No-Stress Next -Step Process

Top painting is before Dura-lar Film Test Paint
Bottom painting has Dura-Lar-Film paint.
Click the image to enlarge it.
Have you ever looked at one of your WIP (Work in Progress) and froze because you worried that the next brush mark could mean disaster, a big problem to solve, or a totally new unwanted direction?

Fear no more. Here is a way to test those next brush strokes or techniques without touching your WIP.

The WIP for this post was a Yupo paper substrate with an acrylic pour background which was allowed to dry throughly. Image was sketched onto the background lightly with a pencil or watercolor pencils. Whites and light values were lifted from the acrylic background using 99% rubbing alcohol-dipped Q-tips and other tools.

Water does not disturb dry acrylic paint, so watercolors were chosen as the medium to paint over the acrylic background. Use the same brand and colors of watercolors as you will use when you paint on the clear Dura-Lar film.

The Process:

Place a sheet of clear Grafix Dura-Lar Film over your WIP. Tape it down on two opposing corners, not touching your WIP, but keeping the film in place.


There are several choices and everyone you ask will have their favorite. I happened to have a 9 x12 inch pad of the variety that is used for paintings, so I used that. It was just the right size to cover the area (white areas in the first image) that I was concerned about.

Now the fun. 

It was comforting to know I could try as many options as I wanted without disturbing my WIP. I just painted on the film that overlayed my WIP. I can clearly see my WIP through the film. 

If I didn't like something I simply wiped it away with a damp napkin or towel. I could blot off areas, lift after the watercolors were dry, or try whatever else I might use to get rid of unwanted watercolor. 

Love something? Take a photo to use as a reference now or in the future before removing the Dura-Lar Film and painting onto your WIP.

Re-use the Dura-Lar Film by removing all watercolor with a damp cloth or rinse the film under cool water. If you want to use the watercolors on the pallet, let the watercolored film dry, and re-activate the dry watercolors on the film at a later time with water.

Additional Tips: 
Don't discard the "trial" pallet of watercolors you mixed to use on the Dura-Lar film so you won't need to replicate the ones you liked on the WIP. These can be reused when wetted.
Pay attention to colors, values, and blocks of shapes on your WIP, not intricate details when painting on the Dura-Lar film that overlays your WIP
Take photos of items you like and don't like for reference and reminders.

This process makes painting rewarding and will build a sense of confidence you might not have had previously.

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