Thursday, 15 August 2013

Our Paintmaking Continues

I've now just completed Day 4 of the Look and Draw course.  Yesterday was Egg Tempura: today was beeswax paint. Quite a contrast!

Yesterday we took the yolk of an egg, pierced this in order to remove the skin, mixed it with a little water, and then added pigment. Most of the pigments we mixed into a paste with a (very) little water  before adding the yolk, but not for the Titanium White which we mixed directly with the yolk (or added into other colours).  We didn't use the whitening.

Some books suggest that there are certain rules to be followed for the making and using of egg tempura, but we learned that this isn't necessary.  We used the tempura paints first on a piece of card and then on one of our gessoed grounds.  I really liked using it directly onto the card and I'm going to investigate whether or not this is long-lasting.  These images show what I managed to achieve on the gesso.  I thought I would focus on a landscape motif, based on a view from the beach at North Berwick looking over towards Fife (one of my sketches). Here was my start.

And here was how it looked after a bit of work - with the island and the Lomonds on the horizon. Sorry about the quality of the photo.  I quite like this.

I had mixed various colours, and thought I'd do an underpainting, but look at this....it looks like a piece of rusty metal.
This, of course, is my masterpiece of the week...haha. I was so pleased with this, I did another panel the same.  Joking aside, I did enjoy using the tempura - it was easy to mix a range of colours and it didn't dry out too quickly.

Today we were using beeswax. I was keen to experience this as I was hoping it might help me to be less precise about my painting style - to loosen up a bit and be more abstract.  It was a lot of fun, but I think it was mainly the fun of experiencing beeswax for the first time.  We added pigment straight into the melted beeswax and applied it to the board (no preparation required).  It was quite random and free - just adding more beeswax layers and then ironing over these or using a heat gun to re-melt the colours. But Jill reminded us that we were making pictures - what on earth was I doing?
I decided on a figure-based picture - was thinking about Peter looking after Poppy today and came up with this figure with a dog (in case it isn't clear - on reflection, maybe the legs of the figure need to be longer.) However, after this I made an attempt at a landscape view. This is based on an image of a boathouse on Jura that I've been working on. I had been thinking about this for an etching image, but here it is so far in beeswax.


Hmm. Interesting. Definitely not my usual style. Where is this going?
Encaustic tomorrow....

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