is dry. MM6 Polymer Matt Varnish and MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish are freely intermixable with MM28 Polymer Satin Varnish to alter the sheen level of the varnish as desired. Do not use over oil-based paints. Do not allow to freeze.

MATISSE MM3 TENSION BREAKER

MM3 Surface Tension Breaker is a dispersant and is used to break down the surface tension of the acrylic paints. It acts as a powerful penetrating agent. It is also known as “watercolour medium” or “flow medium”.

Used correctly, it will make Matisse paint more “runny” by increasing its flow properties. Its presence within a water and paint mixture will greatly facilitate colour penetration into absorbent paper or fabric grounds, e.g. raw canvas.
It is a very valuable additive in stain painting techniques and water wash applications when working on hand-pressed watercolour paper or absorbent, bleached but unprimed canvas.

For correct results, MM3 Surface Tension Breaker is always pre-diluted with the quantity of water to be used for thinning the paint. It is wise to prepare a stock jar of water with 5-10% MM3 Surface Tension Breaker and use this water for the overall painting.

MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish (Gloss Medium) and the other mediums such as MM4 Gel Medium and MM9 Acrylic Painting Medium, can also be treated with MM3 Surface Tension Breaker pre-diluted with water. The addition of a level teaspoon of pre-diluted MM3 Surface Tension Breaker to a 250ml jar of Matisse acrylic paint or painting medium will have a very noticeable dispersing effect.
Unprimed canvas which has been scoured and bleached (in order to remove cottonseed oils and seeds) or raw canvas, will perform very much better in stain painting techniques if the cloth is pre-washed in a water-diluted solution of MM3 Surface Tension Breaker. A diluted solution of MM3 Surface Tension Breaker can also be brushed straight onto the stretched canvas and allowed to dry.
MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will also assist with the dispersion of colour when you are employing the paints in a watercolour technique.

Uses

Airbrushing: To use Matisse Structure or Flow Formula with an airbrush, use the mixture (MM3 Surface Tension Breaker diluted 1 part with 9 parts water) to thin the paint to the desired viscosity. The airbrush artist will find that far less water is required to achieve the same viscosity (as “chemical thinning” has taken place); therefore the colours will be far stronger and more intense than if the paint had just been “let down” with water alone.

Calligraphy: Calligraphy artists find using Matisse Flow Formula and MM3 Surface Tension Breaker mixed together through calligraphy pens (diluted as described above) provide rich, strong “inks”. Not only does this make available a very large range of colours but, more importantly, the paints remain lightfast and will not fade.

Watercolour: Traditional watercolour techniques can be achieved easily with Matisse Colours. Using MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will not only allow the artist to work with Matisse Colours, as they would with traditional watercolours, but will also open up a whole new area of creative possibilities.

Floating: Folk Artists and Decorative painters will find using water containing 1:10 ratio of water to MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will greatly assist with floating.

MATISSE MM30 MATT GEL MEDIUM

Artists who prefer a matt finish will love MM30 Matisse Matt Gel Medium. Matisse’s original Gel Medium is a long-time favourite of artists and craftspeople alike, providing texture and adhesion in a glossy finish. Matisse MM30 Matt Gel Medium also provides texture and depth, while remaining matt. Matisse Gel mediums are also chosen by collage and mixed media artists for their adhesive character. Now, these same valued qualities can also be obtained in a matt finish.

The main aim of the MM30 Matt Gel Medium is to act as a semi-clear transparent colour extender in the production of brilliant coloured glazes and as a transparent impasto for thick three-dimensional brush and knife applications of Matisse Structure. Its prime requirement is to be thick and buttery whilst remaining semi-transparent, with a subdued sheen level.

Application

MM30 Matt Gel Medium acts as the main intermixing medium in acrylic painting when a rich buttery-like consistency is required for in impasto work, three-dimensional extrapolations, multi-layer work and heavy, smooth or textural glazes. When dry, it maintains the structure, brushstrokes and textural effects of undiluted Matisse Structure Formula colours. Its inherent firm and smooth consistency makes it ideal for application by palette knife in order to achieve heavily textured grounds. MM30 Matt Gel Medium, because of its viscous non-spreading consistency, enables the artist to apply thick and heavily defined brushstrokes.
It is recommended that a starting point of 5% acrylic paint be added to this medium. When mixed, the blended paint and gel medium should be a very pale version of the original paint colour. As it dries, the transparent qualities of this medium become apparent, and the richness of the acrylic colour will develop. Although it may be tempting to add more paint, doing so will reduce the transparent effect, resulting in thick, matt, opaque layers of colour. Do not allow to freeze.

