Playing with Paint

Hello, I hope everyone had a restful long-weekend (for some Canadians).

Back to oil painting:

img_3985After preparing most of the necessary materials for my adventures in oil, I found myself kind of frozen on the edge of a precipice. I don’t know why but I’m finding that there’s a block  when it comes to oil painting for me. It may be because of the fat over lean rule compounded by painting mediums and driers that interact with this rule. I have never had a problem just making art with other art mediums.

I guess that oil paint is the medium which I have/had the hardest time wrapping my head around. So, to help with this, I just decided to so some alla prima exercises, so I don’t have to worry too much about layers and fat over lean.

The exercises I set about doing was really low-key, just playing with painting effects. Using gessoed watercolour paper I made a while back, I taped up some sections:
img_3972I just started to paint with different colour mixes, using the palette knife, blending, using heavier impasto application etc..

Then I pulled of the tape:
img_3974Some of them look kind of interesting. The whole point of this exercise was to just start painting and enjoy the process. Breaking the block caused by fear and inaction is sometimes the biggest hurdle. I may continue to do these exercises until I feel confident enough. Maybe this type of exercise might help you if you feel stuck, or are afraid of starting something new.

Wishing you a productive week!

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Ceracolors wax paint (part II)

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As promised, I am continuing my review of Ceracolors wax paint. Above is the completed test painting done on an untreated cradled wood panel. In my review part I, I tested the paint on some acid-free mat board. I really liked the way it handled and had no problems adjusting to its characteristics.

Today, my review continues with how the paint handles on the untreated wood panel. I applied Ceracolors in Titanium White straight onto the small scrap panel with a palette knife as a background. It kinda looks like vanilla frosting and it spreads easily like it, too. 😋

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Afterwards, I applied heat with a heat gun while the paint was still wet and noticed some bubbling.

When working with hot wax (encaustic) on untreated wood, there is always some off-gassing. This is because wood is always in various states of fluctuation, adjusting to the moisture level in the atmosphere. This fluctuation causes little pits to form in the molten wax and is inconsequential with regard to the structural integrity of the encaustic art work.

In the case of Ceracolors, I am working with a water miscible wax paint. As the paint dries and moisture evaporates, the paint forms cracks and flakes off slightly. This is bad news regardless of how cool the cracked texture looks in some parts. I’m hoping this problem will be resolved with the application of encaustic gesso (keeping fingers crossed and I will do another review that includes the results). The application of gesso on a substrate is standard practice in oil and acrylic painting.

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Now onto the good part. As you can see with the little abstract test piece, you can get some really neat effects. You can apply the paint thickly straight out of the tube for impasto. You can water it down and get light watercolour effects. And you can use sgrafitto technicque and scratch into the paint without waiting a long time for paint to dry. The sgrafitto technique produces white lines or pointillist effects in my piece. The little white dots and lines were made by just scratching in with a sharp metal wire. I love the fact that you can do this, and in some of my watercolour paintings I have used white acrylic paint to get the same effect.

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Below is another detail in close-up:

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I am very excited and look forward to discovering many more things that you can do with this versatile paint. I’ll keep you posted.

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