Sunday, February 17, 2008


I am pleased to be able to announce I have finally finished a painting for this month. It is already the 17th!!!! This is on Arches cold pressed block 12 x 16. It looks different than any painting I have ever done. I'm not totally satisfied with the result but I like a lot of what is happening and I decided to make this a painting where I was going to experiment with different ideas and see what happens. With all my value studies, I just dove in and didn't use any of them. I was considering value as I went along but it really is a better idea to have it planned out in advance. After reviewing the slide show again, I was struck how the value pattern of this stone was so similar to the painting I did today. I have no idea if this image was in my subconscious while I was painting.

One of the things I wanted to discover is whether Stretch and Cling wrap would make a good masking material. I did a light wet into wet wash all over the paper and let it dry. Then I stretched the wrap over the painting as tight as I could get it. It didn't quite cover the whole sheet so some of the bottom was uncovered Then I took my drawing (it was on tracing paper) and transfered the outline of the 3 figures onto the cling wrap. On the back of my tracing paper drawing I use a heavy line made from a watercolor crayon over the drawing lines. I turn it over and place it on my paper and using a mechanical pencil retrace the lines. This transfers a thin line of water soluble crayon on the paper and usually disappears by the time I have finished the painting. I used this method to transfer the outline of the figures onto the cling wrap. Then I used a tool I had purchased awhile ago but never used. It is a stencil cutter.... like a wood burning tool but has a very fine metal needle-like end that heats up and melts through stencil plastic. It worked great on the cling wrap. I'm not sure if the heat sealed the edge or not but I got a decent seal with the plastic wrap. Next I will try this tool on clear tape to see if it cuts through it. I am not very agile with an exacto knife going around curves not to mention I usually cut into the paper so this handy dandy instrument is very exciting! I got it at Michael's Craft Store with one of my 40% off coupons.
I started putting darker washes in the background sweeping right over the figures which were masked off. Then I took off the cling wrap and started working on the figures. Eventually, I decided to use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (found in the Grocery Store in the cleaning products isle) I tore it into small pieces and lifted color and swept it across certain passages. This has real potential for interesting blending of colors and edges as well as lifting color. I think I may have found a way to paint shapes and still have lost and found edges (a personal favorite of mine)

Tomorrow starts the George James workshop on Yupo. I will attempt to post each day and share his wisdom.
Now, time to tackle those damn taxes.


Tracy Wandling said...

Wonderful color...beautiful light...and I think I just figured out why I have been having so much trouble with this. I keep trying to use this technique and still get the realistic look! Sounds obvious when I say it out loud. I am inspired to try again! Thanks for sharing your is always helpful and enlightening!!!!

Cecelia said...

Love the way this came out. And your description of the process.
I wanted to share something with you that I just found out about. It's a project to benefit breast cancer-Susan G. Koman for the Cure. For details, you can click on the Pink Artist button on my blog, or go to It is also on .
It seems like a very worthwhile project. I'm going to try it, although I don't normally work on cloth.
Just thought that someone might be interested in this.
Good luck with the workshop!

Nava said...

They look like 3 supermodels just about to stride on the catwalk, and in the meantime making fun of the audience from behind the scenes...

Very unique style for you!!! And very luminous.

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