Matisse artists acrylic colours are designed to dry with a subdued low sheen. Liberal additions of MM4 Gel Medium to Matisse paint will tend to increase the gloss level of the finished work. However to lower the sheen level to a subdued matt finish use MM30 Matt Gel Medium intermixed with the Matisse colours.

MATISSE MM31 OPEN MEDIUM

MM31 Open Medium is formulated to be mixed with either Matisse Structure or Matisse Flow acrylic colours to assist in prolonging drying time while maintaining the consistency of the paint. When mixed with Matisse Structure, they will retain their impasto quality, while Matisse Flow Acrylics will keep their smooth flowing feel with added body but not viscosity.

Optimal for painting outdoors or in particularly hot weather, MM31 Open Medium allows the paint to be blended on the painting surface for longer. Artists will be delighted with the way this medium makes their paint handle, so smooth and buttery. Be surprised by the glowing satin finish that this medium imparts to the paints.

Mixing Ratios

As little as 10% MM31 Open Medium to the paint, will lengthen the working time, allowing satisfying, smooth blends. By choosing to use smaller amounts of medium, the blending time is increased, but drying time is not drastically increased. However, a larger amount of Open Medium will dramatically increase the working time of the paint. The maximum retardation of drying time is reached with an equal mixture of paint to medium. Beyond this point, any further additions of MM31 Open Medium will result in minimal increases of drying time but may reduce waterfastness of the dried paint. However larger proportions (more medium than paint) will give transparency and will aid effective layering.

As well as allowing more time to blend on the surface, paint mixed with MM31 Open Medium will stay fresh on the palette for several hours, depending both on the weather conditions and the quantity of MM31 Open Medium used. Easy to use, MM31 Open Medium will allow the reworking of areas of a painting in a way not previously possible. The gel-like consistency of MM31 Open Medium allows it to remain in place on the palette, therefore it is suitable to be brush-mixed while painting, as well as to be pre-mixed on the palette.

MATISSE MM33 UV CONSERVATION VARNISH SOLVENT-BASED

Matisse MM33 UV* Conservation Varnish produces a hard, non-yellowing, UV protected coating similar in appearance to Damar varnish. it is a final clear gloss varnish (similar to Matisse MM14 Gloss Varnish), quick drying, designed to give your painting that final “glow”, but with the added benefit of UV protection. This makes it ideal for varnishing items that will be exposed to daylight or for extending the light fastness of items that are not traditionally so e.g. printed images from your home printer. MM33 UV Conservation Varnish will slow the rate of fading of printed material as it reduces UV light spectrum by more than 99%.

Easily dissolved with mineral turpentine, this varnish can be removed without any impact if applied over Matisse Acrylic paints. If used over other brands of acrylic paint a patch testing in an inconspicuous area is recommended.

*the term UV refers to Ultra Violet radiation present in artificial and natural sources such as sunlight and often manifests itself as discoloration or fading, cracking, and, sometimes, total product disintegration if cracking has proceeded sufficiently.

Application

MM33 UV Conservation Varnish is easily applied with a soft bristled brush. It does not need to be diluted and can be used straight from the container. The size of brush chosen will depend on the area to be varnished and the dimensions of the artwork. Apply in light coats moving quickly over the surface. Avoid over working the varnish as the surface may become matted if brushing continues as the varnish begins to dry.

Two coats of UV Varnish are recommended, ensuring that the first coat is thoroughly dry before a second application.

Under regular conditions (20C), this varnish should be dry within 4-6 hours. If uncertain, leave to dry for 24 hours before applying the next coat.

General Varnish Application Tips:

  • UV Conservation Varnish can be applied over Oils, Alkyds, Acrylics and printed surfaces. It is highly recommended a test piece should always be done when applying over a non-Matisse product and especially on printed surfaces.
  • Varnishes should only be applied over completely dry surfaces.
  • Make sure you work in a well ventilated area and children and pets are not in the immediate surroundings.
  • Ensure the surface is dust and hair free by wiping with a dry, clean cloth.
  • Apply the varnish with a soft bristled brush to create a smooth, even finish. The method of brush application, be it in horizontal, vertical or crisscross strokes is a matter of personal preference. It is
  • best to try each method to see which one works best for you.
  • Varnishes are best applied when the item is horizontal. This will prevent the varnish dripping and running down the surface.
  • A couple of lighter coats are more effective and less problematic than applying a single, thick coat.
  • Apply each coat of varnish in one sitting to the whole painting. This will minimise any contrast between areas that have been varnished on separate occasions.

