Archive for January, 2015


Drawing on Krylon Natural Stone Spray

January 31, 2015

Continuing to play around with different textured drawing surfaces, I recently tried out a can of Krylon’s “Natural Stone” spray paint. It comes in different shades and colors. The one I picked was a beige “limestone.”


I applied a couple coats to a scrap piece of cardboard. It’s not an extremely rough surface, but has some good tooth. I’d guess it’s close to a 150 grit sandpaper. I thought it worked very well, especially with soft pastels and ink markers. Some of my harder pencils didn’t leave much of a mark, but I think that was mostly due to the soft cardboard.

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Being a spray, it offers some interesting features, such as masking off areas, and applying it to different surfaces like glass or plastic. It doesn’t make any “archival” claims, but does say that it’s UV resistant, so use at your own risk.


Painting Redux: A Game of Checkers

January 29, 2015

Well, I changed it. A little voice kept saying “Orange! It needs more orange!” So, the background is now orange. Happy now, little voice?



Drawing Demo at Baca Art Club Today

January 21, 2015


This afternoon I was invited to give a drawing demonstration at a local art club, the Baca Center. The subject will be proportional drawing from life, focusing on sight-size and measuring methods, as well as a presentation of different media and surfaces. I’ve written up a rough document on the talk, which I plan to polish up and post here sometime later.


Drawing on Frosted Glass and Acrylic Gels

January 18, 2015

I’ve been playing around a bit more with textured acrylic gel mediums as a drawing surface. Last night I happened to notice that a pencil mark on some matte gel drew really well, so I wanted to investigate this further. My intention was to duplicate the look of frosted polyester film, such as Mylar.


When I applied the matte gel to some plastic I noticed that it didn’t adhere very well. The dried gel was easy to scratch through with even the sharp edge of a charcoal stick (see image at left.) Some directions I read said to abrade any non-absorbent surfaces for better adhesion, but I didn’t want to sand the plastic to avoid a scratched texture, plus it was a thin sheet. I checked the internet and saw that Rustoleum makes a “Frosted Glass” paint spray, so this morning I picked up a can to see if it would help the gel adhere better.


Good results. On a small sheet of clear acrylic glazing I’ve sprayed the Frosted Glass paint. This will work on glass too, of course, but plastic works just as well, and it’s cheaper.

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Below you can see a scan of the sprayed plastic where I’ve tested different drawing mediums. I also scanned it with a colored print behind it so you can see the transparency effect. The frosted area on the left took all the pencil marks really well with the exception of a Wolff crayon; although, that worked well on the matte gel. Ink also works well on this, but I think markers feel better than a metal nib. Charcoal gets very dark on this, which is not something I’ve been able to do on frosted Mylar. I even painted a little burnt umber watercolor on the frosted side and it adhered surprisingly well.


I covered the center with ceramic stucco gel from Liquitex, and the right side with their natural sand gel. The texture feels about the same for both, but the stucco is a little more opaque. Both took all pencils and pastels well without anything scratching through. You can color the gels with acrylics or watercolor, or paint over them with acrylics or oils. A fixative spray can be used to help prevent the drawings from smearing.


Drawing Finished: Portrait of Carol

January 17, 2015

Here’s the final post of the pastel portrait. I’ve added a pattern to her blouse and touched up a few areas. The photo is also now a bit more accurate to the drawing.



Drawing Update 3: Portrait of Carol

January 12, 2015

I dug deep in my supply drawer and found a chunk of soft pastel blue that worked fine for her blouse, so no trip the the store was required.


I still need to add some pattern detail to her right sleeve, and clean up some areas. This surface is tough to get an accurate photo. Could be how the rough surface catches the light, or the pastel pigments, or combination of that. Some of the lighter value streaks that appear are less noticeable on the drawing.



Drawing Update 2: Portrait of Carol

January 10, 2015


I’ve got more of the drawing to show, now with the skin areas almost done. I’m not sure the shade of blues I have are going to cut it on her blouse, so I’ll have to take a trip to the art store to see if I can find a better shade of teal.