Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Hijinx of a Nasty Cat

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a mangey old cat called Moose. Moose is a very vindictive cat who likes to get his own way. If he doesn't, he has his ways of making you wish you'd given him what he originally wanted.

Two days ago, while sitting at my computer (which is opposite from my painting table), Moosie (rhymes with Lucy) wanted to sit on my lap. I wouldn't let him. He's a fur factory and ends up coating you in cat fur. So, Moosie stopped pestering me, letting me think I'd just gotten off pretty easy with him. A few minutes later, I turned around and looked to see what the noise was that was coming from my painting table and ...... sure enough, there was Moose - sitting on top of my drawing. "Get off my drawing", I said with a lot of emphasis. Moose complied, leaping off in a giant leap and in the process, TEARING my drawing with his back claws! I chased him out of the room, with perhaps a slight bit of yelling. (Okay, maybe a lot of yelling.) I didn't catch him but he spent last night in solitary confinement. (Aka shut in the laundry room with his litter box.) I have to admit that I took a slight bit of pleasure in hearing his scratchings on the door during the night.

So, above you can see the damage. At least the line drawing underneath wasn't damaged too much. I can salvage it with a bit of tape. But the value drawing is ruined. I'll keep it to use as is though but it's no use finishing it. I think later, I'll crop the lily and perhaps keep that section.

All this means that instead of waiting until I'm done the drawing, I think I'll now start on transferring the line drawing to w/c paper, the gesso'ed paper, etc.

That mangey spoiled monster. If Mattie didn't love him so much, he would have been tossed out the front door for sure. Did I mention ALL the cords of mine that he's chewed? Computer wires, computer cords, digital camera cords, electric cords, video game cords, electric guitar wires. You name it. Years ago, before I had him "fixed", he used to "spray" everything. Having him neutered and de-clawed fixed a lot of problems but Moosie has been making me pay for that ever since.

Do you think that vets would de-teeth cats?

Yup. Yup. Yup. I just love this cat to bits. Yeah. Right.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Paint

... but it's not watercolour. It's Golden Fluid Acrylics. I've decided to not buy any more tubes of watercolour paint until I 've used up a lot of what I have. I started doing colour swatches for each tube I have and am still working on them. I'm embarrassed at the number of tubes I have!!!

Here's the new paint! Sixteen containers and a few I've collected from the Golden seminar samples. That's Clear Tar Gel in the background and you can also see a reference shot of the waterlilies I'm working on. (I prefer to put my reference shots into black and white and plan my own colours.) I also received two Raphael brushes and some glazing medium with the paints. Can't wait to try this stuff in an actual painting!!!!!


I've received my new Golden Fluid Acrylics! Yummmm! With great effort, I restrained myself from opening each bottle and trying them out. Instead, I worked on the drawing of the waterlily and pads. It's almost done and I thought I'd post it here now.

I plan on doing at least three of these. One in traditional watercolour. One in watercolour over gesso'ed w/c paper. And one in fluid acrylics done in watercolour style.

I planned out and drew the line drawing, then placed a piece of tracing paper over top and started a value plan. This is where I work out a lot of little problems. If I didn't do this now, I'd come head to head with these problems while laying in the watercolour and that could easily end up in a disaster. With much frustration.

I keep the line drawing simple and clean so that I can transfer it easily to each of the three supports. It's also much less stress knowing that I have it there if I screw up while painting. The entire idea doesn't get tossed out this way.

Here's the drawing. It's not quite finished yet but I plan on working on that while watching those awards tonight. Oscars, Grammies, whichever. I just want to see Hugh Jackman.

Click on that pic and you'll see it bigger. I took a lot of shots of these at the Montreal Botanical Gardens a few years ago. I've taken two of them to create this. In the upper right area, I wanted the waterlily pads to be all pushed up and crowded. In the lower left area, there will be one flower and I want it to glow white. In that area, there will be flat pads in a much less crowded environment. Not shown here will be a few stems from the pads fading into the water.