Cleaning Up:

Clean up your equipment as soon as you have finished application. Mineral turpentine is recommended to remove this varnish from brushes and hands. It is advisable to rinse brushes in clean warm soapy water, so bristles remain soft and all residue from varnish and solvents is removed. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water after removal.

Removal:

Be aware that any removal of varnish layers procedure should be carefully undertaken as this will affect directly the painted surface and may change, and in some cases even damage, the substrate if improperly handled. If in doubt, this process should be left to specialised conservators particularly with works of high value, whether sentimental or financial. As the removal procedure of varnishes involve the use of solvents, please consider wearing protective clothing and equipment and work in a well ventilated area. UV Conservation Varnish can be easily removed with mineral turpentine if used over Matisse Acrylic Structure and Flow formulas. Apply the mineral turpentine directly to a thick, soft, low-lint cloth and lightly buff the surface until the varnish begins to dissolve. With another clean cloth dampened in turpentine gently pat the surface to remove the varnish and clean the area worked on.

A patch test in an inconspicuous area is recommended if removing this varnish from non-Matisse brand acrylic paint. Be aware that vigorous rubbing may cause any acrylic paint to lift during varnish removal.

Other Uses:

To use UV Conservation Varnish as a retouch varnish for oil paintings, mix with 50% mineral turpentine. Retouch varnish is known as a temporary varnish. It gives the artist and indication of what dried colours would look like when wet, so the painting can be continued with colour accuracy. It is not a final varnish.

MATISSE MM36 ENCAUSTIC GESSO

Matisse MM36 is permanent, flexible water-based ground, with a high tooth finish, for canvas, board, wood panels or paper. High Tooth Gesso dries to a bright white, matte surface that provides much more “bite” and absorbency than a standard gesso, making it a recommended ground for encaustic work or as a soft and oil pastel primer.

While it is possible to make your own encaustic gesso, to prepare your substrate, it can also be a time consuming, messy and expensive process. Homemade encaustic gesso must also be used within a few days as it susceptible to mould growth. In response to this problem, Matisse has created MM36 High Tooth Gesso (Encaustic). This unique product provides an easy alternative to creating a surface for encaustic painting. Used straight from the container, High Tooth Gesso dries to a white, matte surface that provides much more “bite” than standard gessoes. More importantly, it is water-based and contains no acrylic resins that would make the surface too smooth and refined for the application of wax.

Although pre-treated encaustic painting boards are available, using Matisse High Tooth Gesso allows the artist to customize the surface sizing of their project and is also more economical.

The techniques and methods of encaustic painting are many, and the use of Matisse High Tooth Gesso caters for them all and ensures that your artwork will remain stable for as long as possible.

Application

Matisse MM36 High Tooth Gesso is best applied with either a flat brush or roller. A minimum of two coats is recommended to ensure complete coverage.

Drying Time

Subject to atmospheric conditions, allow 1 to 2 hours drying time between coats.

Finish

Matte, bright white with a high-tooth surface. As a comparison, this product has much more tooth than either the Matisse white and black gessoes. It forms a gritty, dry surface.

Clean Up

Clean brushes, paint rollers and hands with warm soapy water.

MATISSE MM37 SELF LEVELING MEDIUM

MM37 Matisse Self Leveling Medium is a clear product that when applied to a surface or as a paint additive will automatically spread and create a smooth, glossy finish with minimal surface texture. It is ideal for high gloss thick varnishing, pouring and marbling techniques. Apply with a brush, palette knife or jug. Can be tinted with Matisse Flow Acrylics or Matisse Inks.

Application

There are many application methods for this product, providing the artists with a myriad of possibilities.It can be tinted with the addition of Matisse Ink or Matisse Flow Acrylic Paint. Using ink will maintain transparency and a glossy finish, while the use of acrylic paint will make the final result more opaque and less glossy. Only a small amount (less than 10%) of either paint or ink is required. If you are using Self Leveling Medium for acrylic pouring techniques, you can adjust the viscosity by adding up to 20% water to it.


As this product is white in the container, the addition of colour will initially produce a pastel blend, but this will develop into a bright, transparent colour after the drying process is completed. This drying time must be taken into account when applying multiple layers of colour if the artist wants to see how the colour will develop between layers.


