Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Different Approach

Kind of looks like the bearded lady, eh? I sanded out an earlier image and built up layers of yellow ochre, red ochre, and burnt umber. I'm trying out initially sponging in relatively close colors and values.

I'll know once I get into it if I overstepped my values as I sense right now. I'm having trouble with the burnt umber. I didn't have pigment so used W&N watercolor. First I thought it was the high humidity as I have the windows open and its been stormy. I was noticing in general that even with the hair dryer it was taking longer than usual to dry a layer. Then I thought it was the watercolor itself--perhaps the gum arabic and whatever else was acting up. But in the end it may just be over tempering--too much egg.

I'll see how it sets up by tomorrow. Also, I do have three different burnt siennas on the way from Kremer so I can take the watercolor off the table. Worse case, I can always start over. I'm getting pretty good at initial layout! :-)


  1. I like the bearded look! It seems to me that this is such a learning curve and all the little elements have to be so well placed to make the whole thing work. You are doing a great job building these layers and explaining what is happening. It is really interesting.

  2. I'm slowly finding my own way here and learning a good deal in the process. I just got in a new bunch of pigments. Time to explore!

  3. oh john, you are such a good student. all this experimenting will pay off in the long run. great talking today...i will keep in touch with my progress. retirement will be a breeze for you, i don't expect you to ever be bored. heard a rumor that true gesso is closing their business...ant truth to that?i put in an order just in case. where do you recommend to get nice quality true gessoed panels? dorothy

  4. Same here, Dorothy. So nice talking with you!

    Yup, I'll keep tinkering about. It's fun and I'm learning.

    Haven't heard about the closing. In fact, my first order from TrueGesso came in earlier this week. I have enough boards for a while and have some birch plywood waiting for later. Once I have more time I will be trying my hand at board making. Koo told me I will need to cover first with cotton or linen to prevent the grain telegraphing through. More on all this as things develop.

    Long stories on other suppliers--I'll be in touch.

  5. ok john...work hard, but enjoy these beautiful days we are having. will call in a few weeks. dorothy