Friday, March 30, 2018

Pigment Sticks, Oil Pastels, and Other Drawing Materials

I've been experimenting with pigment sticks (like oil paint sticks), oil pastels, water soluble crayons, and colored pencils, on paper with several different grounds. I am using these with a couple of oil paint mediums: alkyd resin gel and odorless mineral spirits. This is not a tutorial, as I am pretty much a novice with the oil media, though I've experimented with it over the years.

I hope you enjoy this video of my explorations:

If you are interested in the materials I'm using, check out the links below. I have just ordered a few more mediums, and will also try cold wax with the pigment sticks and oil pastels. I am interested in finding new ways of painting, seeing what happens to the imagery when using different materials.

R&F  Pigment Sticks
Arches Oil Paper
Alkyd Resin
Prismacolor colored pencils
Caran d'Ache NeoPastel oil pastels
Holbein oil pastels
Sennelier oil pastels
Sandable Hard Gesso
Absorbent Ground
Caran d'Ache water soluble crayons

I also like to use 300# smooth (hot press) watercolor paper.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mentoring Workshop at ACA

Last week I was at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL, with twelve mentoring students. This is an independent study workshop, in which everyone (including me) works on her own work, and I offer individual critique and facilitate group discussions. We used the dance studio, which has beautifully high ceilings, lots of natural light, and plenty of space for us each to have an 8'x8' wall to work on.

Here are a few studio shots:

A couple shots of my workspace:

And some of my works in process:

24"x24" on panel

20"x20" on canvas

36"x36" on canvas

24"x24" on panel

20"x20" on canvas

36"x36" on canvas

19"x25" on paper

19"x25" on paper

19"x25" on paper

19"x25" on paper

19"x25" on paper

19"x25" on paper
I began by working on larger canvases and then smaller canvases and panels. Then, for the last two days I worked on paper. For the whole week most of us (including me) worked on multiple pieces at once. Our housing and meals were right there on campus, so we had no obligations other than to paint!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Late Stages of a Painting

This piece is 20"x20" on wood panel. It has gone through many stages in a previous life, and then resurfaced to take a new direction. Here is the latest:

This is many layers after it came out of hiding.

Flattened out the top area with a grey-green

Added a bit of gray pattern in the middle and emphasized the gray circle on the right.

Painted over the drippy over in the top right, marked the gray circle with graphite and paint, and added some orange stripes inside the big orange orb on the lower left.

Toned down the gray circle on the right. Looks like I also tweaked the turquoise.
This may be done, or very close. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

From Sketchbook to Canvas

This is just one painting in process that I've begun using my sketchbook page as a starting point.

This work in progress is 36"x36".  It may change completely as it evolves, but you can see the influence of the sketchbook exercise in it.

This is the sketchbook page that I created as a "mood board" for the painting.
I never work on just one piece at a time, so I do have other paintings in the works that are similar in feel to the above. The one shown here is the one that most directly reflects the sketchbook starting point. I have no idea where it is going!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Back to the Sketchbook

I recently read a blog post by Alice Sheridan about how to make a "mood board" for your art. This sounds suspiciously like planning out your painting, which for me is a totally useless process. In fact, I find that planning only gets in the way. But I found Sheridan's approach interesting in that she insists that it is pretty open. It is not a "study", or a composition layout, but a collection of visual ideas you may want to play with in a painting.

Maybe this is a good role for my sketchbook, besides a place to off-load paint.

Here is the sketchbook page spread.

This is the page that is intended as the mood board.

I've started a couple of large paintings using these colors. I'll post them as they progress, and see if they bear any resemblance to the mood board. Another thing I'd like to try is to make a series of small pieces based on this mood board. If the paintings veer off into new directions, I will consider the mood board has done its job as a starting point, and we can part company.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lines in Monoprint

I have been experimenting with ways of making line in monoprint techniques. Here is a video of it:

These are studies, starts, experiments, just to see what I can do with these processes. I am working on Cheap Drawing Paper (aka Blick's white sulphite drawing paper), with Golden OPEN acrylics.

Here are some of the results:

Deli paper line (trace monotype) with crayon resist line on gel plate

Same processes as above

Deli paper line with string mask line on gel plate

Deli paper line with crayon and gel print
The GelliArts site has loads and loads of tutorials on monoprints, and on using the gel plate with various media.