Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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Making Casein Paint: Titanium White

July 21, 2017

I’ve been wanting to get back to using one of my favorite paint mediums for awhile, casein. I took an inventory of the tubes I had available for my next project, and noticed I was short or low on a few colors, particularly titanium white, so it’s time to make some more.

I have a bathroom next to my studio space that I use exclusively for this type of work, so I clean off an area by the sink, and set up my tools and supplies. I have a large sheet of textured glass that I use for mixing the paint. There’s a mortar and pestle for smoothing the dry pigment, an empty tube for the paint, a squirt bottle of distilled water, about 4 ounces of casein binder, and white pigment.

The pigment is a little lumpy, so I use the pestle to break it down some, and place about 2.5 tablespoons of pigment on the glass with about 2 teaspoons of binder and just enough water to get the consistency of paint I want, and spend a few minutes with the spatula smoothing it out.

I test the paint I’ve mixed to see if it spreads easily with a brush without having to add any water, and check the opacity on this sheet of colored paper. It looks fine, so I repeat these steps about 2 more times to make more paint to fill the tube.

There’s enough paint now to fill up this 50ml tube and another 22ml. I seal the ends by squeezing it shut at about 1/2 inch below the end. to give me enough room to crimp.

I fold over a little of the end, and crimp it tight with some pliers, and repeat this about 2 more times to get a tight seal.

Here I have two tubes of white casein labeled and ready to use.

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My Artwork at P’s Gallery, Longview, TX

July 12, 2017

I will have several of my drawings and paintings on display at P’s Gallery in Longview, TX. The opening event is tomorrow night from 5-7PM, and my work will be there until the end of this month. The gallery is located at 5576 Judson Road with their regular hours 11AM-5PM. Please drop by if you will be in the East Texas area. Tell Paula that David sent you.

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Replacing a Picture Frame Backing

June 19, 2017

It’s a easy thing, I suppose, to not give much consideration to the back of a picture frame. After all, it will be against the wall where no one will notice. However, your customer is buying the whole object, so it’s important to give proper attention to the all of it.

This painting, “Party at the Lake,” is casein on illustration board, floating on a sheet of mat board. Behind that is a sheet of cardboard. Originally, it had paper taped to the back by a professional framer I had hired for the job. It was acceptable at the time, but unfortunately the deep sides (2″) made it too easy for the paper to get poked and torn, so it needed to be replaced. I tore off all the old paper, and considered using mat board, but there wasn’t enough wood along the edge to hold it down with just tape, and glue would make it harder to replace later, should someone need to do that. Therefore, I decided to fill the whole back with a more stable support of foamcore.

I built a crossing grid out of strips of foamcore that were about 1/8″ shorter than the frame, so a sheet of foamcore would sit flush with the wood. I cut slots in the strips halfway through so they would assemble even with each other. I then glued a sheet of foamcore to this grid. The back is now nice and solid, but lightweight. The last step will be to paint the exposed wood black, and restring the wire.

By the way, I’m dusting off a few older pieces of art along with some new ones for a large show I’ll be having next month, paintings and drawings. Details to come.

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Sinopia Casein Gesso Update: Jar Problem

May 2, 2017

I’m interrupting my series of posts on the new painting to point out a problem I discovered today with a jar of Casein Gesso from Sinopia. This follows up on two posts I made in the past: one is a review of this product, and another was how I store paint containers like this upside down.

I bought this jar of gesso a little over a year ago, and keep it inside a drawer in my studio. I haven’t used it in awhile, but today I decided to open the drawer to try it out again, only to find the contents had leaked out. The lid was screwed on tight, but that wasn’t enough to stop air from getting in, and some of the contents leaking onto the drawer. Fortunately that was plastic, so it was easy to clean (that’s what that clean piece of gel is in the picture,) but I had to use a plumber’s wrench to get the lid off, and found that about 1/3 of the paint had dried out. That rounded disk inside the lid is about 1/2 inch layer of dried paint, and more dried on the sides of the jar. It had been stored upside-down.

As I mentioned in the article link above, I store containers like this upside down just for this reason. Screw-on lids of this type make very poor containers for paint, since air gets in easily. Even if this was stored upright, air gets in, and would have dried out the paint even worse. Some jars you can buy come with cushions inside the lid, sponges or thick paper, that help seal the jar. Another solution I’ve used in the past is to wrap wide tape around the outside. That has to be replaced frequently, but it’s better than throwing away paint.

Metal cans for paint make a better seal than a screw-on lid, unfortunately, a quart size can is the smallest available. Tubes are also better since the opening is smaller, so less air gets in. The best option is to use it up quickly. Prime several sheets of paper stock or canvas that you have on hand, and don’t store the left over paint for very long.

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Appreciating the artist McClelland Barclay

April 14, 2017

McClelland Barclay was an American illustrator of the early 20th Century, born in St. Louis in 1891. He became well known for his work in magazine fiction, advertisements, and posters.

Chief among the advertising clients was the Body by Fisher division of General Motors that began in the mid 1920’s. He had developed a particular female character in his work up to then, and she fit into this Fisher campaign as a symbol of style and elegance, soon to be known as the “Fisher Body Girl.” The model he used was Nan McClelland, his niece at the time, who later became his wife. He had a habit, in fact, of marrying his models; three different ones.

Barclay enlisted in the Navy in 1939, but still continued doing commercial work during the war. Unfortunately, he lost his life on a mission in 1943.

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Imagine 2017 Art Opening

March 5, 2017

Here are a few photos I took at last night’s art opening at the Imagine exhibit. The last two pictures show my drawing and painting that are in the show. It will be up until May 5th.

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Imagine 2017 Exhibit This Weekend

February 27, 2017

I’ll have two works of art in an exhibit opening this weekend, Imagine 2017.

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These are the two artworks. The exhibit will open this Saturday evening, March 4th, and run until May 5th at the Texas State University building in Round Rock, TX. Please stop by if you’re going to be in the Austin area.

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