Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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Paul Clemons, Rest in Peace

February 14, 2018

As I mentioned awhile back, I have been dealing with a family matter, and as I’ve dropped behind a little on posts of late, I wanted to show why with a small tribute. My older brother, Paul, recently passed away. This is a photo of him taken by my Mother in his younger, rock star days. “When your pants are tight, you’re gonna be all right.”

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Considering Selling the Casein Paint I Make

January 20, 2018

I continue to be wrapped up in a family crisis, so I haven’t yet gotten back to my painting, but hope to tomorrow. In the meantime, I made up some more casein paint yesterday. This time I made some yellow ochre.

It came out very good. The paper shows a thin wash, and an undiluted sample painted over a black sharpie ink marker. I decided to use my last empty 45ml tube instead of the new 37s I got recently.

All this paint I’ve been making has got me wondering if anyone would be interested in buying some tubes of paint from me. Right now I have a bunch of burnt umber, titanium white, red oxide, and this yellow ochre. I have a few small jars of other colors, but can easily get more. I could put together a “basic set” of six tubes, such as what Richeson does with their caseins. I’m sure I could affordably sell it for $15 to $20, and possibly individual tubes as well for $3 or $4. That would be much cheaper then Richeson. Not sure how I would market them. Perhaps an Etsy page, or a Go Fund Me project would work. Does this sound like something any of you would be interested in? If so, please leave me some feedback.

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Empty Paint Tubes Arrived

January 15, 2018

The empty paint tubes I ordered arrived on Saturday. I got 24 37ml tubes for $20 including shipping from Cheap Joe’s. I used one of them to hold the red oxide paint I made a few days ago. I’ll need to make up some yellow ochre soon, I think.

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Making Red Oxide Casein Paint for New Painting

January 7, 2018

As I’m starting to work on the background of the new painting, I noticed I was too low on the red oxide paint that I wanted to use, so I needed to mix up some more.

I also wanted to test out the package of Bob’s Red Mill milk powder I bought recently to see how well it works for making a casein binder. 1 quart of rehydrated milk gave me a little less than 6 ounces of casein when I added 1/2 cup of vinegar. That’s the separated milk liquid on the right. I’m used to seeing the milk coagulate into a large ball after I add the vinegar, which I then tear it into small pieces so it will dissolve better. This milk forms small clumps of casein instead, as seen here, so that saves me an extra step.

I added about 2 teaspoons of Borax diluted in 1/2 cup distilled water to this casein, and let that sit for about 24 hours to form a thick smooth gel. This will be my paint binder.

The red oxide pigment was purchased from Camden Grey. A one pound bag cost me only $3. It makes a lovely dark red burgundy color that mixes very easily with my binder. I’m waiting on an order of empty paint tubes to arrive, so I’m using a one ounce jar in the meantime.

Here’s a scan of the paint on a piece of watercolor paper. I painted it over some black Sharpie marks to show how opaque it is. It also thins down nicely. Now I’m ready to get back to work.

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Portrait of Gennifer in Casein

November 22, 2017

I saved this material that was wrapped around a computer monitor I bought some time ago, and it’s a curious type of fabric. It feels like Tyvek, which is a brand of fabric from Dupont made of spun polyethylene fibers, but this tears more easily than sheets of that I seen before. Anyway, I wanted to experiment with it for a new painting.

The feel of this reminds me of felt. If it’s wadded up it will show creases, which made me want to use that as a textured surface, so I cut a section about 12″ square, wadded it up into a ball, and glued it to a thin sheet of wood veneer.

Here I’m starting to tone the fabric with a thin wash of burnt umber casein that I made. It takes the paint very well, like staining raw muslin.

This is the final result. It’s based on a photo of mine of my friend, Gennifer. I’ve added titanium white for the highlight areas. It was a very interesting surface to paint on. I need to hunt down some Tyvek now, and see if it behaves the same way.

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New Idea for Mounting Drafting Film (Mylar)

November 6, 2017

An old post of mine regarding the use of drafting film as an art surface remains one of my most popular posts with ongoing discussions today. The main concern is how to properly adhere this surface to a firm support for display purposes. All glues I’ve tried are no better than adequate, allowing the film to be easily pulled away from any type of firm backing. As a result, this surface is not my favorite to work with, but one I continue to explore ideas to improve this problem. One such idea is to not use glue at all, but instead use physical force to sandwich the film between two supports.

I got this idea by looking at clear packaging supplies online. You can buy gift boxes of various sizes made usually with PET plastic, but some are also made with polypropylene (“PP”) which is the same material Borden & Riley’s “Denril” film is made from.

To start exploring this idea, I took a large sheet of Grafix “Wet Media” film, and fit it to a 9 x 12″ piece of foamcore that is 1/4″ thick. In order to get the sheet to lay flat to the foamcore, I scored the film with a metal ruler to get a sharp bend.

Using cellophane tape to hold the film in place, I glued another sheet of foamcore to the back to press and hold the film.

The reason I didn’t fold over all four sides is that would require cutting the film corners, like stretching a canvas, and that makes the film easy to tear. You certainly could do that, carefully. In fact, that’s how the gift boxes are made, but it’s not necessary here if this panel is displayed in a frame where the sides won’t be seen. If you were to do a sort of “gallery wrapped” display, then you’d want to cut the corners to fold over all four sides. In that case, I’d recommend protecting the corners somehow.

This particular film is glossy, and since the whole surface is not glued flat, it has a slight waviness that can be distracting. That would not be noticeable if you were using frosted film.

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Appreciating Artist Jon Whitcomb

October 9, 2017

Recently I’ve been browsing through online archives of illustration art, and particularly spending time on one of the greats, Jon Whitcomb. Here are a few gems of his that I’ve picked out. Most of the paintings he made in his career were done with the gouache medium, and he was a master.