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Another Art Show in August

July 27, 2014

annex-show1

I’ve been spending the last couple weeks or so getting ready for another art exhibit in August, and this picture shows a few of the paintings I’ve been sprucing up for delivery. I’ve got one custom-made frame still being assembled, and a few here that need backings and hanging wires attached, but should have all that done by the end of the week.

It will be a large comprehensive show with 18 total pieces, mixing old and new. As soon as I get an official announcement with the dates and times I’ll post the details. It’s nice not being rushed, for a change.

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Giving a Finished Oil Painting an Even Shine

July 17, 2014

Some time ago I wrote a posting about how paintings can display an uneven shine on their surface that can be annoying when seen from the side. I can resolve this by properly applying a final varnish coat, but it takes time before the painting will be ready for that. There is another option involving the use of an “oil painting medium.” The technique is referred to as “oiling out.”

paintmedium_WN

This medium is sold by a number of different brands. The one I have is from Winsor and Newton. It’s made with a combination of linseed oil and resin.

When your painting has become dry to the touch in all areas, look at it from the side and you will likely see spots that have different reflective qualities. Some patches will have a “sunken in” or matte look to them in comparison to the rest of the painting. This is caused by the type of pigment and/or medium choices you have used. Applying this painting medium to the surface will even out those dull patches and give the whole painting an even shine.

paintmedium_shine

In this example I’m using my recently finished oil painting. On the bottom of this picture you can see how there are uneven areas of dull and shiny patches. At the top edge I’ve started to apply a very thin coat of this painting medium that causes the surface to shine evenly. I’m using a clean cotton muslin rag to dab the medium onto the surface and work it into the paint, and then I go back over this with another clean rag to even it out. Keep this coat as thin as possible. After a few days it should be completely dry.

Note that this acts more as a finish than a varnish. You’ll still want to give your painting a final varnish coat after a few months have passed.

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Proposal to Ban Cadmium Pigments?

July 12, 2014

On the Facebook page for Royal Talens, an art supply company, I saw a post from them recently on the proposed ban to the European Chemicals Agency for cadmium pigment in all artist’s paints. This ban, should it adopted, would also affect the availability of cadmium in the United States.

Talens gave a link to the ECHA site where you can review the text of the proposals and even make your own comment response back to them. The ban proposal texts appear as PDF file links for the “Information note” and “Restriction report.” This public reply period ends on September 19th, 2014. If you have an opinion on this let them know.

I have been hearing about the banning of cadmium (and cobalt) pigments for artist paints for some time now, but this is the first time I’ve seen it start to move forward beyond the rumor stage. I personally rarely use any of the cadmiums, but when I do need them, there really isn’t a good alternative. You can see why in these pictures that Talens also posted:

royaltalens_cadmium1 royaltalens_cadmium2 royaltalens_cadmium3

These pictures show tests made that compare cadmium red and yellow with an “alternative pigment in terms of lightfastness, tinting strength, and opacity. No mention was given as to what that alternative was, but from their own color chart of oil paints I assume it was Pyrrole for red and Benzimidazole for the yellow. I’m waiting to get a confirmation on that from them.

Personally, I have to admit I rarely use cadmiums on my palette, but when I do it is because I need the qualities they have to offer. Any alternative is a poor substitute. I still have tubes in various media that are several years old and will likely last for several more. I suppose if I buy one more tube of each that I’ll have enough to last a lifetime. That said, I don’t appreciate being denied access to the colors I need when all that is required is to use them properly and with intelligence.

As such, I sent off my own request for the ECHA to disregard the ban proposal and concentrate more on educating the public on the proper way to dispose of the paints so they don’t endanger the environment or the users themselves. To footnote my response I borrowed information from the Cadmium.org site, and this PDF file from Gamblin.

Schools are already banning the use of these pigments in their art classes. :Link:
I also hear that some art supply manufacturers are removing them from their line of paints. :Link:

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Painting Final: A Walk in the Woods

July 8, 2014

walkwoods04

Here’s the final version of the latest painting; although, I need to go back and touch up/clean up a few spots. I managed to get a more accurate photo this time shooting outside, and I’m including a couple closeups.
walkwoods04B walkwoods04C

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Painting Update 2: A Walk in the Woods

July 3, 2014

walkwoods03

I’ve gotten a little bit further on the painting. I added some color texture to the trees, as well as the bottom foreground area, and have started playing around with the background colors. The orange tones are showing up a bit darker in this photo than they are, but you should be able to get an idea of where it’s heading.

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Painting Update: A Walk in the Woods

June 29, 2014

walkwoods02

I’ve been fussing around with the colors on the new painting, and think I’ve finally settled on a target here. I’m keeping everything in a middle range of values for now, going back and forth between darks and lights, gradually getting further apart on the value scale. This helps me keep them balanced as I go.

The orange outlines are only partially drawn at this point. The sky area will get much brighter, but I’m not sure how much darker the trees will be yet, and I might bring in more color variety there. So far so good, I think.

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New Painting Started: A Walk in the Woods

June 22, 2014

walkwoods01

I’m starting a new painting. This will be based on a few photos I made not too long ago in some woods nearby the house. I added the two figures. This is hard charcoal on loose acrylic primed canvas, 16 x 20 inches.

fuchs_woods1 walkwoods_test

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My inspiration for this is the dappled light through the trees of many of the late series of paintings by Bernie Fuchs. Here’s a cropped version of one of them on the left. It will require much thinner oil paint than I typically use, applied in glazed layers, but that’s the challenge. I made a few tests of my idea as well as some texture experiments. Should be interesting to see where it takes me.

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