Posts Tagged ‘Art’

h1

New Drawing: Portrait of Roberto

June 14, 2018

I asked my friend, Roberto, to sit for a drawing, and this is the result. Most of the drawing was made with a water brush filled with ink on thin cardstock paper. I wasn’t expecting to do the rest in a thin wash, or else I would have stretched the paper beforehand. As a result, it curled up a bit like a potato chip, but still came out okay. I’ll mount it to a backing board later.

Advertisements
h1

Paint Test on Tyvek Synthetic Fabric

June 11, 2018

Following up on the Tyvek fabric that I showed in my previous post, I wanted to show some paint tests on it using both oils and acrylic paints. In the photo above I painted a few sample swatches of each using different tools and methods. As a reminder, this is a 9×12 inch sheet of polyethylene fabric, “Tyvek” brand, mounted to mat board with acrylic gel.

For the oil paint on the left I used stiff a hog brush and soft sable, as well as a paint knife. Some areas were thinned with mineral spirits, or wiped down with a soaked rag. All of this worked out fine. There were a couple problems to point out, however. In the center yellow area, I used a stiff brush soaked with spirits, and scrubbed the surface hard. This caused the fabric to come unglued from the backing in that area (see the image below.) The other problem happened scraping lines with a metal paint knife. When I applied a lot of pressure it caused the thin fabric to tear. Although it is tear resistant, it’s not tear proof when using a metal tool. Otherwise, it works very well with oils. Since this surface is slightly porous, if your backing is a paper product I recommend sizing it properly if you will be using oil paint on this.


.
.
In the acrylic paint section everything worked well with the range of tools I tested. This included the same type of brushes as used with the oil, a paint knife, a rag, and also acrylic paint markers (DecoColor & Molotow.)

Above are a couple things to point out about using acrylic paint. With a metal paint knife I was able to scratch through the paint surface rather easily after the paint had dried. It’s an interesting effect, but also shows that the adhesion is not perfect, but acceptable. This layer (left image above) of burnt umber was painted with a stiff brush in the top area, and again below it with water added. You can see how the water beaded up as it dried. When using a wet soft sable brush, this was less noticeable. The paint also takes a little longer to dry on this surface than it does on regular paper. After a minute or so I was able to wipe it off almost completely with a damp rag. In these closeups you can also see a small square grid pattern showing through from the fabric where the paint is thin. The square is only about 1 mm. It’s less noticeable in areas where the paint is more opaque.

Keeping these points in mind, I would still have no problem using this as a paint surface for oils or acrylics. Being synthetic, it wouldn’t have some of the aging or humidity problems that come with natural fiber canvas. It’s also very inexpensive, and comes in large size rolls. I may do another test using water-based paints of gouache and casein, as well as different drawing media, so stay tuned.

h1

Using Tyvek Polyethylene Fabric for Artwork

June 9, 2018

I recently purchased a large sheet of synthetic fabric that I wanted to experiment on as a painting surface. It’s called “Tyvek,” made by DuPont, and is a paper-like fabric made of polyethylene fibers. There are different brands out there that have different textures, and other features. The sheet I bought is 60×52 inches, and came folded in a letter sized envelope. I’ve seen rolls of it in larger sizes at hardware stores with “Tyvek” printed on it in large type. This was blank, and other brands in rolls may be also. This sheet is 43 GSM (grams per square meter) which is very thin, but it’s extremely tear resistant. Some other brands I’ve seen have a puffed up canvas-like texture, but this is smoother.

The folded sheet has creases, but I was able to mount it to a scrap piece of 9×12 inch mat board, and that removed the crease. In the picture above, the Tyvek board is on the left. I used an acrylic gel medium, and also painted the back of the mat board with a single coat to flatten it out when it dried, and then folded over the edges of the fabric to the back.

In this photo above you can see what looks like wrinkles, but it’s actually very smooth. These are fibers that leave wavy streaks of matte and sheen lines that looks something like wood grain. If you wanted to leave areas unpainted this would be seen, but an opaque coat of paint would hide it.

