What kind of paint is best?

Years ago in school, I did an art project that I now want to recreate. I remember the technique well: along each contour of each figure in the painting, one was supposed to leave negative space. Then, when finished with the painting, we painted over the whole thing with black. Finally, when the painting was completely dry, we gently rinsed off the top lyer of black paint--the black had of course stayed in the negative contours and gave the whole thing a kind of dark veneer. The result was very pleasing, even to someone like me who isn't especially artistically inclined. What I don't remember is what kind of paint we used. I have a nice set of gouaches at home--will this work, or should I use something else? I would really appreciate any answers as I'm really excited about doing this. I haven't made a painting in years and I want to start as soon as possible! Thanks!!! Lauralabama

SW_ART8 years ago
Experimenting is the way to go.... don't be afraid.... you might discover something you like even better. But even though I haven't tried this project myself, I have worked with many types of paint. Most likely you were using acrylics for the base and possibly gouache for the wash. The acrylics would be allowed to dry before using gouache as the overcoat. Allowing the gouache to dry before washing it away may give the veneer quality you describe but I 'm not sure how dark the black will be in the "negative" areas. Is it possible the black was ink? Gouache is fairly permanent and could be used as the base coat but it has a flat chalky quality when it dries. You could try an ink wash over it and see what happens. Wash the ink away immediately though.
caitlinsdad8 years ago
Tempera or regular elementary school paint/fingerpaints dry and can be washed or dissolved off with water afterwards. Did you use a solvent to take the black paint off? Latex and acrylics will dry to a rubbery film and should not wash off after they are dried/cured. The base painting can be oil based so it does not wash off with water. If not, experiment again. Good luck.
Lauralabama (author)  caitlinsdad8 years ago
There was no solvent involved. What do you think about the gouache, or should I just try it and see? Thanks for answering!
XOIIO8 years ago
Well, latex paint works well on wood, and it looks really nice, and also dries fast.