In the value sketch, there's a lot of shading on the waterlily but that's just for my value info. I first drew it out with three flowers but decided to take the other two out and use one large glowing one.

On the way to Ottawa tonight, I decided to put a dragonfly in here. Have any ideas which pad to put him on? Not the flower because I don't want him there competing for attention. And besides, he'd get burned from the glow.

It's 11 x 14". Here's a very contrasty closeup of the lily.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watercolour over gesso

I thought I'd post this one to show the effect of watercolour over gesso. The leaves of this one were done over gesso. Why? Because I'd left the masking fluid on there too darned long and couldn't get it off. It just kind of sunk into the paper. Soooooo, since the rest had been finished and I had liked it, I painted over the damaged masking fluid with gesso, let it dry and then painted with watercolour paints. I've always loved these leaves and have wanted to do an entire painting this way since I finished this one.

I thought it was a good save.

Pears and Family Day

I'm still waiting for the Golden paints to come in. I was going to work on the waterfall but decided to gesso a piece of w/c paper and draw out some waterlilies. Then paint it with watercolour paint. Just for fun.

Tomorrow is Family Day here in Ontario, a new stat holiday that is just two years old. I love it! Having a stat holiday in February is awesome!

In the meantime, here's a few more fast ones I painted for the colour exploring group I'm in. One is a tiny and very fast one of red pears. The shadows are done in the complementary colour of green. A mixed green. The red is M. Graham's naphthol red. I love these M. Graham paints! I'm a convert for sure! It's on Arches 140 lb coldpressed paper, credit card size. (I used a credit card to cut the sizes of these for the paint swatches I'm working on. I only have a few more to do and then I'll have catalogued my entire collection of watercolour paint. And let me say - I am embarrassed at how much paint I have!

I will not buy any more watercolour paint until I've finished some of these, I will not buy any more watercolour paint until I've finished some of these, I will not buy any more watercolour paint until I've finished some of these ......

This is some pears I did a while back. I put in the red background for a complementary colour piece. This is as finished as it's going to get because I don't really like it. It's already been thrown into a container that holds the 5 x 7's that I paint and don't plan on doing anything with.
I'm going back to either the waterfall or the waterlilies now .......

Monday, February 9, 2009

A quickie

This was a really fast one for a group I'm in - we're exploring colour. This was done for a painting with complementaries. I chose blue and orange. (There's a bit of New Gamboge - Daniel Smith in there, too.) The browns were made by mixing the blue and orange. Blue is Indanthrene Blue by Winsor Newton and the orange was made by mixing New Gamboge by Daniel Smith with Napthol Red by M. Graham.

I have this plant pot sitting on my desk holding some paintbrushes. (Actually, I have several with paintbrushes sorted into each one. I.e. rounds, flats, useless tinies, pencils, tools, most used and one pot for some I've delegated for acrylic use.) I love old plant pots, especially those with lots of character.

I chose to 'draw' this with a paintbrush - an exercise for loosening up.

I have to say that I'm new to the M. Graham line of paint and I really love the three tubes I bought to try out! The pigment is really strong and the colour is so rich. The consistency is creamy - just like I like - and easy to mix with water. (I hate those brands that are almost as thick as paste!) I've let some of the red dry out on a palette and it dries hard. Many people say they stay runny but not this one, nor the others I'm trying! It also reconstitutes beautifully!! I'm converted!

This painting is just a quickie, though, not much there, just an exercise .......

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm ordering ....

... this from Sandra at Studio One Cat Squared as well as some tar gel! I debated on whether to order the 10-bottle kit of regular fluid acrylics or this one which is referred to as "select professional". It's a 16-bottle kit as well as two brushes and some glazing liquid but the bottles are only 1/2 oz, compared to 1 oz in the 10-bottle kit. I finally decided on this one. I've also posted the catalogue description.

