Densities using cake cutters and lots of colours.

I’ve been having fun playing and run out of 10 x 8in canvas, but I love working big so took out a 40 x 60 cm one ( 16 x 24 ins). these are so much fun but tale loads of paint and ages to dry, depending on weather of course. Even the tinies took a while with all that rain last week. Here’s the result wet…and I was very very careful to keep it level and not knock it, checked back several times ๐Ÿ™‚

I mixed up lots of colours, white, black, turquoise, cerulean, sienna, pthlalo blue, primary red (that’s really a pinkish red rather than the pillar box red I’d expect) bright red – that’s a scarlet one, yellow and mica powder mixes of a pink and blue that are both metallic. I mixed the micas with just floetrol and alchohol, I found adding them into paint just gets them lost instead of making the paint a metallic shade. I didn’t use any silicon, I’m trying to stay away from it, sometimes its fine others it makes the surface uneven and I get “holes” in paint that irritates me….
I used three cake cutters, layered the paints in reverse density til pots full and then used rest of colours to fill in round edges. I had mixed extra white for this purpose. The paint kept seeping out of the pots as they filled but I just ignored that ๐Ÿ˜‰


Looks like nothing doesn’t it – but all will come right – honest!


Its getting there. I was hoping not to tilt too much to keep the cells but ended up tilting quite a bit. I’d left the micas til last so once canvas covered I swirled them over, but they dominated too much so I used a stick to pull them around and through colours and pulled some colours though the micas. As they dried they got more transparent, and also some colours popped through them. I don’t know anything about densities for them so it was all a bit of suck-it-and-see process. I like it though, keep seeing little faces as it dried, some stayed, some got lost. there two are gone but were fun when I saw them, scary skull and ย crazy owl. I love the way there are cells, within cells and layers of colour in lots of them.

You can see how the mica spreads and has become transparent. I guess if I’d used less mica to floetrol it would have been more transparent, it was just guess work really. I like it. I’ll tuck that first one underneath so you can see how its changed.ย ย 

the colours are less vibrant but that always happens as they dry, varnishing will bring that back. I’d really like to resin this one but…it’d take loads, and I’m not confident I wouldn’t cock it up ๐Ÿ˜‰ so for now it’ll probably be the polycryl varnish i’m using, though I have just got this one, so might try that….

Today I’m going to paint…a rainbow. had the idea yesterday, layered the colours with black in between so I can swipe, tried it on a 3 x 3 in canvas but lost the edge colours. This time I’m going to try swiping each colour individually too, leaving more on edges so hopefully colours stay clean and separate and I don’t lose the end two…Pics tomorrow, or thurs. If it doesn’t go completely wrong of course….
I’m using paints and medium by the bucket load it feels, done two 1lts of ย floetrol, and halfway down the 2.5 litre tub….I really need to start selling some to pay for more stuff! I’ve got around 40 or so canvasses finished and stacked in studio. Money for new paints and more space in the shed would be great! I keep looking at new houses with an eye as to where I’ll be able to paint. Did see one with a fab garage with windows, water and electric and nice painted concrete floor. Have to sell this one first though.

Lucky I don’t smoke or drink, and now there’s not horse bills either so that helps. Its not a cheap hobby but a fun one. I know people do it using cheap paints, house paints and glue or even washing up liquid, but I’m aiming at selling some eventually so want to ensure the paints don’t flake, fade or fall off over time. I’ve always been aware of the cheap paint v longevity argument, it doesn’t bother many artists, but for me its important so I have to try to fund it some way.


revamping an unloved painting, and playing with densities.

So the one I didn’t like on Sunday got a revamp yesterday…I’m still not totally sure about it but had fun. I was aiming for a kind of floral look, like tall foxgloves. Again just dropping paint and letting it blend, and pulling through to create some shapes and help that.ย 

Then I played with paint densities, looking up closest to what I had and just letting paint tip and flow very little, no silicon, and torching after.


I’d run some white over sides and corners before pouring and was really pleased but…though I spend ages ensuring surface was level I must have knocked it as the paint ran off one side. I came back 3 hours later and saw it, managed to move a bit back where it was still wet in centre but ๐Ÿ˜ฆ this is how it ended. still nice but not as I wanted.

I did this one with same colours but much more tipping to cover the canvas.

You can see the colours mix much more, lose their richness though I do like the ones they create by mixing. also the cells seem more this way but much smaller. I’m going to try this again. I used different colours as I was using an old canvas, so covered it in black first and used black on corners and sides instead of white.

Looking at it now I wish I’d let paint run more on one side, or placed it less central. It irritates that its kind of centred but not very well and I’d rather it looked like a deliberately off centre pic! Did this with same colours. I’d painted white on sides and corners but it didn’t look right somehow so ended up tipping a lot more to cover the white.

I still had quite a bit of black and white so played with some 3 x 3 in canvasses. white over black, black over white and then just pouring over all that I’d collected from runoff. The first one – the one on its own, I really liked – can’t recall white was over which now but I’d used an old canvas that had maybe three other lots paint under and I ought to have gessoed it as the surface is bumpy and not smooth and these paintings mostly look best on smooth surface.

