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Portrait of Gennifer in Casein

November 22, 2017

I saved this material that was wrapped around a computer monitor I bought some time ago, and it’s a curious type of fabric. It feels like Tyvek, which is a brand of fabric from Dupont made of spun polyethylene fibers, but this tears more easily than sheets of that I seen before. Anyway, I wanted to experiment with it for a new painting.

The feel of this reminds me of felt. If it’s wadded up it will show creases, which made me want to use that as a textured surface, so I cut a section about 12″ square, wadded it up into a ball, and glued it to a thin sheet of wood veneer.

Here I’m starting to tone the fabric with a thin wash of burnt umber casein that I made. It takes the paint very well, like staining raw muslin.

This is the final result. It’s based on a photo of mine of my friend, Gennifer. I’ve added titanium white for the highlight areas. It was a very interesting surface to paint on. I need to hunt down some Tyvek now, and see if it behaves the same way.

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A Couple New Sketches

November 18, 2017

My friend, Jennifer, has a dance class in Austin, which offers me a good opportunity to sit and draw the performers. I made a few quick gesture drawings, and this sketch of a woman sitting and watching the others.

Afterwards, I shot a photo of Jennifer in the parking lot looking up at a bright sun, and turned that into a sketch when I got home.

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New Sketches: Dripping Springs and San Marcos

November 11, 2017

I was driving around the area of Dripping Springs, TX a few days ago with my friend, Mary. At one place we stopped to do some sketching. She was drawing some cattle across the road, and I was sketching her. Later, she had to run some errands in the nearby town of San Marcos, so I drew up a street corner while I waited for her outside. All in all, a productive and enjoyable day.

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New Idea for Mounting Drafting Film (Mylar)

November 6, 2017

An old post of mine regarding the use of drafting film as an art surface remains one of my most popular posts with ongoing discussions today. The main concern is how to properly adhere this surface to a firm support for display purposes. All glues I’ve tried are no better than adequate, allowing the film to be easily pulled away from any type of firm backing. As a result, this surface is not my favorite to work with, but one I continue to explore ideas to improve this problem. One such idea is to not use glue at all, but instead use physical force to sandwich the film between two supports.

I got this idea by looking at clear packaging supplies online. You can buy gift boxes of various sizes made usually with PET plastic, but some are also made with polypropylene (“PP”) which is the same material Borden & Riley’s “Denril” film is made from.

To start exploring this idea, I took a large sheet of Grafix “Wet Media” film, and fit it to a 9 x 12″ piece of foamcore that is 1/4″ thick. In order to get the sheet to lay flat to the foamcore, I scored the film with a metal ruler to get a sharp bend.

Using cellophane tape to hold the film in place, I glued another sheet of foamcore to the back to press and hold the film.

The reason I didn’t fold over all four sides is that would require cutting the film corners, like stretching a canvas, and that makes the film easy to tear. You certainly could do that, carefully. In fact, that’s how the gift boxes are made, but it’s not necessary here if this panel is displayed in a frame where the sides won’t be seen. If you were to do a sort of “gallery wrapped” display, then you’d want to cut the corners to fold over all four sides. In that case, I’d recommend protecting the corners somehow.

This particular film is glossy, and since the whole surface is not glued flat, it has a slight waviness that can be distracting. That would not be noticeable if you were using frosted film.

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New Sketches: Watching the Ball Game

November 1, 2017

I was at the house of a couple of friends yesterday watching the World Series game. Well, some of us were watching, and I was watching the watchers.


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Two Sketches From the Weekend

October 16, 2017

Here are a couple recent sketches I picked out from over the weekend. One of my friend, Pierre, enjoying a bottle of wine. The other is a quick sketch I made at the library. That one I didn’t have time to finish, but at least the library will still be there to go back to.

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Appreciating Artist Jon Whitcomb

October 9, 2017

Recently I’ve been browsing through online archives of illustration art, and particularly spending time on one of the greats, Jon Whitcomb. Here are a few gems of his that I’ve picked out. Most of the paintings he made in his career were done with the gouache medium, and he was a master.