There’s a lot of health concerns about using Mr. Clear as a sealant due to the odor and chemicals so I often get asked if it’s fine to use a brush on sealant. The answer is yes and there have been quite a few repaint artists who have been making the transition.
Andreja demonstrated that brush on sealants can be used using an airbrush method. See the video below!
If you have an airbrush (or can afford to get one) you should definitely try out Andreja’s method.
Another artist, Glace, has demonstrated that you can also dab on sealant as seen in this gorgeous gargoyle repaint.
Mr. Super Clear has been getting a lot more difficult to find lately so I myself want to see if there’s a good alternative and how brush on sealants work for me.
The result is Narcissa! Brush on sealants are great because they also offer the same benefits as Mr. Super Clear UV and the added benefit of not having to worry about inhaling chemicals. I tried out Glace’s method of applying Liquitex Matte sealant with some Flow-aid to thin using a brush.
Since this was a trial run, there’s a few things that differ from using Mr. Super Clear.
First off, the wait time between layers is around 1-2 hours instead of the convenient 15 – 30 minutes of waiting for Mr. Super Clear to set. You have to be very careful to apply very thin layers or at least stick to just one painting layer followed by a final finishing layer. If there is too much sealant, the surface starts to feel gummy.
Second, using brush on sealant is great for blushing! My pastels have a better time sticking to the surface… unfortunately that also means the layer itself attracts dust and debri like a sponge! As such, you have to make sure that your work surface is absolutely pristine. A damp cloth can be used to wipe away dirt from your work, but might also mean that you may have to do any blush work over.
Up close, brush on sealants have somewhat of a rougher texture compared to using Mr. Super Clear. I also like that the colors are a lot brighter. The paint also holds a lot better to the sealant layer so fine lines can be finer too.
Because the brush on sealant attracted dust like a sponge, I couldn’t help but spray Mr. Super Clear as a finish. It also leveled the work so that the brush strokes aren’t as obvious. Once I get used to using brush on sealants and explore more of the pros and cons, I’ll write up a tutorial for those interested including a recipe!
Edit 7/31/2013: Additional notes from Glace
Oh, hey, it’s my doll. I didn’t expect that, hehe. I’m super flattered! And thanks for the post, I’m still experimenting with different ways to seal. I have some additional notes:
- I didn’t notice tackiness on the MH heads I sponged the varnish on at all. I tried brushing it on a Barbie once, though, and that got a little messy. Your brushed results look a lot better!
- I’ve tried using Liquitex Matte Medium too. That is very tacky, but takes watercolor pencils better than my Zoukeimura spray sealant. I use the varnish on top.
- With the gargoyle, I didn’t water the varnish down at all and sponged it on straight with makeup sponges. With newer projects, I’ve watered it down with retarder and lightly rubbed it on in circles with the sponge. It comes out really smooth this way. http://www.flickr.com/photos/glaceleau/8954858921/
- I used an airbrush with the medium once too. WAY tacky and kind of shiny, even with spray sealant on top. http://www.flickr.com/photos/glaceleau/8954859009/