Archive for December, 2012


Painting Update: Cleaning His Spectacles

December 30, 2012

I managed to work on a little bit more of the new painting with the right sleeve and torso areas now covered. Getting those stripes on the shirt just right has been more challenging than expected.

clnglses03 clnglses03b

I’m having some interesting thoughts about what to do with the border edges of the tile. My initial idea was to just cover it with the picture frame later on, but now I’m thinking it might be interesting to do something more sculptural on the tile itself.


New Painting Started: Cleaning His Spectacles

December 26, 2012

I’m finally getting back to doing some painting again. I thought this would be a good time to play around on that Permastone title I made recently. This is a gouache painting, and the tile is about 5.5 x 8.5 inches. This tile surface is working out very well, I think.


You can get an idea of the set up of my work area here. I’m using a digital photo frame stand to display the photograph I took of myself cleaning my eyeglasses. I’ve got a few tubes of the commercial gouache paints I’m using, as well as a jar of my own home-made raw sienna paint. On the left is a pencil line drawing on paper that I lightly transferred to the tile. Below is a detail of the part of the tile I’ve painted so far.


This is a method of painting I haven’t used in awhile. I dab only a few of the base colors I plan on using on my palette (in this case a small bowl,) and then do most of my mixing directly on the paint surface. I’m also not using any undertone on the surface beforehand. A possible drawback for me working this way is I tend to spend more time blending the tones, but it’s also more fun pushing the paint around. It’s a method well suited for gouache, in my opinion.


Permastone Painting Test

December 20, 2012

I applied a few test swatches of paints to the rough side of the Permastone tile I made in the previous post. Here is a photo of it with a closeup. I used acrylic, gouache, and oil paints.


On the bottom, I coated the tile with a couple coats of Golden’s GAC 100 medium, which is what they recommend as a sizing barrier for oils when painting on paper or canvas. I thought it might give a little more stability and protection to the paint layer, and reduce the absorbency of the tile. I used it under both acrylics and oils. It made the tile a shade darker in tone, the paints dried a bit more slowly, and had more gloss to them; otherwise, I didn’t notice too much of a difference.


I’m very pleased with how well this surface accepts these paints. They flow very nice and softly. Gouache in particular behaves very well, and the raw umber oil layer dried very quickly on the bare tile, as I expected.

I’d like to try and see if I can get it thinner, perhaps by troweling thin layers onto a sheet of canvas, or thinning it more and brushing it on, much like the way I make gesso panels. The surface will scratch easily so you have to be careful with it.


Permastone Panel for Painting

December 18, 2012

I found this product at the local hobby store over the weekend that I wanted to test out as a painting surface. It’s called Permastone from Activa Products. What attracted me was the claim “ideal casting compound when permanent break-resistant castings are desired. Can be painted with acrylics, oils, watercolors, tempera or any other finish.” It’s sort of like plaster, but sturdier. It cost me about $8.00 dollars. Okay, let’s see how easily I can make a simple panel out of it.


I took a small wood frame with a center space of 8.5 x 5.5 inches to use as a mold. To facilitate removing the panel, I lined the inside with cellophane tape, and taped the frame to a sheet of acrylic glazing. The box says to use a mix of 3 parts powder to 1 part water, so I figure I would need about 12 ounces of powder to fill this center space, and that turned to be accurate.


The powder mixed up easily into a thin paste like consistency that I poured into the center of the frame, wiggling it around a bit to get it to settle evenly in the corners and become level. A few bubbles appeared on the surface, but I figured I would just sand those out later. The instructions said to wait 20 to 30 minutes for it to set, but it was still a bit soft so I gave it another 30 minutes or so.


I took a long palette knife and separated the tape from the plastic sheet. Next I gently pushed the center panel out of the frame from the taped side, and it came out easily in a solid piece. The panel is about 3/8″ thick. If you look closely you might see where the cellophane tape actually left a very slight ridge along the edges, so the Permastone will pick up even the slightest details. Even the wrinkles in the tape were transferred.


The nice surprise was how smooth the back side is that touched on the plastic. It’s like polished marble without any bubbles or imperfections. It could actually be too smooth so I might need to sand it a little. I’m very pleased with how quick this turned out and I like the results. I can improve the process next time by making a better mold. I’m not sure how large a panel I could get out of this without reinforcing it somehow, perhaps with a strong wire grid inside it. One box (28 oz.) should make a panel about 18 to 20 inches square, I’m guessing.

The real test is to see how well it takes paint. I’ll post the results of that later. I’ll let this panel sit for a few more hours before I put any paint on it.


New Sketches: Runners Stretching

December 17, 2012

I made several sketches yesterday while out and about but most of them were duds. I was in a sour mood and I think that affects my attention. These two came out halfway decent, however. Both are ink pens toned with grey layout markers on 8.5×11″ cardstock paper.

skchD017 skchD018


New Drawing: Rosa Parks Statue in Dallas

December 8, 2012


This is a drawing based on a photo I took in Dallas a couple years ago of a statue commemorating Rosa Parks. It’s drawn with a sepia ink PITT brush marker on cardstock paper, 8.5 x 11 inches.


New Sketch: Lunch Break Outside the Museum

December 5, 2012

Here’s a recent sketch I made while sitting outside a local museum during lunchtime. It’s drawn with graphite and white chalk highlights on 8.5 x 11″ gray toned paper.