Latest plays, some bright cells,

I’ve had a few disasters, downside of trying new things, some work, some don’t, so decided to stick with my tried and trusted mix, but see if I can get cells with more than one colour deliberately, I’ve had it happen accidentally, but wondered if I could influence the process.
Did a small one first, this is 4 x 4 inches 
Then I moved to a larger canvas, 6 x 18 ins I think. I’m pleased with this one but the second didn’t come right, and I swiped too many times, making the colours join and just become too orange, no contrast . One for painting over later 😉 There’s a video of this one at the end of this post. Sorry, you get a bit of me upside down at the end, didn’t switch tablet off properly….oops!  too much swiping blended the colours and lost any contrast. Here;s the fails, I tried swiping with pink, didn’t like the result but that could just be my colour choices. I swiped with matallic blue on one last week and liked that.

I’m still thinking over this one, whether to keep or repaint. Its not what I was after but I quite like the subtle effects and soft colours. Its another 6 x 18 in canvas

Video for the bright 6 x 18 painting.

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 housepaint instead of artists white

the painting is awful, but the purpose was to test the housepaint and I’m happy with its performance. Wondering now if I might try a few housepaint colours, test pots maybe? I wouldn’t use them for the more expensive works but these are around £20-40 so I think its fine. I think they’re the kind of paintings people want to go with decor more than falling in love with a subject and wanting to keep it years.
this is closer to what I want, the white looks yellowish but dries up bright white. still a bit too much colour for what I was aiming and I only used two ting pots dark blue, like a prussian, and alizarin red.

I saw Dulux matt white was on offer on Amazon – or maybe just a mistake and I got lucky – at £10 for five litres. Given the W&N or R&L artists white i usually use is around £10 -14 for 500 ml that would make a great saving, especially the way I go through paints….I figured if it didn’t work i’d have paint ready next time we need to decorate.

I wanted to see if it gave the same kind of results. TBH this pic Nathan (grandson no 3) and I did came out pretty horrible but the paint was fine, and this morning looks the same as any with artists white. Rather than keep opening a big tub though and risking it drying, plus getting dirt in I’m planning to pour some into a smaller tub. In fact I might use an old floetrol container and premix to the right consistency ready to paint. That would save time and be handy for those times when i find i’m a tiny bit too short of paint and do a rapid quick mix to finish!
Not happy with the first pic I tried again later last night and this one is much better. I can see the paint that isn’t yet dry has a yellow/cream tint but the dry areas don#t show it and the earlier one is fine so I think that’s just a quirk that won’t show in final pic.
I was originally aiming for negative image in the video but as usual things went wrong. I mixed up van dyke brown, orange, burnt sienna and some gold mica and the white of course but I’d too much colour and Nathan didn’t like the white area so we tilted, added, swiped and finally ran a sheet of acetate over the whole thing. That’s not on the video, did it after filming….NB: Both are pre-used and gessoed canvasses. I hate waste. The brown one with probably get reused again!

I am trying to cut down video size, but somehow seem to be failing so far….I’ll try harder, promise, til then there’s always FF button 😉

Today’s plan is sunflowers. I’ve some fab ones in the kitchen, and I wondered if I could paint them but in a kind of abstract way with this pouring/blowing method of paint manipulation. I like a challenge!

 

Edit: this took a long while to dry, and yesterday I noticed lots of cracking. 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.
Edit 2: Tried thinner paint in case paint was too thick, tried adding PVA as some discussions suggest, but I still get cracking, though a different cracking with the PVA, kind of wider, more like a separation of paint than a crack. I’m going to use what I’ve premixed but think I’ll stick to artists white, and use the dulux as a gesso, or for the house walls!

experiments with additives and new paints.

First off in the quest for big cells, and lacking dimethicone ( its on the way!) I tried what I’ve seen others use, hair conditioner. I also tried some argon oil – and some hand cream with the dimethicone in… and the last one is Cyclomethicone, the first oil I tired after spray silicon. It works but for me sometimes there are thin patches in paint, sometimes showing canvas, plus it needs cleaning off before varnish as you can see it on the surface of the paint when dry.

argon oil
hair conditioner
hand cream, you can see lumps of hand cream that wouldn’t dissolve on the painting
Cyclomethicone Liquid – makes cells but I find it leaves “holes” and thin patches in paint
Cyclomethicone Liquid – you can see the uneven surface of the dry painting.

I’ve got a video below of the hair conditioner and argon oils process but I need to work on lighting, you can’t see the actual painting as well as I’d like.

I also bought some new metallic paints and I should be uploading a video of those tomorrow or friday. Sadly the memory on tablet for that ran out just about a minute before the end…more for me to learn to check!

The dry painting is below

Once its varnished the shine comes back and the metallics have a subtle gleam. This is the kind of painting I want resin for but so far I’m still working on getting it right.
Here’s one that had pin holes in coat one, coat two has ripples on surface and has slipped back from edges, don’t know why, I’d checked that and they were covered but…lets see what coat three brings once its dry enough. This resin ( the cheaper marine resin) seems to have a slight yellow tint, didn’t show on ones that were all colour but does on this one with white. I think TBH maybe i need to stick with Pebeo, I’ve had best results with that and the finish is exactly what i want, and just suck up the cost. Keep it for any real favourites.

 

a few more experiments, and reusing old canvas

Been busy last few days but still squeezed in a few experiments. I didn’t like the last two I showed here so over-painted them, and still don’t like one of them, so that’s in the pile to repaint!

This one looked great on pouring, but I didn’t make enough paint….so on tilting it ended like this ;-( Sometimes I gesso over old works, or paint a coat of one colour but my original thinking here was that I could maybe just cover the bit I didn’t like and keep the edges that I did. soon as I poured though I could see that wouldn’t work.