If Self Leveling Medium has been applied and bubbles have developed (while the coating is still wet), a pin can be used to release the air from larger bubbles. This is not always practical for multiple, smaller ones. These may be able to be removed with a spray application of isopropyl alcohol, which is readily available in pharmacies. After decanting into a small spray bottle lightly spray the isopropyl alcohol onto the wet surface. It will immediately break the surface tension and release the bubbles. Be aware that the medium itself will also spread slightly.

In Mixed Media

MM37 Self Leveling Medium can also be used to create transparent polymer/acrylic layers that can be peeled away and added to mix media artworks when applied to a non-stick surface such as PP (Polypropylene) or PE (Polyethylene) plastic sheets.
Method:
After colour has been added to the medium and left to stand, it can be poured onto plastic ring binder sleeves and left to dry. Once dry and peeled, the soft, plastic-like formations can also be easily cut with scissors to any desired shape. Unfortunately, acetate sheets or glass surfaces are not recommended for this process as the medium will adhere to the surface, therefore standard plastic ring binder sheets are ideal.
Hint
Small objects such as beads and thread can also be embedded into the surface. Simply add the objects to the wet medium and allow to dry.

In Varnishing

MM37 Self Leveling Medium is archival and can be used over any acrylic painted surface (as long as it is thoroughly dry) to create a high gloss, resin-like coat of varnish. It can be applied by pouring but this technique is recommended only for the application on rigid substrates. It is important to remember that since Matisse MM37 is a water based medium, it is not suitable for use over oil painted surfaces. The use of a brush is recommended when varnishing flexible surfaces to avoid “pulling” due to surface tension of the product.
Method:
Create a masking tape border around the edges of the board to keep the medium from dripping down the sides, and leave the tape in place until the medium is dry. Then, simply pour on and gently roll the board to allow the medium to flow and coat the entire surface. Let this coat of medium dry and remove the tape. Any ridges that formed along the edge against the tape wall can be trimmed with a scalpel or hobby knife. Larger areas that cannot be rolled may need to have the medium gently brushed over the surface.
A soft-bristle brush is recommended and a light touch is required as over brushing and manipulating the medium excessively for long periods as it is curing, can affect the smoothness of the finish. In terms of application, one coat of MM37 Self Leveling Medium gives the same finish as approximately two to three layers of a standard acrylic gloss varnish.
This medium has been formulated so you can adjust the viscosity. You can add up to 20% water to thin this product. DO NOT ALLOW TO FREEZE.

Drying Time

The thickness of application of this product will determine the length of drying time. For a thin coat, a standard estimation is 48hrs, but prevailing atmospheric conditions upon application may influence drying time (humidity, heat, cold, etc.).
WARNING do not force dry or use in temperatures above 30℃ as premature skinning may occur trapping water in the coating resulting in an opaque or cloudy finish.

Finish

Matisse MM37 has a HI-Gloss finish and may become more so with thicker or multiple applications.
Clean-Up
Clean brushes, palette knives, jugs and hands with warm, soapy water.

MATISSE MM4 GEL MEDIUM

Modern paint technology has facilitated the production of a true Gel Medium. The purpose of the MM4 Gel Medium is to act as a clear transparent colour extender in the production of brilliant coloured glazes and as a transparent impasto for thick 3-dimensional brush and knife applications of Matisse Structure. Its prime requirement is to be thick and buttery whilst remaining fully transparent.
MM4 Gel Medium is perhaps the most versatile medium in the Matisse range because of its multiple effects, particularly when intermixed with other mediums.
It acts as the main intermixing medium in acrylic painting when its rich buttery consistency is required for impasto work, 3-dimensional extrapolations, multi-layer work and heavy, smooth or textural glazes.

When dry, it maintains the structure, brushstrokes and textural effects of undiluted Matisse Structure colours. Its inherent firm and buttery consistency makes it ideal for application by palette knife in order to achieve heavily textured grounds.
Reduced with water and MM8 Spreader Medium, it adapts for thick but smooth flowing glazes.

MM4 Gel Medium, because of its viscous non-spreading consistency, enables the artist to apply thick and heavily defined brushstrokes. It is well known that acrylic paints “surface” dry very rapidly but heavily imposed brushstrokes of paint take much longer to dry than thinly applied coats. The fact that the surface of the paint film dries rapidly causes moisture entrapment in the film underneath. This effect need not be detrimental to the painting as acrylic mediums are porous and allow for the gradual release of moisture during air drying. Nor does the artist experience any great problem of cracking or wrinkling because Matisse is a highly concentrated paint and once the available moisture has evaporated, the paint remains as a strong, solid, pliable and non-cracking film.

