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Figure Drawings of Allan

September 26, 2016

Met a new model a few days ago by the name of Allan, and here are a couple drawings I made of him.

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These were made with wax crayon on 24 x 18″ newsprint paper.

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Making Gouache Paint: Light Brown

September 23, 2016

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I’m making more gouache paint. This is a tube of “light brown” I mixed up last night. It’s made of mostly raw sienna, but has a pale grey cast to it. I like to use it for skin tones. Still have to make some cerulean blue, and a mid-tone grey.

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I like these empty tubes I get from Creative Mark (c/o Artarama.) No cap problems, or leaking from the tubes, and the caps have a little indentation at the top that works well for painting a color swatch to identify the paint inside. This tube is 22ml.

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New Sketches: At the Train Stop

September 16, 2016

I pulled a magazine off my bookshelf today, and these drawings slid out. I’d forgotten about them, having stuffed them in there while out on an excursion into Austin a few months ago. I drew them while taking my first MetroRail train ride into town. These are all in pencil on copier paper, 8.5 x 11″.

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Homemade Table Easel version 3

September 12, 2016

Being between projects I decided I would take the time to make modifications to my last table top easel design.

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The vertical arms are a little taller, and I added a sliding rail at the bottom so they can move forward slightly. There’s a front lip at the bottom that can slide forward about 3 inches to adjust the angle of the artwork from near vertical to about 30 degrees. Something new is a center brace that I can use for small pieces to sit higher up, and support taller artwork. The bottom is about 14 inches square, and the center brace goes up about 20 inches.

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Live Oak Art Exhibition Opening Event

September 11, 2016

Here are a couple photos of my art at the Live Oak Art Center during last night’s opening. The show will be up until Oct.22nd, so drop by if you get a chance.

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Lip Balm Tube Holder for Oil Pastels

September 9, 2016

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Okay, here’s my latest experiment. I was online looking for some more gum arabic powder to make some gouache, and I found a new supplier to try out, Mountain Rose Herbs, who had a good price. While on their site, I saw they had various containers too, including empty lip balm tubes. (People make their own lip balm? Okay.)

As some of you who have been following my blog may know, I make my own oil pastels. Seeing these empty lip balm tubes you can probably see where my idea went, so I bought a few to try out as oil pastel holders. The order came in the mail yesterday.

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The first thing was to melt the block of charcoal pastel I had made into a liquid using a coffee cup warmer and a muffin tin. I thought I might want to make the pastel a bit harder, so I shaved off a bit of encaustic wax too. I found a piece of plastic from some packaging that made a better funnel by using a snipped off corner, and poured the wax into the tube.

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So, how well does it work? Not bad. It poured in fairly easy, but the wax hardens quickly, and this left some air gaps in the tube. I need to find a better tool to push it down and fill it with more wax. The tube is small (1/2 x 1″), but they’re cheap (.30 each) so I can make several at once. The cooled wax will easily push up, but not back down by turning the dial at the bottom. It does make a nice holder, and is not messy to use.

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New Design for Watercolor Paper Stretcher

September 6, 2016

I thought up a new project to update my method for stretching paper on a wooden frame instead of taping it to the face of a board. I had made a post on this subject several years ago showing a cheap and easy way that I have been doing this. That works fine, but the pins or staples on the sides can eventually damage the frame to such a degree that I have to make another one. So I thought I’d try out a new design using wood clamps. This is my first rough of that idea.

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What I’ve done is build a small strainer type frame similar to that used for stretching canvas. The size is 16 x 20 inches. I’m using 3/4″ square strips of poplar, and thinner strips for the inner bracing. I have longer strips to fit the outer edges, and I’ve built small “C” clamps made of wood and 4″ bolts to grip the paper.

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Here’s a shot of the the whole assembly from the back with the clamps in place. I’m using 300# Arches watercolor paper. It had been soaking in a tub of water for 10 minutes. The paper wasn’t quite long enough to wrap all the way around the shortest distance; only up the sides. In this case, I’ll have to keep the clamps on those two sides until I’m finished painting. With paper at the correct length, once it dries I can tape it to the back, and then remove the clamps with the tape holding it tight.

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Here’s the front. I noticed that I had the clamps pressing against the paper on the top, and you can see marks they left in the paper. I pulled the clamps back a bit, and re-wet the paper to smooth it, and that got rid of the indentations. I think I’ll modify the clamps so that they have a beveled edge that can’t touch the paper. I might bevel the inner frame also, just in case.

This has only been drying now for about an hour, and I can already feel the paper getting very tight. I’ll check it in the morning to see how well it holds up. I can paint on this with any water based media without worrying about buckles or warping in the paper.