Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting Started

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that I now probably have enough Prussian Blue pigment for six months! Although I'd mulled a few pigments and set them up under water, most of my pigments here at home have been mixed on the fly. I've since learned that it's really best to spend time dispersing pigments with a palette knife or muller and putting up enough to last. Over the coming weeks I will be going through my pigments making up pastes.

As well as mixing pastes I'll be developing pigment properties documents. Koo recommends taking the time to get to know one's pigments by research and documenting. Just by making paste one can get the feel for particle size, saturation, and covering ability.

Below is my basic workspace for tempering pigments. Two parts egg, one part distilled water for the tempering medium. Sephora cosmetic sponges for applying paint. Spray bottle for keeping paints wetted.

You might notice a little jar of titanium white behind the medium. This is the only pigment that is mixed dry right into the medium to keep the opacity powerful. It's often applied straight, but sometimes mixed with other pigments. For instance, a bit of yellow ochre might be added to take down the coolness, especially when used for highlights.

Here's a 5x7" gesso board with about 12 sponged on layers. I'm rubbing the surface lightly with cheesecloth every few layers for evening out the finish and developing a nice glow.

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