It's not that often that we get to play around with completely new art mediums here on Creative Bloq. Once you've tried the 'basics' – oils, watercolours, acrylics, pastels and pencils, it's easy to think there won't be much more to experiment with. That's why we were intrigued to find out about Gaffrey Art Material, a heavy textured acrylic paint that allows you to create an artwork like you would ice a cake – with a piping bag.
We gave one of the paint kits a go – the Monstera Plant acrylic paint kit, and while we can't say that what we ended up with exactly matches the picture we were aiming for, it's not far off, and we definitely had fun trying. As a medium, it seems up there with some of the best art supplies around.
Justin Gaffrey and his children, Justin Jr and Aria, set out to create a heavy texture acrylic that would give a sculptural look without needing any extra gels or other materials. After initially partnering with paint manufacturers unsuccessfully, they began to make the paint themselves in their Florida studio, and launched Gaffrey Art Material in June 2020.
The paint kits come with video tutorials to allow you to follow along (we actually would've preferred written instructions, so we could listen to a podcast while painting, but the video approach does make things very clear). The tutorial we watched started with Gaffrey explaining how to create a three-tone base coat, and then the really fun part started. We piped leaves directly onto the board, just like you would when icing a cake. Precision and a steady hand are key, and while our version didn't look as neat as Gaffrey's, we can see how with a little bit of practice, this is a technique that we could really get into, and get better at quite quickly.
Once we had our sculpted leaves, the next step was to mix acrylic paints and use a palette knife to sculpt the leaves further, adding in the colour, too. We then built on our painting from there. Overall, we really enjoyed it, and would recommend experimenting with either a kit of just the individual paints.
Gaffrey Art Material is available in the US only, find out more on the Gaffrey Art Material website (opens in new tab).
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