Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Caseins - Another New Medium

Well, I did it.  I finally broke bad and ordered some artist quality casein paints but have not had much of a chance to work with them yet.  I did paint this sunflower on a cradled hardboard but please don't judge too harshly as any painting in a new medium is not the best work that can be produced.

My granddaughter is really into sunflowers and wanted a painting that was looser and maybe a touch different than the way I usually paint but I really don't think this works that well.  She hasn't seen it yet so don't know if it was what she had in mind or not.

I really, really liked the craft casein I used on the cupcake in an earlier post.  It was creamy and easy to work with.  The Richardson/Shiva tube paints that I just got are much denser and very stiff and I have to learn how much water or emulsion should be added to get the consistency I need. 

Also, I've found that different supports make a huge difference in how the paint behaves.  The cradled hardboard used for the sunflower was gessoed and had some colors of the paint beading up on the surface.  It evidently wasn't absorbent enough.  I recently started another painting on 140# watercolor paper and the paint is sucked into the paper almost immediately - it's too absorbent!  It's been hard to spread the paint much at all.  Hopefully, there's a middle of the road support that's perfect.

Another issue that I need to work on is what type of brush to use with the casein paint.  I was told that a decent synthetic was best but I'm finding the ones I have to be difficult to work with, especially on the paper support.

I'm hoping to find both the best brushes and best support for the way I work but it will take some further experimenting.  I do like casein so far and think it may become a favorite medium once I learn to tame its quirks and exploit its good points!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tufted Titmouse

I've been on something of a bird painting kick lately even though this little Titmouse is the only one I've actually painted!

I'm just enamored of all the cheeky little birds we have here and I want to paint them all. 

The Titmice come to our feeder all winter but I just can't seem to photograph them as they dart in, grab a seed and leave quickly!  A wonderful bird photographer, Bob Vuxinic, gave me permission to use some of his photos for reference and this painting came from one of his photos.  Thanks so much, Bob!

This is gouache on Arches watercolor paper and was mainly painted to get a feel for the 'structure' of the bird.  I hope to paint the Titmouse again soon along with several other bird varieties.

Friday, June 2, 2017

And They All Flew Away

Well the baby wrens flew the nest this morning.  I had just seen one of them during this nesting so I thought all the eggs didn't hatch or something this time but we ended up with four babies flying away shortly after 8 AM.  It was the first time I got to see them all leave the bird house so you can imagine how thrilled I was.

The last one seemed very reluctant to leave and stayed away from the entrance quite a while after it's other siblings had gone.  Finally, it got up the courage to leave but had a very hard landing on our wooden porch floor.  I thought it had broken something and maybe died as it floundered around for a few minutes then lay very still under the bar-b-que grill.  I left it alone as, truth be known, I didn't really want to know if it had died.  A few minutes later I heard the mama bird and looked out to see the little one running all over the porch!  Thank God!  I guess he was just a little stunned after his ordeal but recovered after a few minutes and finally left the porch where he presumably joined the rest of his family.

So, I guess I'll be more productive now that I won't be spending so much time watching the wrens!  Well, at least for a while as I'm sure we'll have new tenants once or twice more before fall!