Hint

Avoid force-drying: The application of intense heat in order to prematurely dry paintings constructed with heavily imposed layers of colours is not recommended – the surface layers of paint can seal off, permanently trapping moisture underneath. Subsequently, the painting could crack and the canvas shrink or distort.

MM4 Gel Medium dries to a glossy finish. Matisse artists acrylic colours are designed to dry with a subdued low sheen. Liberal additions of MM4 Gel Medium to Matisse paint will tend to increase the gloss level of the finished work. Artists who find this undesirable can intermix Gel Medium with Matt Medium, thereby producing a non-glossy gel medium.

Glass: MM4 Gel Medium can be applied directly to glass either by itself or with Matisse Colours added.

Frosted glass finish: If a finish such as frosted glass is required, apply MM4 Gel Medium directly onto the glass. Clean the window first with a good window cleaner or methylated spirits, then apply the MM4 Gel Medium with a brush or sponge; the pattern formed will be dictated by the way in which the MM4 Gel Medium is applied.

Apply the MM4 Gel Medium in coats no thicker than 2mm and do not force dry.
Leave approx. 6 hours between coats.

The resultant finish will dry clear and allow light through but will still obscure the view and is suitable for bathroom windows etc.*
*(If applying to a bathroom window, apply to the inside of the window as the texture of the finish will tend to attract dirt if applied outside. If applying to a shower screen, apply to the outside of the shower screen as constant exposure to water may cause lifting. Clean with most household cleaners. Do not use window cleaner or ammonia-based cleaning products).
MATISSE MM5 MATT MEDIUM

This is an additive for intermixing with Matisse Colours (not a finishing varnish). Incorporation of the medium within the paint will reduce the sheen of Matisse to a very flat or low sheen finish suitable for work to be photographed. Resultant dried films of Matisse Colours will look more like tempera colours or gouache.
The use of MM5 Matt Medium in hard edge painting, particularly in large coloured areas is most beneficial as it helps to eliminate side sheen and the unfavourable appearance of accidentally highlighted brush strokes.
As Matisse Colours are highly concentrated paints, pre-determined mixtures of water and MM5 Matt Medium should be the prime factors in hard edge work. Additions of MM1 Drying Retarder or MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will further facilitate the satisfactory application of the acrylic paint over large flat coloured areas by increasing flow.
MM8 Spreader Medium will have similar results in conjunction with the MM5 Matt Medium and the Matisse Professional Artist Acrylics.

MATISSE MM6 POLY MATT VARNISH

This is an additive for intermixing with Matisse Colours (not a finishing varnish). Incorporation of the medium within the paint will reduce the sheen of Matisse to a very flat or low sheen finish suitable for work to be photographed. Resultant dried films of Matisse Colours will look more like tempera colours or gouache.
The use of MM5 Matt Medium in hard edge painting, particularly in large coloured areas is most beneficial as it helps to eliminate side sheen and the unfavourable appearance of accidentally highlighted brush strokes.

As Matisse Colours are highly concentrated paints, pre-determined mixtures of water and MM5 Matt Medium should be the prime factors in hard edge work. Additions of MM1 Drying Retarder or MM3 Surface Tension Breaker will further facilitate the satisfactory application of the acrylic paint over large flat coloured areas by increasing flow.

MM8 Spreader Medium will have similar results in conjunction with the MM5 Matt Medium and the Matisse Professional Artist Acrylics.

MATISSE MM7 POLY GLOSS VARNISH

MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish & Medium serves both as a gloss finishing varnish and as a glossy additive to the paint. The use of this varnish will help maintain colour intensity with a gloss finish comparable to that of oil paintings

Mixed with Matisse Colours, it increases gloss and flow characteristics. Used as a finishing varnish, it produces a strong, protective, tack-free, clear film. Pictures treated with MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish will look like work done with oil paints or shiny enamel. MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish and MM6 Polymer Matt Varnish are freely intermixable to achieve a semi-gloss or satin finish. MM7 dries completely clear, is non-yellowing and it will remain totally flexible. Polymer water-based varnishes may appear to be slightly hazy whilst in solution. This is an optical effect produced by light refraction of acrylic particles suspended within the water-based medium. The effect disappears when the film is dry.

