Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Genesis Heat-set Paints

Andrea asks:
I saw that Judy mentioned Genesis Heat-set paints in her bio. I've never heard of heat-set paints; what are they?

Genesis Heat-Set paints are a polymer-based product. They are applied like traditional oil paints, but they literally never dry until you apply heat. Once the paint and surface (support) are heated to a temperature of 265-degrees for several minutes, the paint becomes chemically dry. This means that if you are doing a technique that requires layering paint, as soon as you heat set and cool the piece, you can continue to paint the next layer. Genesis is non-toxic and does not require the use of a lot of solvents and chemicals. There is a range of some 50+ colors and several mediums in the line. For solvent, you can use rubbing alcohol or Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner. Using Genesis makes for a much safer studio--no need for a lot of chemicals.

Some of the advantages of Genesis are:
1. Much less waste. Since the paint never dries, you can make up large amounts of mixes you use all the time and simply keep them on a covered palette until you need them. You can make up a leaf palette, for instance, if you paint a lot of florals. As you are working on a piece, you don't have to worry about the paint drying up if you can't get back to your piece for a day or two or 10.

2. Non-toxic. Synthetic pigments have been created to take the place of toxic pigments in the line. Cadmium red, yellow, orange have been replaced by Genesis Red, Yellow, Orange, for example.
3. Because the paint does not dry, you do not need to clean your brushes until you finish a project or if you are going from a very dark color to a very light one.
4. The paint goes a very long way. It is sold in 1-ounce bottles. Except for certain colors that may be your "best friends" on your palette like white, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, a jar of paint may last for years because you use just small amounts at a time.

Disadvantages to Genesis:
1. You may have to make some changes to the way you work in you studio. Since the paint never dries, you need to use small paper towels and keep a trash container close at hand so you can keep your work area clean.
2. There are some products that are incompatible with Genesis and to use the product successfully, it is important to learn what will and will not work with this product.

Surfaces you can use:
1. Canvas--stretched canvas or canvas sheets (paper). Canvas boards (the ones with canvas glued to cardboard) are not a good choice because when heated, the glue loosens and they blow up like pita bread.
2. Masonite, gesso board, MDF
3. Metal
4. Wood--except for pine and other soft, sappy woods. When these are heated the sap will run and ruin your piece.

5. Baked polymer clay - a lot of sculptors are using Genesis now

6. Some vinyl dolls - these are being used for the re-born process

7. Virtually any surface that can withstand being heated to 265-degrees.

Heat-setting the paint:
You can heat-set the paint with a heat gun (NOT a hair dryer), your kitchen oven, a toaster oven, or a Genesis studio oven.

Hope this helps.
Judy Leasure, TDA
Genesis Authorized Artisan
See my work at:


angelsun said...

I just wanted to mention that another option would be to use the Genesis non-toxic thinning medium. There are specific mixing directions online in my Genesis tutorial at:

The well documented dangers of solvents and possible health risks are something that the artist should weigh and then make an informed decision regarding product useage.



Anonymous said...

Thank you ladies for stating what the paints can be mixed with. I have searched for hours online trying to find information on what these paints can be thinned with. Finally an answer!! I am a beginer whose was about to give up.
Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

mixing with the genesis thinning medium makes the genesis paint go on thicker so you cant get as thin a coating as you would if you used odourless spirit. So if you painted by using the genesis thinning meduim your artwork will have a lot more depth and may not look as subtle but its horses for courses!