Monday, December 26, 2016

Jumbo Kumquats

"Jumbo Kumquats"
Image size 7" x 5"

I had been hearing about a new 'wax' paint called Ceracolors, so when I saw that there was going to be a demonstration at a local art store using these paints, I signed up.  They are described as wax and pigment emulsified in water and are supposed to be compatible with encaustic since both are wax.  I found that intriguing and bought a sample set of the three primaries plus white and a small bottle of medium.  I thought this would be the perfect way to get more detail in my encaustics. 

This painting is done on an Ampersand textured claybord panel.  The Ceracolors paint comes in a tube and has a smooth consistency that is similar to watercolor tube paints.  It was interesting to work with these colors.  I guess I would compare it to working with acrylic paints.  The paints can be thinned with water, but when I thinned them too much, there were bubbles and it was hard to get a nice wash.  I think that had more to do with the surface on which I was working than the paint.  On the lower background in this painting, I did a wash of very pale yellow over the blue.  I wasn't getting the smooth wash that I wanted so I created a random texture and I think that looks better than it would with a smooth wash.  I think that layering these paints to get more texture would be a fun way to work with them.

In the demo, we were told that the paints don't have to be fused like encaustics, but that they can be heated.  I was excited to see what results I would get when I used my heat gun, but nothing happened.  So then I took my palette with the leftover paint blobs to see if they would melt and they didn't.  I am going to do some more experimenting and try mixing these paints with my encaustics to see what happens.   Also, I'm going to do some research into the ingredients of this paint, but at this point, I don't think they are only wax, pigment and water. 

Monday, December 19, 2016


Image size 6" x 6"
This cute building is in Old Town Tustin, CA and was originally built in the 1800's.  I've always loved this building with it's interesting facade and was so sad when it burned down several years ago. Fortunately, the facade, which gives this building so much of it's charm, was mostly undamaged in the fire.  Many people in the community helped raise money to rebuild this historic landmark.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Painting Party

Image Size 12" x 12"

Last night my niece hosted a painting party and had a local artist come to lead the event.  The artist, Fabrice Spies, is an artist that paints hyperrealistic acrylic paintings that are amazing!  Check out his website.

For the project, he lightly sketched the image on a canvas for us ahead of time, and each of us had a picture of this painting (which is one of his original paintings) taped above the canvas.  He got us started and then helped each of us through the whole painting.  He is a very good teacher and I learned some good techniques.

It was a really fun way to spend the evening with family, new friends, art, food and wine.  Also, it reminded me how much fun it is to paint with acrylics.  I need to use this medium more often!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Misty Ridge

Misty Ridge
Image size 16.5" x 8.5"
The underpainting of this is a previous painting that I posted several weeks ago.  I decided I really didn't like because it didn't have any flow.  Actually, the painting depicted my mood at the time but it was a bit negative.  I'm much happier with this image.  

To start the change I took the heat gun and blasted the middle area where the drastic value change was so it would soften the transition.  Then I covered most of the surface with thin veils of soft color.  After that was fused, I added alcohol inks and a little bit of shellac burning. The shellac burn didn't really add much to the painting.

When I use alcohol inks or shellac, they leave the surface shiny, which I really like in some paintings and is distracting in others.  I didn't want any shine in this painting so I covered the areas with a layer of clear medium.  It dulls the colors a bit, but I think in this instance, it enhanced the finished look.

Below is the previous painting, "Divided" which is now forever underneath "Misty Ridge".

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