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Hi Geoff,

Thanks very much for your quick and helpful advice!!! I did not think of the water-based paint destroying the freeze-dried specimens, so that is an invaluable tip! I have just checked on the local art shop site and looks like they have this paint. I'll get a few colours and test them out. I guess it will be hand-painting the leaves then, which is probably safer anyway than trying to use the airbrush :)

Many thanks for your advice- what a life-saver!

Kind regards,
Emma

On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 12:30 PM Geoff Thompson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear Emma,
                       You shouldn't use any water-based paint on a freeze-dried specimen, as this will rehydrate the specimen and destroy the freeze-dried preservation advantage. I would have thought even acrylic medium would be water based and acrylic paint sure is.
At our museum freeze-dried specimens were always painted with fast-drying artist's oil-based alkyd colours.
I searched and found this link. http://www.winsornewton.com/row/discover/resources/colour-charts/griffin-fast-drying-oil-colour
Hope that helps,
Geoff

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"SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-" <[log in to unmask]>

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Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:23:46 +1200
Subject:
Re: [SCIART] Advice on painting physical botanical specimens


Sorry all!! I sent the email before completing it!
I guess my main question is whether you would recommend prepping the leaves with anything before painting, and also if anyone had any paint recommendations for painting the dried specimens?

Thanks in advance!
Kind regards,
Emma

On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 11:21 AM Emma Scheltema <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

I wonder if anyone on the Listserv has any experience with painting museum botanical specimens? I have been asked to paint dried botanical specimens for a museum display, and it will be my first time doing so and have had trouble finding any information about this. The specimens will be small freeze-dried branches, and the leaves will be painted.

I have been doing some small tests on dried leaves, trying out dry-brushing the leaves with acrylics and also gouache, as well as testing out airbrushing liquid-acrylics. I've also tried painting the leaves with an acrylic gel medium to seal the leaf and prep the surface before painting with these options. Based on these tests I'm thinking of sticking with acrylic, but thinking I'm going to need to hand paint each leaf, as while the airbrushing worked well on individual leaves, but the once you start airbrushing leaves on a branch they move around so much its difficult to control the painting!

Does anyone have any tips or advice for this? 

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Emma Scheltema Illustration


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Emma Scheltema Illustration

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Emma Scheltema Illustration

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