I tried resin on the circular cake-boards, wasn’t a sucess, too many uneven and bare patches, might have been the silicon. I used varnish on the other two and that looks better. I’ve painted another plain and glued to back to make it sturdier but not sure how to fix something to hang it with. Shame about the resin and it would have made these much stiffer and worked well IMO. Still…maybe I’ll try another and not use silicon. all fun experimenting but the resin is so costly I can’t really play too much with that. Chris and I love the two pink sweetie coloured ones that have been resined. Its not easy to show but the surface looks and feels like glass and it really show where the gold sparkles are and gives a feeling of depth.

Time to add some to art sites now and hope for some sales so I can play more ๐Ÿ˜‰ If anyone is interested in any of these email me, the 8×10 inch ones are ยฃ32, 3x3in ยฃ10 and others similar price depending on size. The most expensive is the 20 x 20in orange one at ยฃ120. I’m happy to take commissions too, you choose colours and I’ll create two for you to choose from.






So Sunday I went in studio just to varnish and….

you know how it is, an idea springs out and you have to try it. Sunday morning I’d a couple to varnish and got an idea while I was there…Wet image first, then 24 hours later.

I lost most of the sienna brown there but finally got some large cells that stayed after drying. Weird as I do the same thing another time and comes out completely different. Also tries some on round card, round canvas is too expensive to play around with ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but I wondered if the round shape might help with keeping it how I intend…well, that’s always possible ๐Ÿ˜‰ . I used a straw to blow paint around on these, first time I tried it. I like the second one best.ย  Then one of the granddaughters came over, she’s nine and loves this way of painting so we had to do some when she saw the new turquoise paint I’d bought, one of her fav colours. She got a little carried away with sprinkles, (she shares my glitter addiction!) gold, silver and blue for her, but its her painting and she loves it. we used straws again, after adding colours individually to canvas.

we used the same colours, yellow, turquoise, a dark turquoise green, and a mid green we mixed from dk blue and yellow.

Monday I really wasn’t going to paint….had gardening planned but I had an idea. Wasn’t really the sucess I wanted, so I played more and messed up even more ๐Ÿ˜‰ but hey, I can paint over once its dry and I now know that idea won’t work. Well, that way anyway…
I swiped this, but wasn’t really happy with it so pulled up and down to create shapes….and I like that even less! I do like the colours together though

I hate waste and I had some colours left and a bit of sundays green and yellows were still ok, Not much white but quite a bit of driops collected off the two above so poured it over a round board and actually I like this one! even enough for a tiny 3 x 3 in canvas which was looking good til i dropped it. Oops!




painting over “fails” to create new works.

Still wasn’t happy with the one from Thursday, which was over one from earlier in week, which was over an old, not loved any more painting….so tinkered yet more yesterday.ย So incantations one, two and three…
First go over old painting, added varnish to the medium just to see what would happen….

Close up of section from above painting. See the little pinholes all over? Might have been the varnish trapped air perhaps??

Then I didn’t like it, even apart from the pinholes so I added more paint….

Still felt it was a bit dull and bland so tried again, and this time I’m happier. Time to put aside though, I like it a bit, but overall its been a lot of paint and medium for a just OK painting…I think that’s it for this one, still uncertain I really like it, parts of it but the whole? Dunno…its got more life in it but I think its time to put this one aside.
I got a new colour yesterday, a gorgeous rich pale green/turquoise….I’ve been waiting for that so today might be one with that plus the burnt sienna and deep turquoise green from the other day. I might add in cerulean, possibly apricot too. that’s half the fun, picking out colours and seeing how they turn out. I still want to see if I can make the irridescent medium work too.
I’d run out of floetrol, been waiting for a 2.5 ltr bottle to arrive and hoped what I had would last, but it ran out, so to bridge the gap I ordered a 1ltr on amazon prime. sod’s law the 2.5 lts arrived Thursday, and the 1 litre wasn’t then needed but I hate cancelling, its not sellers fault, and it’ll get used so I left order. Then it arrived yesterday and…I’ve ordered the wrong stuff, same make but I’ve ordered a pre treatment. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’ll try it anyway – who knows, might work?? Exactly the same price and very similar label so i can see how I made mistake. If it doesn’t work for paintings then it’ll be there when I need to paint something, says use on surfaces like plastic and melamine so useful to have.
I think I might go over this one, not happy with it so use as a base for today…this was the sienna and green turquoise from the other day, where I forgot to add silicon…mixed more paint and swiped over but its pretty muddy looking and no real interest. Its easy to fiddle just that bit too much with these, then lose that freshness and I think that’s whats happened here.
I hate waste so reuse old canvasses, sometimes gessoing sometimes just straight over. Gesso is best I’ve found if they’ve been varnished though.ย 

Another Fail ;-( but I know what went wrong….

This was yesterdays work. Used an old canvas and wanted to try the iridescent medium that had just arrived. I used crimson, purple, yellow and white. Mixed as normal but forgot the silicon in the cups….didn’t realise til after I’d swiped and nothing happened. I poured a little of the colours into separate cups and added iridescent med so I’d have hopefully one plain and one metallic type paint for each colour.