Here I’ve scribbled some ink lines to on the back to show an example of what that media looks like on this surface. Even though it’s soft to the touch, it does have a texture. You can see a grid of square lines running through it like a canvas weave. A thick paint layer would cover that, but thin washes would not. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind. I used sumi ink with a brush, a PITT brush pen, and a ZIG Millennium marker. Markers draw well on this in general, but water based inks may bead up some. Metal dip pens don’t work so well, tending to snag on the surface. Dry media, like charcoal or pastels work okay, but this is a little too smooth to be ideal for them. Hard leads of graphite or wax pencils don’t work very well either.

Once I figure out what to paint on this, I’ll show an example of how it performs with paints. I may just paint example swatches and nothing in particular, but I’ll still wait for a later posting.

h1

New Sketch and New Water Brush Pens

June 6, 2018

Lately, I’ve been working regularly with my water brush pen, so I decided to get a few more to add to the family. These are made by a company called Cocoboo. The set of six pens cost me $9, with 3 sizes of round and flat brushes. They each hold about 6.5 ml of liquid.

Below is a rough sample of the type of strokes these brushes make, using liquid sumi ink inside the handles. If you look closely at the rounds, when they are first filled or wiped dry, you can get decent dry brush effects, even though the brush stays filled with ink. Also, notice with the flat brushes (#2 medium, and #3 large) that the first strokes at the top look like multiple strokes from the brush, but are actually single strokes. This is caused by the way the brush hairs tend to separate when they’re wet, and clump together. As the drawing goes along, and the hairs get more saturated with liquid, they get more uniform, and make a solid stroke.

This closeup shows how the flat tips tend to clump together when wet. When you lightly drag the brush across the paper this way, you’ll get multiple lines from a single stroke. As you press down, the hairs will come together in a more uniform stroke. Working with these, you will get a feel for their behavior.

h1

Framemaking: Cleaning Dust On Acrylic Sheet

June 4, 2018

To follow up on the previous post where I assembled a frame for my painting, I wanted to show how I clean the acrylic sheet that will be part of the frame. If you’re fortunate enough, unlike me, to work in a space that doesn’t have carpeting, you’ll be less likely to get very much hair and dust on the sheet, where the static acts like a dust magnet.

The first thing I do is to work on top of a dark sheet of paper or mat board, so I can see the dust easily. I place the frame with the plastic sheet face down on the paper, and use a large paint brush to sweep the dust to the center. The sheet didn’t seem to be that dirty, but you can see the ring of dust I gathered in the center. Next, I wet a “microfiber” polyester rag with a little rubbing alcohol, and pick up the dust.

To finish up, I hold the plastic at an angle to a light source, and spot any missed dust or smudges. Be careful to not touch the face of the plastic with your fingers to avoid smudges as much as possible. The last step is to place in the backing, flip the frame over, and clean the front.

I’m using these window turn buttons to hold the foamcore on the back. I ran out of the flatter type of buttons made specifically for frames, which I’ve ordered. The local hardware store had these which will work if the order doesn’t get here in time; although they sit a little high off the back. The frame is now ready for a hanging wire and label.

h1

Assembling a Pre-Cut Frame for Painting

May 31, 2018

I recently received some pre-cut frames that I ordered online from Framing4Yourself. This is one painting I’m getting ready to enter into a show next month. Here I’ve just placed the pieces together to see how it will look when I glue them later. I was first thinking I would paint it white, but kind of like the raw wood, so I may just give it a shellac finish. We’ll see.

These frames came with plastic pegs that make the assembly very easy. Sometimes the pegs are “L” shaped, but these have an “H” shape that fit into two slots cut into the mitered corner. You first add a drop of glue to one edge, place the corners together, and press the pegs in flush to the back.

h1

New Drawings: Phyllis Doing Yoga

May 20, 2018

These are two recent ink drawings of my friend, Phyllis, doing yoga exercises. I had intended them both to be just sketches, but I decided to keep going on the reclining figure. The thin paper almost gave out on me, but I think it came out okay.