Saturday, August 24, 2013

Watching Paint Dry

I have learned an important lesson.  Not all brands of oil paint have the same dry time.  I had a bit of a false start on a painting, and covered the whole thing with white.  It is a brand new tube, and a brand I hadn't used before.  I expected it to dry in a day or two, but parts of it were soupy after a week!  Wen I've mixed it with other colors, it has dried much more quickly.

In order to finish this painting on time, I'm going to have to add some cobalt drier.  You have to be careful when using drying additives.  If the paint dries too quickly, it can crack.  The additive itself is dark blue-purple, so it can discolor the paint, too.  I'm going to start making test cards just for dry time on new paint!

Unfortunately, there is no way to really accelerate the process.  Oil paint doesn't dry by evaporation like water-based paints do.  Rather, the paint oxidizes, which causes it to solidify.  Once you've got it on canvas, you pretty much just have to wait it out.

I like to have a couple of pieces going at the same time.  I can work on one painting while the others dry, and have them on a sort of rotation.  It also helps each painting stay fresh for me.  It's a system that has treated me very well.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Tall Man

It was a dark and rainy night.  My energy was all but spent, but I had not touched a pencil.  I asked Rachel who I should draw, and with my last efforts of the day, completed her request.

The Tall Man, Angus Scrimm.  

I had some trouble getting a good photo of the drawing, given the reflective nature of graphite.  I'm. Going to give it a try with a scanner later.  It should yield better results.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Iron Lady

It seems like I need two tries to get these portraits right.  I get no less preactice by painting the same face twice.  That's why s o many artists have zillions of self portraits!

Margaret Thatcher

Rendr Sketchbook

Because I have been practicing capturing likenesses, I decided that I wanted a sketchbook for that alone.  I've also been using wet mediums much more, so I needed a sketchbook that would allow for that.  Wandering through my local art supply store, I found this Rendr sketchbook, which claims to have no show-through pages.

We all know that traditional sketchbooks cannot begin to claim that.  Rendr achieves it!

Here's the sketch I did of Kelly MacDonald in gouache.  The pages curl, but that can be remedied by just closing the book for a while.  But does the paint show through? 

No.  Not at all!  I'm impressed! 

What other sketchbooks would you recommend for this type of work?  Do you keep sketchbooks for separate subjects?