I tried playing with white negative space – I’d aimed at that before unsuccessfully so time to retry. I only used white plus 3 reds, and a red mica paint. But didn’t like it so it became the second one shown here

I’d actually used the same colours as on this long one but the centre of the red one was still a little wet, though I hadn’t realised so some of the painting has a pink tinge to the white. I don’t mind, quite like it.

I really like this one and may…or not, brave the resin for it! Next play was negative space again, and three blues, plus a mica mix. More successful but I still want more white,. more subtlety. I tilted too much once more…

I used leftover and run-off onto some paper but TBH I’m not happy, its just a murky blue mess to me..

I love the pour on this next one but again lost it on tilting 😦 

I thought maybe it was my tilting, so made LOADS of paint and let it find its own way to edge, but I still ended losing that first lovely part, and had a tray full of mixed leftover paint. Maybe its s thickness thing? Its not because painting isn’t level. having lost a few now to that i work really hard at that before paint touches canvas, and check how it drips after before leaving it.
Then I saw a vid where anne-marie ridderhof ( I love her and danny clark vids) used 1 part paint to 4 parts floetrol, no water, no alchohol. as my paints are heavy body and she used fluids I thinned mine down first with water – big mistake! Looked ok on pour, though very pale, but floetrol is cloudy then dries transparent so hoped that was it. Nope, I just got a watery thin mess. Horrible isn’t it.?? Its over an old one, blue based and you can see the blue through the white edges. Next time I’ll try with paints as they are! The yellow is lumpy too – I mix and mix but that yellow, and the white seem to contain or go lumpy, and i miss it. I got my little battery milk frother out yesterday for mixing. well, I never use it for milk! more and more “house” stuff ends in art shed, I’m sure we all do it!

I’m still thinking of resin and whether to use it. I did it on two 8 x 10 inch ones, and love it but there are ripples in the surface. This was the slightly cheaper marine resin, rather than pebeo. Its a 1:50 ratio so as it took days to cure, with surface staying slightly tacky, you know, where you can see fingerprints even though it seems dry, so maybe i didn’t quite get that right. Its harder with that small amount of hardener to be precise, whereas the pebeo was either 1:1 or 1:2 – can’t remember but easier and i like the finish better. Did the pebeo on 3 3×3 canvasses to trial. On those I’ve a couple of little dints even after two coats so I’d seen a varnish that it supposed to help with ripples and dents on resin finishes, so bought that and tried yesterday. It evened the ripples a little but I think the sine is a bit less, and on the small one it helped with the dint/dent but again reduced the glossy shine. I don’t know if maybe once its thoroughly dry it would come back if it was polished with a little wax or something? I also want to try it over a conventional varnish, see how that looks…
The one on the left is the one with the aerosol extra coating. It looks a bit smoother but the colours don’t seem as bright and the gloss is less.

I’m hoping to create a links page with all the materials I’ve used soon. Just need to find time to work out how to do it 😉 Then if anyone wants to use what I’ve tried you’ll know where to find it. I know I’ve found lots of my experiments from other people’s pages and links are always helpful, but I’m not greatly tech minded so it takes time for me to work out how to do the wordpress page stuff, without it just being a jumbled mess.

 

 

Chasing Rainbows…and other things.

yesterday I had a peek at Wednesday’s  painting and it was drying well, and then I used leftover colours to do another to match. It poured out really well, but of course something always goes wrong, this time I think maybe I’d made paints tiny bit too thin and it ran and spread losing that lovely shape. I did some tilting and pulling through. I like the end result but love love that just poured one. someday I’ll get the paint to stay like that 😉
Wed painting above, from start to final, I haven’t got dry pics yet. They’re taking a while with all the damp we’ve had. You can see green, I didn ‘t add green but guess that’s from the sienna or the orange and the turquoise blue.  I used a pale cream instead of white for outer, then orange, burnt sienna, van dyke brown, a pale apricot, turquoise and the frosted blue mica. 
Sadly this changed alot, maybe paint a bit too thin? It ran and when i tilted it ended like this. I had fiddled a bit *blush * as I wasn’t happy with parts so I’m kind of undecided about it. see how it dries, can always add more 😉
Here’s my rainbows, not sure if I added them yet? I started with the bottom one to try out, but didn’t like the effect when swiping over the whole, so I swiped each colour individually on the larger one. For some reason when the small one dried the paint had cracked, don’t know why, didn’t do anything different.

Then I tried one without black, again swiping each colour one by one. This
is on an old canvas-board painting I no longer like 😉 No waste here. And on that theme the remnants from each cup plus collected run off made up the two 3 x 3 inch canvasses. Actually I really like them. Of course they all dull when dry so I’ve been trying different varnishes.
 
Nathan managed to find a wet bit in my non-black rainbow one yesterday, lovely fingermark in the blue…..”err, nan….” he said sheepishly. Bit of alchohol and water and smearing with tip of finger and its barely noticeable.
As always the colours dull as they dry and I’ve been playing with different varnish to see what looks best, which brings out that rich colour again. Still think resin is the king, but price and difficulty is stopping it being my default varnish. I did try a cheaper one than the pebeo i used first time but that doesn’t seem quite as good, however it could be that perhaps I didn’t get the % right, its 2% hardener to resin, whereas the pebeo is 50% and that’s much easier. With tiny amounts its a big thing is you get a tiny little too much or too little hardener, and as the finish I have is not quite that glassy hardness maybe i got a bit too little. I’ve seen a spray that may fix that so that’s on the way too, sadly its very expensive though ;-( as its shipped from US. I don’t know enough about it yet to see if there’s a comparable one in UK.