“Distant Shores”

Hello everyone, Happy Friday! I am looking forward to the weekend. I don’t know about you, but it seems that every week is about just barely getting through the week, and finally breathing a sigh of relief on Friday night. There’s always something coming up, something that have to be done or dealt with and it’s exponentially worse when there are kids involved. Anyhoo, enough of my ranting..

Below is a 4″x12″ acrylic painting called “Distant Shores” (click on image to see larger view):
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I’ve received several comments from people who wanted to know the actual size of my pieces. I thought my site name was self-explanatory 😆; I do like to work small. Art materials are expensive and the larger the work, the more it costs, and usually takes longer to complete. I am not opposed to working large and I may at some point, but since a lot of my works are experimental (as in, me testing out ideas/materials), I have kept my pieces small. So from now on, I will try to include the sizes of my pieces. I am still learning about putting my work out there in the wide wide world of the interweb, so reader feedback is much appreciated.

Moving on to “Distant Shores”, this piece was purely intuitive. I painted it late one night without intending to do any painting. I saw the canvas (by the way, I hoard/stock up on canvases when I see a bargain) and I just started to paint. This piece ended up looking like an alien city, but technically it was about making scratches into the surface of the paint:
img_3870As you can see above, many lines and scribbles were inscribed into the surface as well as leaving patches of gold.

I really enjoyed making the gold fine-line scribbles:
img_3869The thin gold lines that make up the scribbles resemble a storm. I imagine this type of weather in an alien world (although this happens on earth too).

In this detail you can see a vague silhouette of a city that is aglow from the evening sun:
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I decided to render the sun in a playful liquid swirl:
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I hope you like this piece, it was something new for me in terms of subject matter, technique and process. I am trying to expand my horizons and explore art mediums and or techniques that are new to me. Thanks for coming along with me in my journey. Have a nice weekend.

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Straight forward experiment

Here is another painting in my “Experiments” series:
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In this piece I’ve painted a very simple abstract motif in the shape if a wave with a high impasto arch:
imageI used a warm and high-chroma orange to contrast cooler colours in the background.

The wave motif central to the piece is reinforced by the water droplets:
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All in all, I wanted to see how the pouring medium would affect a typical acrylic abstract painting just by coating it. Here is a view of the side painted with silver:
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It seems that the pouting medium doesn’t add anything but a high gloss finish to the painting. Although the gloss has more dimension so it looks more like a clear coating rather than just a painting with high sheen level. It’s a subtle difference but one to take note of.

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“Experiments” series cont..2

Hi everybody, here’s another piece from the “Experiments” series:
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In this piece I used an old watercolour snippet of a face I had lying around. I adhered it to canvas and used pouring medium over it:
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After the pouring medium encased the watercolour, I used micaceous iron oxide to “shade” around the watercolour to “frame” it like a vignette along with some magenta. The magenta is then used to obscure the eyes, accentuate lips and define the outline of the head. More layers of pouring medium is applied on top with various shades of teal that remind me of bronze patina. Finally, striations of gold and silver are added to breakup the image:
imageThe black bits are fragments of micaceous iron oxide.

The piece is interesting to me because of the colour combinations and patterns. Also, the juxtaposition of the traditional-figurative against abstract motifs. The traditional elemet is a watercolour of a woman’s head, the fluid application of the magenta versus the abstract elements of rectilinear metallic lines, and even the gloss of the medium itself.

Here’s a side shot:
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I’m learning quite a bit about what this pouring medium can do. And I’m finding that it is really versatile.

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“Experiments” Series

As you know I’ve been working with pouring mediums lately. I’ve decided to group most of these paintings that share the same form factor (4″x4″ on canvas) into a series called “Experiments”. Because they are experimental in nature, these pieces primarily focus on exploring pouring medium with other media. Below is the latest one (again, please excuse the glare, they are difficult to photograph):
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In this painting I incorporated glass beads. I love the look of the beads in this piece since the beads obviously lend themselves to bubbles in water.:
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Some of the beads are iridescent to compliment the shifting hues when light reflects off the water when it moves:
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Another fun thing was to put a flat glass piece over my initial, providing a see-through feature like a window:
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Below is a shot showing the sides of the deep-edge canvas with drippage:
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I have to say I really enjoy making these pieces because they are explorative and fun. I hope you enjoy them too.

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Hey, Hokusai

This is a piece I did using pouring medium and pastel, it’s called “Hey, Hokusai”:
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Something about it reminded me of the “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Katsushika Hokusai. Although the only thing in common are the waves: image somehow it reminded me of the Hokusai painting when I painted it.

The thing I like most is the background; it is composed of gesso applied thickly and pan pastel applied overtop. The gesso adds a nice texture to which the pastels can embed its pigments: image
The rustic look of the background is contrasted by the glossy, modern-looking pop of the sun:
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All in all, I’m pleased with the way this one turned out since it was only an experiment. I hope you like it too.
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Tar Gel and Pouring Medium

I was experimenting with Golden’s Tar Gel and it’s usability with Liquitex Pouring Medium. The piece below, is called “Forest of the Fireflies”:
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The clear stringy texture in the background is made with the tar gel. The gold strings are made with gold paint added to the tar gel. I really like the look and feel of the “string gel”; string gel is another name for Tar Gel because of its stringiness or technically called, rheology. You can get neat effects when you take a palette knife and let the gel fall or drip onto the substrate.

