Tag Archives: mixed media artist

Gel or Paste ?

I often get people asking me What is the difference between Gel Medium or Paste?

Simply put….

Gel Medium is usually White when wet and dries Clear  ( with exception of Coarse Pumice gel and Extra Coarse Pumice Gel).

Paste is White when wet and stays the same colour when dry!

Gel mediums can be used an adhesive for  collage , to add texture to your artwork, to thicken paint, and added with paint can make a lovely glaze!

Pastes can add a lovely texture to your artwork, and depending on the type of paste you use you can get lots of different effects. examples of pastes are Crackle Paste, Fibre Past and Molding pastes light, hard, and coarse.

For more information regarding gels and pastes check out my upcoming Workshop to be held in Christchurch on March the 25th 2012!


Art Classes 2012

Art Classes 2012

Art Classes with Donna Steel Contemporary Artist.

Class Mission Statement

LEARN* GROW* CREATE * while having fun discovering your “Creative Self” and unearthing your own “Artistic Voice”.

Explore various forms of Contemporary Art and Mixed Media in a fun and relaxed environment.

Grow in confidence as you learn product knowledge and different techniques to create your own unique works of art.

Things are a little different at the moment, the venue I normally use for my classes is out of use at the moment because of the Quakes, so I have started to teach from home.

Classes are for 3 hours at a time and class numbers will not exceed 7 Students.

For Bookings or more information please contact me here donnasteel1@xtra.co.nz or please feel free to phone me to have a chat about the classes  and what we do Ph 033599125 or Mobile:  027 5070426

Monday Classes – 10am to 1pm – –  Next Classes Start Monday 23rd January 2012  10am to 1pm

Tuesday Classes – 10am to 1pm – Next Classes Start Tuesday 24th January 2012 10am to 1pm

Friday Classes – 10 am to 1pm – – Next Classes Start  Friday 27th January 2012 10am to 1pm

For those of you that cannot make it to a day art class I do teach on a Monday and Thursday Night at Papanui High continuing education Art Classes !

(Monday Classes) Art and Painting  and Mixed Media –  7- 9pm  13th February 2012

Here is a little insight into what we weill be doing in this class…

Ground Work – COMPOSITION! Looking at the differences between Paint- Mediums- Gels – Pastes and Pigments.

  Preparation Of Artwork- Prepare your substrate that you will be creating your artwork on. Learning how to Paint – learning some tried and true painting  techniques – Washes  and learning how to Blend,  layering, using correct pigments and looking at gesso as a great fix it! Looking at Feathering,  Scumbling, scragfitto, and impasto techniques,  . Looking at ways to prepare your substrate, (Gesso) and looking at what mediums and how to use them in your artwork.

  Getting your painting Dressed!  Layering  starting with under painting starting to experiment with washes and blending paints or impasto depending on what style of artwork you are painting and layering with colour texture and detail.

How to paint from photos, images and getting composition correct – graphing etc…  Painting  Landscapes –  hills – trees – sky – water – stones – rocks and looking more closely at blending and shading adding light and highlight effects.

Looking at different types of mixed media ideas – Skins, Transfers, Layering, Embedding and experimenting with different collage ideas.

(Thursday Classes) Art the Next Step- Painting and Mixed Media for Teens – 6-8pm 9th February 2012

To enquire about Term 1 classes for  2012 –  contact Papanui High Continuing Education (03) 3520701


A Small Selection of Artwork created by Students in my Art Classes.

Acrylic Transfers


An Acrylic Transfer is a very simple but effective technique which uses gel mediums and photographs combined to make an interesting image.

Sometimes we have a photograph or image that we would love to use within an artwork, but we cannot us the original for various reasons, this is where this technique can come into play.

An acrylic transfer basically grabs the ink layer of a copied or printed material and embeds it into the acrylic skin or film.


Photographic Image

Photocopies of Photograph

Medium – Gel, liquid or self levelling

  ( I like to use Golden soft gel gloss or Polymer Medium gloss)

Sponge, squeegee, flannel

Shallow basin

Substrate, canvas, tile, wood,

Acrylic paint



1)   You first need to make your acrylic transfer, so to do this you need to apply a layer of acrylic medium over the printed image (usually a photocopy).

2)   Let the medium dry completely. (This may take a few hours up to couple of days).

3)   Once the image is completely dry, we need to remove the paper.  Wet the back of the image and remove the paper. You can do this by rubbing gently with your fingers and thumbs being very careful not to remove the ink of the acrylic skin that is left. There maybe a little paper left on the acrylic skin, but don’t worry about this, as once you adhere the skin to your painting you will not see the paper.

4)  Set the transfer aside to dry completely.


Photomontage turned into an Acrylic skin

 This Acrylic skin still needs more of the paper background rubbed off… but this gives you an idea of how it turns out and how thin you can make them… the thickness of the skin is dependent on how much medium you apply to the photocopy… in this case I have only applied a very very small amount of medium as I only wanted the skin to be very thin!