Tuesday, February 17, 2009


In the middle of everything, I just had to paint today. I was packing for the workshop and came across a sheet of watercolor paper that had been prepped in one of my favorite ways. You need two sheets of watercolor paper, at least one of which is a failed painting. Apply gesso to one sheet of the paper then brayer a sheet of wax paper over the wet gesso. Lift off the wet wax paper sheet and transfer the gesso from the wax paper to the failed painting. Keep doing that until you have a textural buildup of gesso on the failed painting leaving some of the old painting showing through in areas. I like to use the new press and seal wrap, as well. It creates a very intersting texture ...tiny little dots. Let everything dry. Now you have two pieces of paper with interesting texture that you can put watercolor or acrylic on.

That is how this piece started out. I tried drawing with Pebeo frisket the other day using the larger oiler boiler from Cheap Joe's. The lines were too big. I knew the smaller bottle had too fine of a needle. I tried the bottle from Tap Plastics and it was perfect!! The trick is to have another bottle of clear water handy. You need to rinse the needle out before the frisket dries by forcing water through it. Just transfer the cap to the clear water bottle and squeeze the water through in the sink. Works like a charm. I limited myself to just rose red deep, Paynes Grey and chrome yellow deep. I thought I would get a decent green but chrome yellow deep and Payne's Grey make a khaki color. It does have more color because of the previous painting showing through. After I finished painting and pulled off the frisket, I went over most of the lines with color leaving some white in the hat.

Having gesso on part of the paper and not all allows the paint to act differently, getting absorbed into the untreated paper and sitting on top of the gesso. It creates a random gestural surface that I love. That is what created the background in the last painting, too. Different paper, different effect.

I think this frisket drawing concept has lots of potential. I will work with it more in the future. I love how the hat turned out. The colors pretty much reflect the weather today. Overcast with rain off and on.


Sandy Maudlin said...

This is very cool. I like it a bunch - the textures, the inear effect from the miskit - the mystery resulting from the underpainting. Excellent!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Have plenty of failed works knocking about to try this wonderful technique. Thanks for the detailed process . It works so well with your posted image, I can't wait to find time to have a go.

jane ferguson said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas,I am going to give them a go. Plenty of failed paintings to practice with.
Hope to see you Thursday

Chris Beck said...

This is similar to the way I applied masking fluid on the watery image I shared last week. But I use a small bottle marketed by Jacquard because the tip is very short and you can work for a long time without having it jam up.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

I do enjoy your use of line. The surface and texture look neat; makes for a mysterious portrait.

Nava said...

VERY cool! the dotted-texture and the colors really lend themselves to the scruffy look of this guy.

Anetka said...

thank you for such a detailed process! Will definitely give it a try:)
btw I also like your painting!!!

Joanne said...

What fun creative ideas a great way to recycle all those old ruined paintings we all have stored away.

I have not had much use for masking fluid in the past but I can see application for it here.

Thanks for sharing

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