Saturday, April 5, 2008

along the path

I painted this on gessoed masonite. It's 4 inches by 4 inches and may be framed with or with out glass. I love old tree stumps and find them everywhere I go. The wood always seems to have a wonderful pattern of rings. Combined with the aging process the wood also has an interesting texture. I think I could do a series just on tree bark. I have walked thru the woods here in SC and studied the trees. One can find an endless variety of colors patterns and textures. I'm sure someone already has done a series on tree bark, its just too good of a subject to be ignored.
Mini Art Lesson
How to prepare your surface... acrylic gesso. Next paint the gesso on paper, wood, canvas or illustration board. You can put texture into it or paint it on thin and smooth. To make texture you can use household objects, your fingers or just a bristle brush. To make it smooth, use a low nap roller, sponge brush or a spatula.
Let the gesso dry to a pretty hard surface, this depends on the weather. You can also put your piece on the oven door with a low oven turned on to speed up the process. It really should be dry within an hour if applied thin to medium. If applied thickly you may want to allow it to dry overnight. When you paint on gesso it is important to remember gesso can be reconstituted so you don't want to scrubb the gesso too hard since you can actually take it off, this doesn't look good and can actually create a hole in your painting. Remember...this takes a light touch. If you do rub it off just repaint the gesso back over the area allow to dry and repaint. I have scubbed back to white many times without a problem but be aware of the thickness of the gesso to avoid taking it down to the wood or whatever support your using. Watercolor does not sink into the gesso like paper so the color will be very much the same wet or dry. Glazing is tricky, you can only really paint one glaze on at a time because repeated brush strokes while wet will take off the lst layer. If you put too much water and scrubb too hard with your brush you will reconstitute the paint and get an opacity you may not want, pull off the color with a tissue let dry for a minute and repaint. The beauty of this type of watercolor... is you can paint and repaint. If you make a mistake, you can have a do over. Of course...don't we all want a do over?
Have fun with this, its great for painters of all ages but kids do particularly well with this and you can teach watercolor to kids very easily .

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