painting with grandkids

Tan and two of the kids staying so we painted yesterday. Bren first, he’s almost 6, and chose the colours, black instead of white. we were doing swipes, with random colours, not lines and TBH we had too much paint – my fault entirely, so first swipes didn’t really work so took a second ( and 3rd and 4th for mine…) and I think there’s too much black. Bren’s happy though so that’s what counts.

Bren’s painting

Then Beth wanted to paint and Bren wanted to do another. She’d seen a negative one I’d done so we were after that effect, dirty cup drag was used. Bren doesn’t like the white ( that’s a nice picture Nanny, but you need to paint over this white bit….) so he filled in his by swiping. Its possible mine and Beths are labelled wrong way round…can’t rememeber now which was which. will do when i see them in situ 😉

mine
Beth’s painting
Bren’s painting – he didn’t want white parts.

 

two big fails, two possibles, and finally think I’ve found what works(ish) with housepaint. .

well, Saturday saw me using black, white, red, yellow as Nathan did so well earlier in the week. Too much black though, and on the rectangular one I ended up swiping over with acetate. Both are just awful so will be base for incarnation two….

4 x 4 inches

Sunday I tried again, first one had more colour than I wanted but…maybe it’ll grow on me, second was disaster, tilted too much and colours just ran together. Added more colours dotted over and swiped with spatula, better but still not good, so added white to each end and swiped with acetate. Still hated it so scraped off and tried again with what paint was left. still ended up swiping with acetate. I quite like the grey lacing effect but overall its one that I need to think about. Might end up keeping both , might just paint over 😉 You know how it goes, sometimes there’s a run of unsuccessful paintings. these had liquitex PM, but I think it was simply user error, paints wrong selection, too heavy handed, too much colour, too thickly applied, too much fiddling. All and any of those.

My experiment with just water and dulux seems to have worked, there’s a little splitting but none of the cracking when i used it with floetrol or LPM. I think though I’m sticking with artist white, use the dulux for priming canvas and wood. and maybe in the house if i need it….

section of painting showing splits, but these look as though they mean to be there, where the cracks don’t.

Updates and new works.

house paint and water only, for the white.

cracked when dry, i thought maybe too thick but still cracked when thinner

Well, the housepaint isn’t a great sucess, tried it thick, tried it thin, tried with floetrol, tried with floetrol plus PVA and all produces cracks or separation of paint when dry 😦 I’m having one last try with no extras, just water and silicon. (see below, first pic) Sod’s law that i like the trial one better than the one i did with white artists acrylic ( second pic). Fiddled too much, a huge issue I always have, knowing when to stop!

I’ve had a few failures besides these…and painted over them 😉 Nathan, no 2 grandson who is 12, came to paint again recently. The kids all love doing these, they choose colours and method and pretty much do it themselves now. I love his one here, black, white ( just a little of the housepaint – so far minimal cracking,) yellow and red. he did a flip cup dirty pour with minimal tilting and its gorgeous, reminds me of lava flows and volcanoes. These two were with floetrol, 100% alchohol and dimethicone. I’m using that all the while now instead of the other silicons I’ve tried, works best for me. I use a spray to coat inside cups to help paint pour out too. 

Mine wasn’t such a sucess, and paint has split in a few sections 😦 though doesn’t look as bad as cracking, I notice it but no-one else seems to, they think its part of the effects I wanted !! Still working ion trying to keep that “just out of the cup” look. As you can see this is on top of a “fail” from earlier, same colours, done on a piece of primed MDF. I love working on wood but its heavy, couldn’t lift for a flip cup….and of course needs framing. Still, I’ve some big 4 x 8ft sheets doing nothing in shed so my lovely big brother is going to cut some up for me 🙂
Still undecided about this one I did a few weeks back, will varnish and see then. The metallics made from mica plus floetrol worked well, I poured them over after pouring.

Its been a busy week, and when I have been home its been raining so I can’t get into artshed – raining right now too….yesterday it was fine so I spent the time varnishing the ones i’d removed silicon from on Friday. That’s the downside of silicon, removing it. The dimethicon I’ve been using sits on top of the dry painting and its easy to see it, not so easy to be sure you’re got it all….I spray with a 50-50 mix of washing up liquid and water, wipe off, then rub in talc, and wipe off with alcohol. I hate when varnishing and there’s silicon that resists the varnish.

Trying 99.9% alchol and updates on other works

I’m trying a higher % alcohol as I saw it recommended. TBH I’m not sure what difference alcohol makes but I did get some biggish cells with this mix. I did a simple swipe using black on a 4×4 inch canvas. I also used the same colours in a larger rectangular one but that didn’t have such large cells, however I did feel the acetate sheet settling into the paint rather than swiping over on that one, and had to recover a few spots so that could be the reason. I need to play more before I can definitely say there’s a difference, but given price is similar I’ll probably use this as default just in case…..
Edit: Update on the housepaint experiments.  They took a long while to dry, and yestrday I noticed lots of cracking on the sunflowers and the blue abstract. That’s only happened to me before when i used PVA glue instead of floetrol. It may be that I need more floetrol, it may be that its housepaint instead of my usual artists white or – and I think this is the cause – it may be that the white was too thick.
I do have issues with consistency and looking at vid and remembering it was quite thick, didn’t really flow well. I’ve got a couple of others drying that have the housepaint white and a floetrol ratio same as this, but where paint is thinner so when they dry that should tell me if I’m right and its that paint was too thick, or if its actually the lower floetrol. I might try two small ones, just pour the white as a thin and thick mix and see how they dry. I think that would show me a definite cause.

