Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Still Playing With Casein

It's garden season for us and between the cucumbers, green beans, corn and tomatoes, I managed another casein painting.  It was a quickie and it shows but some day soon I hope to fully explore caseins.  I think I'll like them.

Oh, speaking of corn in the garden - do you remember those darling little raccoon babies from last year?  Well, we haven't seen them since but several stalks of corn were uprooted and the corn was eaten so my DH pulled it all.  We still had over 200 ears and even though we gave a lot of it away, it was a marathon day to get it all in the freezer!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Caseins - Another New Medium

Well, I did it.  I finally broke bad and ordered some artist quality casein paints but have not had much of a chance to work with them yet.  I did paint this sunflower on a cradled hardboard but please don't judge too harshly as any painting in a new medium is not the best work that can be produced.

My granddaughter is really into sunflowers and wanted a painting that was looser and maybe a touch different than the way I usually paint but I really don't think this works that well.  She hasn't seen it yet so don't know if it was what she had in mind or not.

I really, really liked the craft casein I used on the cupcake in an earlier post.  It was creamy and easy to work with.  The Richardson/Shiva tube paints that I just got are much denser and very stiff and I have to learn how much water or emulsion should be added to get the consistency I need. 

Also, I've found that different supports make a huge difference in how the paint behaves.  The cradled hardboard used for the sunflower was gessoed and had some colors of the paint beading up on the surface.  It evidently wasn't absorbent enough.  I recently started another painting on 140# watercolor paper and the paint is sucked into the paper almost immediately - it's too absorbent!  It's been hard to spread the paint much at all.  Hopefully, there's a middle of the road support that's perfect.

Another issue that I need to work on is what type of brush to use with the casein paint.  I was told that a decent synthetic was best but I'm finding the ones I have to be difficult to work with, especially on the paper support.

I'm hoping to find both the best brushes and best support for the way I work but it will take some further experimenting.  I do like casein so far and think it may become a favorite medium once I learn to tame its quirks and exploit its good points!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tufted Titmouse

I've been on something of a bird painting kick lately even though this little Titmouse is the only one I've actually painted!

I'm just enamored of all the cheeky little birds we have here and I want to paint them all. 

The Titmice come to our feeder all winter but I just can't seem to photograph them as they dart in, grab a seed and leave quickly!  A wonderful bird photographer, Bob Vuxinic, gave me permission to use some of his photos for reference and this painting came from one of his photos.  Thanks so much, Bob!

This is gouache on Arches watercolor paper and was mainly painted to get a feel for the 'structure' of the bird.  I hope to paint the Titmouse again soon along with several other bird varieties.

Friday, June 2, 2017

And They All Flew Away

Well the baby wrens flew the nest this morning.  I had just seen one of them during this nesting so I thought all the eggs didn't hatch or something this time but we ended up with four babies flying away shortly after 8 AM.  It was the first time I got to see them all leave the bird house so you can imagine how thrilled I was.

The last one seemed very reluctant to leave and stayed away from the entrance quite a while after it's other siblings had gone.  Finally, it got up the courage to leave but had a very hard landing on our wooden porch floor.  I thought it had broken something and maybe died as it floundered around for a few minutes then lay very still under the bar-b-que grill.  I left it alone as, truth be known, I didn't really want to know if it had died.  A few minutes later I heard the mama bird and looked out to see the little one running all over the porch!  Thank God!  I guess he was just a little stunned after his ordeal but recovered after a few minutes and finally left the porch where he presumably joined the rest of his family.

So, I guess I'll be more productive now that I won't be spending so much time watching the wrens!  Well, at least for a while as I'm sure we'll have new tenants once or twice more before fall!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Milk Paint Cupcake

I've been wanting to try casein paint for some time but just couldn't justify the expense when I have so many different paint media the way it is.  (Those of you who read this blog at all will know that I'm an art supply junkie!) 

Anyway, casein paint is made from milk and is an ancient art medium.  I'm told it behaves very much like gouache which is a favorite medium of mine and of which I have a full set.

Still, I like trying different media so when I saw some 'milk paint' at Hobby Lobby the other day, I had to pick up a bottle.  This paint is by Plaid and is for decorative purposes, not artist quality, so I only got the white color. 

I really enjoyed painting the cupcake above and now would really like some artist quality casein paints.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Yep, The Wrens Have Babies!

Well, the Carolina Wrens have been busy for the past few days feeding the latest babies in the birdhouse on the porch.  It's always such a joy for them to nest on the porch where we can watch the goings on and (hopefully) be there when the little ones fly.

I guess you can see the birdhouse that my husband made has been painted - well, that's the primer coat at least!  He got tired of me procrastinating about it and slapped on the primer while he was painting the various bluebird houses we have around this past winter.  I still need to give it the final finish coats but it looks as if it will be a while!  There will probably be one more nesting before fall so I won't disturb it until we're sure there won't be any more need for the house this year.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Those Whites!

I've not been painting a whole lot recently but an art forum I belong to posted a challenge on painting whites. 

Most non-artists think painting white is easy.  Most artists know how difficult it really is!  White contains a myriad of color in varying intensities and it is very, very difficult to get the right balance.  In painting, everything needs to be simplified also so an artist can't really show all the colors they see in a white object or it would look uber strange to the uninitiated.

 Anyway, I tried and don't think I did too badly considering these were done in a very short time period and in my not so favorite medium of watercolor.

Both paintings are about 5X7'' on watercolor paper