Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crackle, crackle, crackle

Remember when I said that I used up my crackle on this girl here? I received questions about the crackle product, so I thought it would be the best if I took a picture of it and showed you. The first two bottles on the left are the ones I used. Anita's Fragile crackle in two steps. I bought it several years ago and don't even remember where I got it. I do remember that it always worked well and was easy.
I decided to paint a similar thing on several pieces of cardboard and test some other crackling mediums. I am not going to show you Golden's simply because it didn't work for me. Twice. I tried it twice and it did not crackle AT ALL. I don't know why. I used it before and was successful with it. This time - absolutely nothing. So.... nothing is what I'm showing about that.
I used DecoArt's 'Crackling Wood' on the first example. It is meant to be used as a background, not over the painting. It worked fast and good. The only thing that is wrong is my choice of colors. I should have used more contrasty colors. Pink and this yellow really don't look very good, but will still show you what this product does, and if you decide to try it you know which colors not to use.
I forgot what I used on the following example. Do you see the cracks? No? Neither to I. Whatever I used - it wasn't working. Now when I look at it - it's probably painted over the Golden crackle. Too bad.... 
This one isn't much better I'm afraid. I used a layer of Metal Leaf Adhesive Size followed by Gum Arabic and then oil paint over it. It was supposed to give me believable, subtle crackling lines. If you look closely, you'll be able to see one or two....
If you don't believe me - see for yourself. Two thin lines!!! Very subtle. Too subtle.
The next example is a mistake, but I think it looks cool. I painted my background and the roses, then slathered the weathered wood medium over it. I tried painting a layer of paint over and it hid the roses almost completely. I didn't like that, so I used a wet cloth to wipe it off. You can see that interesting blobs stayed on. As they were transparent, they didn't bother me. Over that I painted a layer of DeltaArt's One step crackle and the result were pretty, tiny, lovely cracks.
I like how those look. I call it a happy mistake. Never give up when something doesn't look right. There is always the "what if I do this" question..... eventually, something good will turn out.
Finally, the one that I really, really liked..... a product that I paid less than $3.00 for.... DecoArt One Step Crackle. The name speaks for itself. You paint whatever you want, paint a layer of the medium, wait for it to dry, glaze over with a dark color (or light if the background is dark) and there you have it.... a ton of tiny spider-web lines all over the painting. Very easy!
There are many other ways to play with this subject, I just didn't have the time to cover more than this. What I really want to try now is Golden's medium but on a different surface. Maybe it doesn't like cardboard.... it really shouldn't matter because I painted an acrylic layer first, but that's something that I want to try. Playing with regular glue is easy too.... And I know that there are other products. For me - the one step DecoArt for now is the winner and one that I know will use the most. 
Now, please tell me about your experiences.....


  1. Thanks so much for all the information. I have not had good luck with Golden crackle either. I'm going to give Deco a try.

  2. Very interesting. I have tried this tecnic myself, and I found it difficult receiving a good result. Now I have got the inspiration to try again. Thank you!

  3. Wow thats alot of experimenting but I'm glad you did,now I can skip the rest and just give the one a try. Thanks so much for the information.

  4. Thanks for the research and the results. I like ALL the paintings, crackle or not.


  5. I absolutely love love this post. I'm so happy you used Roses for the experiment because I can't stop looking at them. Call me crazy but I really like the top yellow and pink. Really. A lot. But then, I like all of them a lot and the cardboard is so fun to see along the edges. You inspire me to try. Roses and crackel.

  6. My dear... you ARE an inspiration. All of your roses are wonderful. I too am going to try the DecoArt One Step Crackle, thanks to your demo.

  7. they are all wonderful. but i too love the pink and yellow!!

  8. Your work is gorgeous! I have tried many crackle finishes and I too find the Deco Weathwered Wood the best so far.

  9. They all look great! Thanks for sharing all your experiences with us and for letting us know what works and what doesn't. I haven't used much crackle finish but now I think I'd like to try it.

  10. Thanks for sharing this. I used the deco art crackle as well and had good results. I bought a two step crackle by accident and then tried it twice (once after I knew it was two steps, oops!) and it worked ok but not as well as the deco art cheapest stuff. I need something easy to use so I think I will stick with the deco art brand for now!

  11. Wow, thanks for the demo. I have tried crackle paint in the past and had not so good results. But I didn't try the Decoart one. I think I'll try it again. Does it work as well on canvas or watercolor paper?

    Those roses are beautiful.

  12. I haven't used crackle too much, but once I did heavy layers of the two step process and it turned out looking like ice. Which was perfect cause it was a winter scene. I think I put a neon blue wash over it to really bring out the blue.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom in this area!! Helps the rest of us not waste time or money.


  13. Zorana your paintings are georgous!
    I've tried marabou crackle (that's the only kind I could find here) and sometimes it works and others it doesn't. Tim Holtz is my favorite! so I stack up when I visit the US.

  14. Zorana, what beautiful work! Thanks for the crackle demonstrations and the inspiration to try them out.

  15. Thank you for the Crackle Medium info. I was going to ask you about how you get such good crackle.
    I am loving my painting that I bought from you "Promises to Keep" she is lovely and I shall treasure her.
    I hope you got my e-mail :)
    I just watched video #4...it is my favorite so far...keep them coming, I am addicted.

  16. Oh I just love each and every one of these - the theme, colours and the way you get them to look so vintage - beautiful!

  17. Thank you for this post!!!...I have tried with crackle and never get the finish I want.
    I agree with Sharon and love the yellow & pink one, as well as the one down the bottom, but they are all yummy!... You do roses so well, lovely, lovely, lovely.
    I do hope I can buy the product here in Australia...xx...julia

  18. Good info...I'm off to the store with my coupon! Love your roses!
    xo Suze

  19. I have not had good success with Golden but when it use Tim Holtz it works very well.

    This painting is so lovely. You work is just beautiful.


  20. So cool, I definately need to try this ! Thanks for all the info ;-)

  21. thanks for sharing.

    i've been & still am experimenting with various crackle medium - a sure winner is Plaid's & Decoart's Weatherwood. Decoart's One Step's a bit unpredictable & i find it too subtle.

    i've been working on Jo Sonja's Crackle Medium - not much success yet, sometimes it works (somewhat) most of the time, not.. im'n not giving up on it yet (it's the most expensive after all)

    im thinking of trying the gold size & gum arabic next.

    btw, lovely painting! cheers! -IREN-