After swiping and realising I’d forgotten the silicon, I sprayed the canvas, and also added a couple of squirts into all paints. Then poured more over, and swiped once more. This time some cells came but all that swiping mixed the colours and TBH it just looks a mess to me.

Here’s the holes in the other canvasses which I think were due to adding varnish as a medium…well, that’s my guess. Could be something else.

I can’t do any today as I’ve used all my floetrol, and the next I’d ordered (2.5 litre from ebay) I didn’t notice wasn’t coming before 12th July. So sucked it up and ordered another 1 litre from amazon to come tomorrow.

#Fails….. :-(

I’d new colours, phthalo turquoise and burnt sienna arrived, Daler Rowney. ย ( snigger, each time I write phthalo spellcheck asks me is I really mean ophthalmic …)


I’ve not used that range before but as this uses such a lot of paint I’ve been trying a few cheaper ranges….
Usual floetrol,spray silicon, alcohol, water mix. I covered canvas in thin layer white, dropped sienna over two thirds and blue over two thirds so the centre third had both. then white at each short end and swiped across from ends.
Nothing happened…then realised I forgot the silicon. Oops ๐Ÿ˜‰
Tried spraying canvas and torching but only got few cells, not much movement so I added silicon to leftover colours and redid what I could with what was left. swiped again, and get a bit more life in it.
I didn’t like corners though so swiped with leftover paints, mostly white, some colour. Then torched again. It was better but I still wasn’t happy so I let it run a bit…too much though.
I think the paint was too thick so as it ran – very, very slowly, it pulled out all the cells and just blended colours making a painting that’s just a mess. Join Monday’s two disasters….
All a learning curve though. Thickness is something I struggle with, sometimes I’m spot on, others its that teeny bit too thick, and that results with tipping pulling everything too much and blending, or else its too thin and it runs off canvas.
The two I showed here yesterday dried with tiny pinholes in, which I think must be the varnish, only time its happened before is when I was impatiently waiting for medium and used PVA. It works for others but for me it resulted in pinholes and cracks…the colours look very drab now too, dark and dreary so those will go for repainting too.
Its strange how some mediums work for some but not others. PVA is a non starter for me, though I just remembered I bought a different kind to try, I found floetrol and liquitex pouring medium pretty much the same. I use lots of floetrol, up to a 1:1 mix and yet others seem to just add a tiny bit, but when I do that nothing seems to move. Its still pricey here in UK but cheaper than liquitex so that’s what I stick with for now.
I have issues with silicon too, if I use liquid and rip it it it leaves “holes” in my canvas where paint is really really thin, and even if I really mix it in well and minimise that it still dries unevenly and yet I’ve seen people just add a few drops, not stir and it comes out perfectly.
Maybe I need to try a different type, I used cosmetic silicon, and I’ve seen lots use treadmill silicon. Perhaps that should be my next experiment. I really really want to get some large, clear cells, and keep colours vibrant.

some darker works, and new paints

Did some varnishing yesterday. Of course while I was there has to have a little play…

Second pour

First pour

I tried a little varnish in with the paints and usual mediums. Be interesting to see if that keeps any of the colour brightness when dry. Or is a total fail ๐Ÿ˜‰
I think I may have got a little too much black in. These were dirty pours, I’m still finding it difficult to keep colours clear this way and get good cells, swiping seems to work better for me but I’m determined I will get clear colours/good cells this way ๐Ÿ˜‰ eventually…..The second one has much brighter colours and maybe it was because I used same dirty pour pot for the first image after doing this one. ย I hate waste so try to reuse things and as I spray pots with silicon before adding paint ( when I rememeber!) I wiped out the dirty pour with paper towel to reuse and maybe a bit of the colour was left in corners and muddied it a little. these are on deep canvas which I painted black and I’ve left the sides plain rather than trying to cover in paint. I find that’s hard on deep edge and I tend to spoil the top while I’m doing sides.

The resin pics were still a bit tacky and need a second coat when dry but did second coat on the big orange pic, and all the smaller ones from last few days that were dry go a first coat. Second today hopefully. then I’ll show pics showing just how much dif to final colours a good varnish makes, really brings out the depth.

I’ve some new paints arriving today, some taking a few days. I love siennas, and haven’t any except little tubes and I could use one of those up in a couple of pours…so its off to amazon again. I was just looking for burnt sienna and a turquoise/cerulean type colour but of course….found more. I could spend a fortune on paints and stuff. Even restricting myself I spend far too much ๐Ÿ˜‰


Amsterdam Acrylic Colour 120ml tube TURQUOISE GREEN.Daler - Rowney Graduate Acrylic 500ml Paint Ink Bottle - Burnt Sienna

Phthalo turquoise, turquoise green ( could only get this in 120 ml tube ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ), burnt sienna ( don’t know why pic shows as pink..). I could have chosen loads more…so amny colours! I do like mixing my own, and always used to do that with browns til I found siennas and umbers, they are such lovely rich colours.