New Painting Started: Self Portrait on Stone

December 15, 2014

I’ve started a new painting, and this will come from me playing around with textured stone and oils.


I made this small ceramic slab from air-dry clay sold by Crayola. The size is roughly 5 x 7 inches. For the subject of the painting I chose myself, and made a quick pencil sketch on paper while looking in a mirror.


I dug out an old bottle of Liquitex medium I had called Ceramic Stucco. This is an acrylic gel that can be used to add surface texture. I spread a thin layer on my clay slab, and after it dried I tinted it with a thinned coat of Raw Sienna oil paint. I wanted a little more color texture, so I lightly added a shade of Derwent watercolor pencil Venetian Red.


To transfer my sketch to the stone, I found that a charcoal rubbing on the back to the rough texture of the stone wasn’t transferring as well as I needed, so instead I used an old animation technique of page flipping. This method requires laying the sketch on top, securely taped, and flip the page up rapidly so that there is a blur of where the lines were (“persistence of vision.”) As I flip up the drawing, I make small marks on the stone where the lines should be, then remove the paper and clean up the drawing on the stone. For the darker shade I used a Burnt Umber Derwent Aquatone pencil. Now I’m ready to start painting.

Crayola Air-Dry clay
Liquitex Ceramic Stucco
Derwent Aquatone pencils


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