I had my first try with modern varnishes instead of the traditional sandarac varnish that they used in the 19th century. I tried to varnish two plates, one with Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish and the other one with Louvre Medium – Glossy Varnish. But, I’m a beginner with this… and messed badly – no results to show here, the plates went to bin!

Liquitex was so thick it would not flow on the plate, just sat there as a pool. I had to pour more and more to get it flowing, and finally I had poured away almost half of the small bottle. The varnish formed a thick, milky semi-transparent layer on the plate, and I had to leave the plate dripping on a rack for a long time. When it slowly dried (during the weekend) the varnish became clear and glossy, but the layer remained thick, uneven and ugly. Liquitex can be diluted with water, and that’s what I’m going to do if I ever try it again.

Louvre varnish had much better viscosity, easier to pour, and flowed better. But I poured too much again, and had a hard time dripping the plate… but the resulting varnish layer was a bit thinner and smoother this time. I will need to shoot more plates to try these varnishes more.