Painting on transparent support

Stefan513593 - painting on transparent support -feat

After having some good and some less good experience with painting with acrylic on glossy and transparent supports, especially on protective plastic sheets, I decided to see with fellow students on FB and to do some more formal painting testing.

The good thing with acrylic paint on plastic is that it can be easily removed as a skin and be transferred to another support (Fig 1 – paint removed from a glass plate). The bad thing is the same, it doesn’t stick. Moving forward with my sculptural painting, painting on packaging materials, and with possibly installations with a looking through effect (see my trials before), I found that better knowledge how paint behaves on what kind of surface would be worth the effort to put into this testing.

As suggested by Ros I purchased in a local DIY store a primer for plastic supports that is supposed to enforce the adhesion of paint to the surface without the risk of flaking off. Catherine informed be that oil paint could be used directly on perspex. 

Stefan513593 - acrylic skin

Fig. 1: acrylic skin

My set up (Fig. 2) to ensure that I covered translucent as well opaque paint (to look from the other side) and based on my main color spots on my worktable aka object-box (red and blue, I mixed the following in acrylic and oil paint. Cd Red is normally opaque, but interestingly Cd red imit. in acrylic is translucent, ultramarin is translucent, whereas cobalt blue is half-half, why I decided to mix it with opaque titane white and part opaque indigo.  

Stefan513593 - painting on transparent support #1

Fig. 2: acrylic and oil paint – transparent/opaque – red/blue

painted support in acrylic and oil: transparent and opaque each, red and blue

backside views:

Stefan513593 - ultramarine - oil - acrylic

Fig. 12: ultramarine – oil – acrylic




  • I have to wait till oil paint is dry. Acrylic is dry and it became obvious that regular plastic in the form of protective plastic sheets (what I used in the past for transfer processes) is actually the worse in keeping paint on it. A similar effect on household plastic especially with acrylic washes. The use of primer help though.
  • Translucent washes is harder to do with acrylic, oil paint behaves smoother and more uniform. An experience I already encountered during PoP1.
  • Overall, I found that oil paint stays more saturated than acrylic paint, especially with translucent paints and very strongly to notice with ultramarine blue (Fig. 12)
  • Mylar is already translucent, the back-view shows a more milky, whitening effect
  • The use of primer reduce light transmission, making it translucent. What could be used possibly as an advantage by painting parts of transparent ground translucent, a transition effect.
  • Comparing the three transparent options: window color sheet, perspex and rhenalon (is used as a support for printmaking), I could discern that painting on window color sheets desaturates the color slightly, not sure why this could be.
  • Overall, I am pleased how easy it was to paint on all supports, but the protective plastic sheet. It seems that acrylic derived sheets do have enough tooth to keep the paint on it. 
  • How long it takes for oil to completely dry, I have to wait. The same for how stable all paints are over time. Thus I will amend this post, possibly after one month



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  • Sep 9,2018 at 3:23 PM

    uh, the scientist at work – exiting to see 🙂 way to go

    • Stefan
      Sep 9,2018 at 3:50 PM

      Ah – kind of going back to POP1 start – not sure if all was needed – but some stuff for the archive

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