New Painting Started: Coffee at the Window

January 2, 2018

Okay, all the holiday trips and parties are over with, and I’ve caught up on the postponed chores, so now I can finally get back to that painting I was developing.

This is a sheet of heavy-weight watercolor paper (16 x 20″) that I’ve stretched to a wood frame. I showed in an earlier post how this frame was put together. The painting will be in casein, but here I’ve roughly laid out the placement of things in black ink. I’m using Higgins Black Magic shellac ink, which only gets to a dark gray value unless you paint over it in multiple layers. As such, it works well for a beginning undertone. I’m not too concerned with getting precise values now, since it’s mostly about the placement of things.

To test out how the coverage of casein paint over this ink will look, I painted over some scrap paper using various colors of cadmium red & yellow, cobalt blue, burnt umber, and titanium white. There’s a swatch of the undiluted Higgins ink on the left with some casein Ivory Black next to it to show the difference in value. The colors are still a bit transparent, even when undiluted, but I don’t mind if some of the ink undertone shows through. It will show more of the whole process in the final result, plus I can add an extra layer or two of paint to cover that up if necessary.


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