Mingjiao Chinese painting glue is a professional-grade medium intended for use in color mixing. Chinese colors are formulated with gelatin whereas Western watercolors with gum Arabic. This water-based glue is processed from refined bone gelatin, crystal clear and bright, with virtually all impurities eliminated. Mingjiao Painting Glue is superior to any other glue, and is primarily used for painting thickly on Chinese rice paper. Its clear transparency is very important in protecting the chroma and value of colors when intermixing.
To liquify it, 1) soak one part of glue crystals with four parts of cold water until it expands(usually it takes over night); 2) then add six parts of hot water 176°F(80 °C) to stir it evenly(Tip: for small amount, place the container in hot water to maintain temperature but do NOT boil it.) It is ready to use after all glue has dissolved. Add water for mixing with color pigment according to your needs. Store in a bottle and re-melt by heat if needed.
Mingjiao is commonly mixed with alum and water as a paper size solution to treat rice paper for Gongbi or elaborated painting and here is a common formula for alum-glue water:
Mingjiao Glue 7 : Alum 3, plus 30 to 40 times of water.
1-1/2Tea Spoon of Glue
3/4Tea Spoon of Alum
1 Cup of Water
*Please test before applying to your artwork.
Other usages of gelatin include 1) as traditional binding glue to mix with pigment powders; 2) to prevent watercolors or ink from bleeding during wet mounting, apply the gelatin glue water on the wrong side of the painting (set the painting facing down on a felt) and let it dry before wet mounting.