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An isolation coat is a clear, non-removable coating that serves to physically separate the paint surface from the removable varnish. The isolation coat serves two purposes:to protect the painting if/or when the varnish is removed by separating the pigmented area of the painting from the solvents used in removal; and to seal any absorbent areas in order to create an even surface on which to apply the varnish.
An isolation coat can be very beneficial to the preservation of a piece of artwork but it is not for every painting. The decision of applying an isolation coat is first an aesthetic decision: Will this serve the purpose of the work? Secondly, are the changes created by the application of an isolation coat and subsequent varnish understood and anticipated? These are important questions to consider as the isolation coat will become a permanent part of the painting. Some ways that an isolation coat may negatively affect the underlying painting are:
Testing and practice should always be done before application to insure that the isolation coat will not change or damage the piece in any way that is undesirable. Here are a couple of examples of pieces that should not receive an isolation coat:
Sealing absorbent surfaces of the painting with an isolation coat will assist in the varnish application. This will prevent the varnish from being absorbed within the surface and allow the varnish to function as an easily removable topcoat. This is especially important when using a Satin or Matte varnish because the liquid of the varnish can be absorbed into non-sealed areas leaving the matting solids exposed at the surface and creating a dusty or cloudy appearance. To determine if you have a substantial isolation coat, once the first isolation coat is dry, look at the painting at an angle and the presence of an even sheen should indicate an even surface ready for varnish.
About Golden Mediums
Golden offer the widest range of mediums for acrylic painting. Their range includes gels, additives and effect pastes, which allows you to choose whatever qualities you desire for your acrylic painting: luminous glazes, gritty opaque structures, string effects, glassy areas or variable drying times. This expansive range gives rise to inspiring possibilities that allow you to do very unusual things. Whatever your needs, our Golden range has you covered.