Sandra is the one who organized the workshop for Focus Art. She's also someone from whom I am going to take lessons at the college starting in May for drawing, painting and loosening up! Can't wait. I want to learn how to do this and this and this and this. It'll be a lot of drawing practice, too, which, like money, you can never have enough of.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 8

Tar Gel

The Tar Gel was fun to do! Andrea told us how she likes to "throw" this gel. That is going to be fun trying. Messy and fun. I think I'll wait until spring or summer when I can do it outside. This was done on an 8" x 10" board. Colours used were cobalt blue, quin magenta, irridescent gold and carbon black. (All in the fluid acrylic line.)

A closeup:

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 7

Golden Fibre Paste

"A flexible surface with the look of rough handmade paper that is ideal as a ground or a texture." Our's were applied very thickly and given to us dry. It had a texture just like heavy handmade paper! (Like 300 lb cp arches paper.) But it definitely does not react like watercolour paper, though. I like how you can make a surface appear like watercolour paper but I think I'll take the watercolour paper.

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 6

Oh, I love this one!

Golden Light Molding Paste

It's a mixture of marble dust and gel, dries fairly opaque and white. It's designed to create texture and hardness. On one side of the 5" x 7" mat board, we applied it thick and on the other side we applied it thin (with a knife). After letting it dry, we applied fluid acrylics. I used Irridescent bronze, Irridescent gold, quin magenta and carbon black. I am definitely going to frame and hang this one.

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 5

Glass Bead Gel

"A clear textural gel made with genuine glass beads, offering a unique reflective quality." We learned how you can paint over the dried glass bead gel, and how you can also paint under it before applying. We saw how awesome the gel looks when applied to a decorative paper. I think it would look great over a window in a winter scene looking outside. It doesn't distort the original image, just softens it. It'd also make some awesome sand.

Here's a fast attempt at some waves and a closeup of the beads. Hopefully you can see the tiny glass beads in the closeup.

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 4

Golden Crackle Paste and Gels

"Crackle Paste develops deep fissure-like cracks as it dries." We learned that if you apply it thick, the fissures or cracks are bigger and deeper than if you applied it thinly. We applied drops of fluid acrylics to a wet ground. (The crackle paste had dried before applying the water.)

Then we painted four squares on a piece of 8" x 10" mat board. Using different gels, we tinted them, applied them to one of the squares then scraped it off. Andrea said this is called Scraffito. It's fun! We used soft gel matte, regular gel, heavy gel and high solid gel. Andrea explained the many kinds available through Golden and showed us a lot of actual painted examples. Then we got down to painting our own and experimenting:

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 3

Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels

"Used to prime paper, wood, canvas and other surfaces to create 'tooth' for pastel, oil pastel, crayons, graphite pencil, coloured pencils and water media."

5" x 7", fluid acrylics on acrylic ground for pastels, on mat board.

I liked this - it felt almost like unglazed porcelain. It was different to paint on. You can create some very nice texture lines while applying the ground. The fluid acrylics react nicely to water on this.

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 2

Micaceous Iron Oxide (Stainless Steel) is "a deep dark black gritty paint with metallic flecks." First we mixed it (in it's fluid consistency) with some fluid acrylics to discover how it radically changes the colours. Then Andrea gave us each a board (5" x 7") with the same paint (but in Heavy Body consistency) used as a ground, applied in a thick layer and dried. It's a very gritty feel, like sandpaper. She then provided us with pastels to try out on this. Here's my results:

An Entire Day with the Golden Artist ..... part 1

Today, I spent the entire day at a workshop here in town with Andrea Warren, Golden's "working artist" for the Ottawa area! It was a fantastic workshop! We experimented with Golden's products all day long. Andrea really knows her stuff and she explained and led us through their product line, with each of us experimenting hands on with everything. We had a break for a catered lunch, which was included in the workshop, received lots of goodies to take home as well as all our pieces.

(I am going to break this post up into several smaller ones because of the number of photos I'm going to include.)

Here's some of the highlights:

First, the goodies:

Andrea explained the differences between the older mineral based paints and the newer ones and then wanted us to play with both. I chose to make two colour charts rather than paint something. :-)

Andrea also explained about interference paints and showed us how and why they work.