I found that the tar gel works well enough with the pouring medium. In this piece, pouring medium covers the whole piece. However, there are a few things I don’t like about the tar gel. One is the how easily it tends to get air bubbles when you mix in the pigment or paint. You have to do it very slowly, I suppose you can pre-mix it and let it sit for a day but I’m impatient. Another thing that I don’t like is that it’s really difficult to handle for instance, putting it in small squirt bottles which I like to do. It’s not much of a problem if you put it in larger jars but there tends to be a lot of waste and spillage etc..think of it as handling liquid honey. Finally, I really don’t like its tackiness, it takes a while to fully cure.

I’m glad I got to find out how the tar gel behaves with the pouring medium. I’ll file the data in my head and remember it’s qualities for future use. Meanwhile, I’m happy that this image of fireflies that was lodged in my brain, for quite a while, came out.

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Pouring Medium continued..

Here’s another 4″x4″ painting done with Liquitex pouring medium:
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I have to say I’m really enjoying working with this medium. The possibilities I’m sure are endless. The way the acrylic paints react whether it’s heavy body, fluid, high-flow or ink are interesting. Even different paint colours react slightly differently. There’s also a difference between paint being mixed in with the medium first then poured and the paints being dropped onto the canvas on top of the medium.

My favorite thing is to drop medium into already applied paints on the canvas that result in the “window” look; it creates a clear area in the coloured paint itself.

Below is a closer look of the same piece:
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Playing with pouring medium

Hi guys, I’m just remembering to post something about what I’ve been doing. Sometimes I’m making art but forget to post. Lately, I’ve been fooling around with pouring medium. Below is a finished painting:

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The medium I used was Liquitex pouring medium and a variety of acrylic fluid paints. It was done in several layers. In the above pic, it’s hard to see “the dots” are actually metallic copper, which is much nicer in real life. The qualities I like most about this medium is it’s conduciveness to working in layers, it’s tendency to make colours more brilliant, its transparency and its free-form nature. It promotes playing without a lot of pre-planning because the medium flows and sometimes the paints slide right off the canvas.

To illustrate how much things can change in working with this medium is a pic of how the piece first stated out:
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I used inexpensive 4″ x 4″ deep-edge canvases. It does get messy so a tray underneath is a must. Also, in order to control how the paint flows, a level is a good idea. You can shim the canvas or the tray to be level so your paint won’t go all over the place. You’ll get a better idea at the rate the paints will spread by experimenting. And with practice, a degree of control is possible.

So far, I’m really enjoying this medium and experimenting with different paints and additives.

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Ceracolors (part III)

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I just got around to conducting more experiments with Ceracolors. Again, these are very quick experiments, no more than 30 mins each (except for applying gesso). I am still pleasantly surprised by some aspects of Ceracolors, while other aspects have me perplexed.

First, the perplexing part: my application of Ceracolors on wood cradle board. In my previous post, I had trouble with the Ceracolors cracking. I thought it was either the heat applied to soon or the untreated substrate of the raw wood on the cradle board.

This time, I prepared the cradle board with 2 coats of R and F encaustic gesso. The result is that it still cracked! And it started to crack even before I used the heat gun:

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It was great to paint with and I did use thick impasto applications of the paint. A couple of heavily worked parts lifted off. Which tells me that adhesion wasn’t secure. And I also feel that if my paint was extended with medium rather than water, it would be better for adhering multiple layers as well.

I can think only of couple of things left to try: see if the paint adheres better to a substrate coated with watercolour ground, or try using a commercially prepared board for encaustics. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else.

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On the other hand, Ceracolors on ragmat works beautifully. I didn’t do any preparation to the matboard at all. And painted in impasto and any which way I wanted. You can see the paint did not crack:

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Matboard is cotton and absorbent, and this is the only difference. Wood cradle board and matboard are both rigid enough, but the wood is not as absorbent as the cotton “paper” of the matboard. It would be great just to paint on matboard, but it would need to be framed.

I like to paint on the deep cradled wood panels because they do not need framing. If the matboard is a larger size, it would have to be doubled-up to increase rigidity for framing but does not need glass. I’m speaking as an ex-picture framer.

I’m going to try again with a substrate coated with watercolour ground and a commercially prepared board, probably Ampersand. They do make quality products. So stay tuned for the results in part IV.

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Watercolour face on mat board

You know I like to experiment.

One day, I had some rag mat and wondered how watercolour would look on it. So I painted a face and whatever else came to me. Below is the result:

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The effect was interesting and watercolour on mat board will work for limited techniques, but had its limits. For example, there’s not much room for scrubbing: the cotton fibres kind of pill up. But if you wanted to do a quick painting, it’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t take heavy washes and it’s not suitable for too much wet-on-wet since there is no sizing on the board.

I like to experiment and explore art medium in different ways. Do you like to experiment?

Wishing everyone an enjoyable weekend. 🌾

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