Tips on creating water ripples with gloss gel medium?

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Chartiers, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    I poured a creek with Envirotex and now I'm getting ready to add some ripples to the still water with acrylic gloss gel medium.

    I have not worked with the gloss medium before so I'm looking for any tips or techniques on how to use it to make good looking ripples and creating the water movement effect.
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Sorry never used it before but hopefully some one will chime in.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I've never used it myself, but I remember some old model railroader articles that covered the subject. I think they are bublished in the kalmbach book "scenery tips and techniques"

  4. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Use a hairdryer to create the ripples while it is still wet. Then use a tooth pic to pull wave crests up and stipple some white paint on top of those if you want rough water.

  5. How long into the drying of the gel do you use the hairdryer and toothpick before it will hold the new shapes you created. I’ve heard that if you do this too early in the set-up of the gel medium the ripples will flatten out. Have you experienced this problem as well or do you wait for a setup time before you use the hairdryer?
  6. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I didn't do the wave caps, I read that in magazines. As for the ripples on the water, I waited about 30 minutes and broke out the hair dryer.

  7. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    I don't see any way that I could use a hair dryer without creating a ground foam dust storm that would be a mess. My understanding is gloss gel medium is thicker than gloss medium, but it should not be applied too thick on any one coating.
  8. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    My question may be academic at this point since I went full speed ahead and just put some gloss gel on the surface of the creek. I didn't apply it too thick with a brush as I think I can add additional coats if needed. The stuff goes a long way. Guess I'll have to wait for it to dry, when it clears, to tell if it looks OK.
  9. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Looking forward to your report! I used regular acrylic gloss medium on top of painted joint compound that I stippled with a sponge to make waves before applying the gloss medium. I'm not familiar with the gel medium. Sounds interesting.

  10. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    Hi Ralph. I painted the creek bed and poured about 1/8" of Envirotex. After looking it over, I was not happy about the color - way too blue/green. So I repainted the bed using more of a black/blue combination right on top of the first pour.

    I then poured another layer of Envirotex and the color looks much better to me. Yesterday I started to add a layer of gloss gel medium to try to create ripples. Also, did a touch of dry brushing of white to accent some small waves.

    Some touch-up and maybe another layer is needed, but I think I'm going in the right direction and it's going to look alright. I tried to take a picture of the results so far but it's such a dark rainy day and the lighting is bad so I don't know if you can see that much.

  11. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Chartiers thanks for sharing your picture of the water. I think it is really nice and realistic looking. I need to incorporate a creek onto my still in progress track bed and I may borrow some of your methods.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I agree, nice looking water effects. :thumb::thumb:

  13. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    Well thank you - appreciate it.

    Since I'm happy with it now, I think I'm going to leave the creek alone other than adding some underbrush along the bank at places.

    There is a real danger of fiddling with something too much...:rolleyes:
  14. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hey that looks great! Yep, no more fiddling! :) Did you have to manipulate the gel medium to get the ripples?
  15. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    No, just stippled it on with a brush. The gel is kind of thick and does maintain the brush strokes. This is the first time I've used the stuff so there may be other ways of doing it also.
  16. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I have to say that i'm impressed and will try out the gel next time I build a water feature. Thanks for letting us know how it worked out!

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