There’s so much to learn when you’re slinging paint and pencil, so here’s the second installment in my new monthly segment here on Muddy Colors: Jeff Miracola’s Art Tip of the Month. Each of my short videos will share a handy tip to help you create magnificent art.
My art tip this month is: Sealing the Drawing for Your Painting
Painting over a pencil drawing can be frustrating when that pencil lead starts to mix with, and muddy up, your paints. In this video I’ll show you how you can seal your drawing so it remains unchanged while also creating a more ideal surface to paint on.
Jeff began his career in 1993 as a freelance illustrator for many role-playing/collectible card game companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Upper Deck, Blizzard, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games, FASA Corporation, and more. Some other clients include Electronic Arts, Target, Hasbro, Scholastic, Immedium, and Warner Bros.
Jeff’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and his art and tutorials featured in publications such as Advanced Photoshop, Expose, and ImagineFX magazines. Jeff is a Silver Medal Winner in Spectrum: the Best in Fantastic Art and was the 2011 Guest of Honor at GenCon, the longest running gaming convention in the world.
Jeff is very passionate about sharing his knowledge of art techniques through his popular YouTube channel, which currently boasts more than 31,000 subscribers and 1.5 million views. His feature-length art instruction DVD series for Fantasy Art Workshop received rave reviews from ImagineFX Magazine, Video Librarian, and more.
When Jeff isn’t creating art for himself or clients, he loves to travel and work out with his wife, with whom he has three children.
Wow! What a great idea… I've used both separately… but not together… Thanks my friend!
Nice! Thanks very much for the tip!!!
So, is clear gesso better than using matt medium to seal pencil work? I've been using matt medium and it seems fine for the job. Thanks for sharing this Jeff.
Erich. Matte Medium is also nice to use, yes. But the clear gesso has the filler in it, like marble powder, sand, or chalk, which gives the surface a lot more grit and texture. If that texture is too strong, it can be sanded down. But yes, you could also use matte medium for a smoother surface 🙂
Thanks for the tip! Another nice way to seal a drawing is with clear Shellac. It's best on paper or wood panels since it is rather brittle and may crack on a flexible canvas. Like the fixative, shellac gives a slightly slick surface, but I actually like that feel for oil paint (wont work with acrylic).
I've also used acrylic matte medium, or as of late, acrylic varnish (gloss) from Liquitex (as well as clear gesso). I make sure it seals the drawing surface of the substrate before painting in oils.
Hello all 🙂
I am about to watch the vid and just wanted to say, I love that you are offering these tip vids each month! I value your pointers very much and being self taught I live to learn from people with your depth of experience. Not ass kissing just stating the truth, LOL! I'm going to watch now & I'll probably have another comment after.
I love this tip! I use both of those products all the time but never thought to use them together. This is going to be a big deal for me because I'm very detail oriented in my drawings and I don't know how to draw any other way. This will allow me to draw my painting out first and not loose any of it. You are so right about loosing those subtle nuances, I'm truly excited about this. Mostly because I'm right in the throws of painting with oils and learning what I like and what I don't. I like to thin the paint and use it in layers that dry fairly quickly. I have just recently finished a painting that took me a while to paint but only because I'm learning as I go. Thanks so much for these tips Jeff, they are priceless to someone like me who values the knowledge of seasoned vets like yourself 🙂 If you get a spare second, please take a look at it on my Patreon page. It's a public post and I'm really proud of it. I started a second painting, so there's a few posts of that but it's called “Empty Tea Cup” and is about the 4th or so post down the page. Any feedback from you is always welcome!!
TFS Jeff and tell that beautiful and talented wife of yours Hello from me as well <3 :-) Much Love!
We're glad to hear that, Maria. We're excited by them too! We have lots of new things in store for our readers, and are really trying hard to create an interactive and educational environment. Knowing what you like, or don't like, certainly helps!
Awwww, thanks maria. Silvia will be happy to see you said hello to her. She's behind the scenes and so people sometimes forget how important she is to the videos we create.
And I'm thrilled this art tip will be helpful to you. There's just nothing worse than an artist unwillingly to share knowledge. I wouldn't have learned most of what I know if others hadn't shared it with me first.