Crackle paste contains non-elastic additives that cause cracking patterns to form in the paste when it dries. The final surface after it has completely dried is opaque white-grey, matte and absorbent. This creamy paste can be coloured with acrylic paints, whereby the amount added should not exceed 10% of the total volume because any more would hinder the formation of the cracking patterns. The paste can be mixed with GOLDEN GELS (e.g. GOLDEN REGULAR GEL MATTE) in order to increase the durability and adherence of the Crackle coat but here too the 10% additive rule should also be observed.
Processing: Firm and rigid materials like wood, fibreboard, plaster board wall (sheetrock) or extremely stretched canvas are the best substrates for this paste. Paper or unstretched canvas will tend to warp too much because of the paste´s high degree of shrinkage which will thereby cause the paste to detach after it has dried. In order to obtain the ideal adhesion (too strong an adhesion will hinder the formation of cracking patterns) it is recommended that the substrate be primed in advance with 1 or 2 coats of GESSO - or, in the case of plaster board walls (sheetrock), with a house paint.
The best way to apply the Crackle paste is with a palette knife or - in the case of large areas - with a trowel. In the process, the size and extent of the cracking patterns will be determined by the thickness of the application as well as by environmental conditions during the drying process. Thin coats (under 2 mm) produce hardly any visible cracking patterns while coats that are too thick (over 20 mm) will produce only a few, incomplete cracking patterns. The best curing conditions are temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees and a relative humidity of maximum 75%. The cracking patterns will form within the first 24 hours but thicker applications may require many day for the fissures to develop.
In order to attain fresco-like effects, the paste can be painted over with acrylic paint while still wet so that the coat of paint will also show the cracking patterns. If you want to produce an area which is not completely covered in cracking patterns you can apply GOLDEN LIGHT MOLDING PASTE to the areas you want protected because it has the same consistency and appearance of the Crackle paste but will not form fissures.
In order to increase the longevity of the Crackle paste´s porous surface after it has dried, and in order to highlight the cracking patterns, a sealing topcoat of GOLDEN SOFT GEL (GLOSSY) should be applied (thinned with water at a 2:1 ratio, gel to water). Thereafter, for example, thinned acrylic paints can be used as glazes (applied with sponge or brush) whereby beautiful, antiquing effects are produced by the paint seeping into the fissures. Once done, a matte varnish can be applied to your work (e.g. GOLDEN POLYMER VARNISH (matte)) as a final protective coat.
The Golden auxiliaries for acrylic painting include primers (grounds) for preparing painting surfaces as well as painting agents and additives with which the processing characteristics as well as the transparency, glossiness and viscosity of acrylic paints can be altered.
A third, very large group is comprised of the gels and textural (form) pastes whose general attributes and differences are the subject of these introductory remarks.
Gels and textural pastes primarily serve as a way to build structures and textures in the acrylic painting process while at the same time altering the level of glossiness and transparency of the acrylic paints themselves. The range of different consistencies runs from liquid and pourable (e,g. GOLDEN SELF LEVELING CLEAR GEL) to very pasty and mouldable (e.g. GOLDEN LIGHT MOLDING PASTE), while the level of glossiness that is customizable runs from high gloss to deep matte. The difference between gels and textural pastes lies in their transparency or, from the other perspective, their opacity. Both are white in colour when liquid; gels, however, become transparent colourless or, alternatively, translucent colourless when dry while textural pastes, on the other hand, are white opaque when dry because they contain additives like, for example, marble dust. When mixed with acrylic paint, textural (form) pastes increase the paint´s opacity but nonetheless make it more “pastel-like” - much like the addition of white acrylic paints does.
A gel is basically an acrylic paint without the pigments – in other words it functions like a binding agent. This makes gels perfect for extending (thinning) paints for cost-saving or artistic purposes. If a large amount of gel is added to a paint it will increase its transparency while still allowing it to keep its good paint application properties. The glossy, semi-matte or matte gel versions can be selected based on the desired glossiness for your acrylic paint.
Another use of gels and pastes is the alteration of an acrylic paint´s consistency. GOLDEN HEAVY BODY ACRYLICS, for example, can be made more fluid by adding CLEAR TAR GEL, while with EXTRA HEAVY GEL it can be made more pasty in order to use it for the impasto painting technique. Structural elements can of course be built up with pure gels or pastes whereby they can subsequently be painted over with acrylic colours. This method produces the most pronounced structure.
Because most of the gels are indeed pure binding agents they can be used in conjunction with dry pigments to make your own acrylic paints! For this project the glossy gel versions have the best binding properties and change the luminosity of your pigments the least.
Gels and pastes are also great for gluing collages because of their adhesive properties.
The Golden gels and pastes have the same degree of waterproofness, age resistance, lightfastness as well as archival quality as the acrylic paints.
Processing: Gels and pastes can be used as grounds (primers), can be applied over acrylic paints or can be mixed with them. Most of the gels and pastes are intermixable and can also be mixed with other mediums and additives. They can be applied to practically all grease-free surfaces; non-absorbent substrates must be sanded prior to application. The minimum working temperature is +9 °C. All mixing work should be done with a great degree of finesse because strong stirring or (God forbid) shaking will cause unwanted foam to develop. Drying times are dependent on environmental factors like temperature, humidity and ventilation and can be as long as months in the case of thick applications. The milky film of the binding agent only disappears after curing has completely finished. Any tools used can be cleaned with water and soap.