Experimenting with dimethicon instead of treadmill silicon

So yesterday found me trying this out – and the results were great. If I can replicate them so I know it wasn’t one of those flukes, you know – when things go perfect despite what you do – then i’ll be sticking with this.

I’ve been using all sorts of silicon, some successfully some not. I found the spray went everywhere but it the pots, the cosmetic silicon left “holes” and thin spots in canvas sometimes, and the treadmill works OK, but still limited cells. So took the plunge and bought silicone number 4, some dimethicon.
I used the dulux paint for white, added silicone to colours, some blues, pinks and purples, a couple of which are metallic. They’re still pretty wet today, and the sunflower from friday is drying nicely but still not there. Not sure if its weather ot the dulux paint but we’ve (fingers crossed it stays) some sun today so that should help.
I’m trying to get best place for video to minimise glare and give a good shot of me working, showing the actual painting but still haven’t got there. sorry, Its a tight space though and little room for manouevre, but I will keep working at it and thanks for your patience so far.
I tried another flower one like the sunflower but a hydrangea this time. It was going well…til it wasn’t. I overworked it, fiddled too much, used too much colour and it was a mess. Left it as it was raining my my scooter getting wet. came back couple of hours later and i just didn’t like it so i mixed up quickly some more colors, red, yellow and ornage and used the little that was left in pots plus these, poured over at random and swiped the whole thing with acetate and love the result. its got a little gold sparkle dropped on too. today I want to see if I can get gold lacing….well, it might work abd ts fun trying.

this is the messy hydrangea. I just did Not Like it – knew I’d never be happy with it as it was so more paint and a good swipe turned it into the next one.

Links to materials I have used.

 

I’ve used all of these, some with success, some indifferent and some not really working for me. I’ll be adding to this page constantly as I find new things to try. Click on images for links or on words where I’ve managed to work it out…tech and I aren’t best friends so apologies now for where I’ve got things wrong!!
These are mostly Amazon and eBay sites, other stuff tends to come from small independent shops or materials I’ve had ages and can’t recall where from. I do get a small commission from the Amazon affiliate links and you may find products cheaper elsewhere. Mostly I look for cheapest I can get delivered as I don’t drive so amazon with Prime works for me.

This is Alcohol, and here supposed to help with cell formation. I’ve been using this, TBH sometimes I forget and its been fine, but depends on what look you want. I’ve also just received a higher % alcohol that I’ve not yet tried ( second image). I’ll report if it’s any better after I’ve used it.   

 

 Liquitex pouring medium. I bought the small size one to start, didn’t find much dif to Floetrol, but have just bought bigger bottle to try more.

Owatrol 1 Litre Floetrol Waterborne Paint Conditioner

This also comes in 2.5 ltr which is what I now use, and I think the last one I bought was from ebay which was a little cheaper but prices change quickly there sometimes.

 Windsor & Newton flow improver. tried this before I could get Liquitex, and before I tried Floetrol. It works but this tiny bottle doesn’t go far if you use lots as I do…..

 

 Spray silicon. the first one I tried but I found getting it into the paint difficult. I’d spray into cup then put my hand over but still seemed more in air than in paint. It is useful to spray into cups before pouring paint in, helps it tip out. I tend to spray the dirty cup before adding paint. On the plastic cups it works well, but as I kept tipping them over I now use paper ones and it isn’t quite as good there. maybe the paper absorbs it? who knows? I’ve seen US folk use Blaster silicon, but couldn’t find it here and others use WD40 but I haven’t tried it.
Cymethicone silicon. I found this left thin patches in the paint but others use it without problems.

Kingfisher KC100CUP Disposable Plastic Cups 7oz Pack Of 100 plastic cups I used these sometimes, but use paper cups more as I knock the plastic ones over. I also use small shot cups



Paper Towels

Butane torch. I found this a little small so bought a bigger one, but again, quite often i don’t need to torch at all, or torching doesn’t make any difference so its not essential.

 


Bigger torch  

 

This  is the second one I bought, first from another seller had no working piezo so I had to light with matches, no response from seller so I left a one star review and bought this one which is perfect. Keep torch away from canvas, I aim for about 8-10 inches as paint will steam and burn, and that’s not a good look!  Gas canisters are here. A fire extinguisher is a good idea too, as with alchohol, silicon and varnishes etc in one place its safer to have something to hand to put out fires. This one I have comes with wall mount and a fire blanket. I have it right next to where I’m working. Its a powder aerosol one so not a single use one but can be reused. That makes it cheaper. actually I’m off to get a second one for indoors as I can’t find my one I’ve had ages and do have a habit of setting light to things accidentally….Its currently on special offer at £10.99 – much cheaper than others I’ve seen, but I don’t know how long it’ll be at this price.
Lolly sticks for mixing. these jumbo ones are great with bigger cups, and I’ve smaller ones for the shot glasses.