Application

As acrylics dry very rapidly, care should be taken to apply varnish pre-diluted with water (how much water will depend on the temperature, humidity and how thickly you apply each coat, however, a good starting point is somewhere between 10% to 20% water to medium with a maximum of 50%). Polymer Varnish, applied in very thick layers on a hot day, could trap moisture, resulting in a cloudy film which would be very difficult to correct.

All Matisse painting mediums are freely intermixable, e.g. Polymer Gloss Varnish will intermix with MM6 Polymer Matt Varnish to give a subdued gloss effect; MM8 Spreader Medium will intermix with the above to offer various degrees of water resistance and flow.

Nevertheless, painters are advised to use some discretion in pre-determining their selection of mediums to avoid accidentally eliminating their intrinsic qualities or beneficial effects, e.g. artists using MM5 Matt Medium would be ill-advised to finish their painting with a Polymer Gloss Varnish.

After application, drying time will be approximately 1-2 hours, depending upon weather conditions. Do not attempt to speed the drying process with a heat source such as a blow dryer or fan heater, as this may cause cracking. MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish is not suitable for use over oil paints. Do not allow to freeze.

MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish and medium is also an archival adhesive and most suitable replacement for PVA glues which will yellow and go brittle in a short period of time.

Varnishing

A varnish is a clear coat applied over the top of an artwork. It has two main functions – to give an even sheen to the work, which will in turn help to bring out the full intensity and beauty of the pigments, and to protect it from several different areas of attack such as wear and tear and airborne grime and chemicals.

MATISSE MM8 SPREADER MEDIUM

Matisse Structure Formula paint offers a thick buttery consistency suitable for impasto, oil painting and brush stroke techniques: its high tintorial strength permits ready dilution with water or mediums to allow the artist free expression by selective use of these mediums, for the results desired.

The purpose of MM8 Spreader Medium is to spread large volumes of colour over selected areas while maintaining a controlled paint viscosity. It is customary to add MM8 Spreader Medium to Matisse Colours until the required volume of paint is attained. Inversely, Matisse Colour can be added in small or large increments to the MM8 Spreader Medium but, because of the heavy-bodied consistency of Matisse Structure, lumping could occur and it is advisable to pre-dilute the Matisse Structure with a little water.

MM8 Spreader Medium is a transparent flowing paste. It dries fairly “flat” and, when dry, can hardly be discerned on a painted or unpainted area, i.e. it leaves almost no stain. Its main application is for glazing where it imparts fine flow and controlled spreadability and lubrication to the paint. Used on its own, the medium does not dry waterproof and can therefore be used as an intermediary between two partially dried paint films if some water-sensitivity for wash areas is desired. Applied over a dried paint film, it gives a wet upon wet effect but will recede to an almost invisible film when dry.

MM8 Spreader Medium can be used to pre-dilute Matisse Colour to infinity, thereby increasing transparency and some water-sensitivity to paint film. MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish (Gloss Medium) or MM5 Matt Medium are the natural intermixes with the MM8 Spreader Medium to impart absolutely controlled water resistance. As MM8 Spreader Medium dries relatively slowly when applied over a well-primed or heavily painted area, it increases workability within the paint.
MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish or MM5 Matt Medium would tend to dry very rapidly when used on their own thereby defeating the purpose of carefully controlled glazing. Soft colour hues and delicate tone-on-tone transitions are obtained by using MM8 Spreader Medium. Pre-additions of 1 part MM7 Polymer Gloss Varnish or MM5 Matt Medium to 4 parts of MM8 Spreader Medium are sufficient to impart water resistance to the medium.

MATISSE MM9 PAINTING MEDIUM

MM9 Acrylic Painting Medium is a pure acrylic binder used in formulating Matisse Colours and acts as the principal paint “dilutant” when not using water.
Water may be used with the Matisse colours. However, the addition of more than 30-50% water to Matisse Colours will reduce not only their colour strength (which, of course, is generally the required result) but will also reduce the “binding” capacity of the Matisse colours. This may lead to the Matisse colours becoming water-sensitive. MM9 Acrylic Painting Medium is used in addition with equal parts water to ensure the Matisse Colours remain waterfast when they are reduced for glazing or any other purpose where water is added to the paint.

MM9 Acrylic Painting Medium with its low sheen and good adhesion makes it a suitable transparent primer or surface conditioner for canvas, paper or board.

To see our range of Matisse mediums click here or to see our range of Matisse varnishes click here