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.


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.


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. 

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 🙂

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 😉


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  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.  

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 😉 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  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.


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. 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. 😦 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. 

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.  ( 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 😉
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.