Masking tape  

 Polythene sheeting. this is the thin stuff, and I tape everything then roll it up and dispose when its really grubby. I’m messy, I need easy (ish) clean up.

Disposable gloves, great for us messy folk! I use loads. Tip: handcream is great for removing dried acrylic paint, rub all over and wipe with kitchen roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use canvasses from lots of different places, but bought some on amazon, and I’ve old ones from places like ken bromley. I also use pieces of board, canvas board and wax art paper and acrylic art paper. Ordinary watercolour just soaks up the paint, it needs to have a coating of some kind.

Set of 6 Artists Blank Canvas - 15cm x 15cm Flat Canvas

 

 

 

 

Paints

I’ve been using a lot of these R&L paints as they come in 500ml pots. I do find the lids tend to flip back as I pour though so have to hold them back with my pinky finger, otherwise I end up with big lump paint in the lid and then it dries and won’t shut (oops, just put an i instead of the u….) properly.

This is R&L white, in 500 ml. I’m currently trying Dulux white housepaint as I use so much white, and it makes it much cheaper. Initial results look good. I wouldn’t use t for more expensive artworks but these are around £20-40 depending on size so anything to keep costs down and hopefully sell more is good. More money for new “stuff” !! R&L is around £8 for 500ml while the Dulux is currently £10 for 5lt. big difference. (Edit: I used the Dulux too thick and its cracked – at least I think that’s the reason so take care)
W&N white. Ran out of white and couldn’t get R&L, but these two are pretty interchangeable IMO

Mars Black. a lovely rich inky black

Cadmium Yellow

 R&L primary yellow. I like to have a range of colours and this is a nice bright yellow

Primary Magenta – gorgeous rich almost fuschia pink

Windsor & Newton. I wanted an alizarin type red, this crimson is pretty close to what I wanted.

Cadmium Red, a nice bright red

Cobalt Violet, a very blue toned purple

Cerulean, a colour I use lots. Makes some fun greens.

 W&N Gloss varnish. I’ve used it a couple of times, its OK, not particularly glossy, quite a subtle shine. Maybe if I added more coats, I’ve only done two. I prefer others, the triple thick deco or the miniwax

Triple Thick. this only needs one coat but is quite “gloopy” so you need to be careful when using

 Pebeo Resin. My favourite finish but very expensive especially if like me you find cocking things up very easy……I’ve tried a cheaper marine varnish but that’s a 1:50 ratio instead of 1:2 as this is and far easier to get wrong, leading to poor finish or even not curing at all. So far I haven’t got it exactly right ;-(

Housepaint and less floetrol more water

the inspiration. From Morrisons not home grown though 😦

Edit: Sadly the paint WAS too thick and this cracked badly on drying. I’ve a couple of others still drying where I used the housepaint but much thinner and so far they look OK. I should have thought when the colours didn’t “run” into the white, creating shapes but kind of sat there. Still, learning curve. I have LOTS of those!!

I wanted to paint a sunflower so took one with me to play with in my shed. Dulux housepaint for white, plus a lemon and a cad yellow, a green i mixed to get shade i wanted – added more yellow and white for stem and a van dyke brown. Colours were R&L, and Shminke -oh and some gold mica, i’m all about the sparkle. I was experimenting with less floetrol and more water but forgot the alchohol so it was two different things, i like to only change one at a time. I used about 20% floetrol to paint then thinned with water. added a couple drops silicon (treadmill) to colours only. tiny dirty pour for the brown centre, then tipped round a dirty pour yellow mix, and blew petals with a straw, then pulled out some of the edges with a bamboo skewer to create shapes. poured green for leaves and did the same, then lightened it and poured stem, swiped bits and pulled bits for shape.

It worked really well, even though I forgot to add alcohol….of course was it a one off or can i do it again. well, I want to try roses, foxgloves, sunflowers before being certain of that! I love flower paintings, and am having fun with this.

so…more flowers tomorrow or more on the experiments list??

Edit:

 

Edit: this took a long while to dry, and yesterday I noticed lots of cracking. thats only happened to me before when i used PVA glue instead of floetrol. It may be that I need more floetrol, it may be that its housepaint instead of my usual artists white or – and I think this is the cause – it may be that the white was too thick, I do have issues with consistency and looking at vid and remembering it was quite thick, did’nt really flow well. I’ve got a couple of others drying that have the housepaint white and a floetrol ratio same as this, but where paint is thinner so when they dry that should tell me if I’m right and its that paint was too thick, or if its actually the lower floetrol. I might try two small ones, just pour the white as a thin and thick mix and see how they dry. I think that would show me a definite cause.