Monday, October 31, 2016


Not my usual style, but it's always good to try new stuff

On my sugar maple in the back yard

Last spring I watched, once again, an old video of Christy Tomlinson's on how to do background on a canvas. This was on YouTube, and I honestly don't remember which one it was. Christy is the artist that first got Cathy and I involved in mixed media. Let me clarify that: Christy hooked Cathy, who dragged me into it because she still had the store at that time. Cathy was ordering supplies that she wanted, I became curious, and down the rabbit hole I went. It has been a good rabbit hole, full of adventures, lots of learning and teaching, and new friends.

With Christy, as with other artists out there, she starts with tearing up coordinating color/patterned scrap book papers. Yeah, I have those, I have enough scrap book papers to start a store. Something about scrap bookers: we never, ever throw anything away. But in the videos she had us using Mod Podge. I still have a jar of that. Mod Podge is a glue that dries to a clear, semi gloss finish. Even if you use the matte version, there will still be some shine. There is one advantage to using Mod Podge, which Christy pointed out: you can use Faber Castell Big Brush Pitt Pens to shade, and you have a 20 second window to wet your finger and float the Pitt Pen ink around. To this day I still use my Pitt Pens, although the Mod Podge is sealed shut. Completely.

Mod Podge can get sticky, even when cured and dry. I have moved on to using Liquitex Matte Medium for light weight papers, Liquitex Get Medium for putting down anything that might be stubborn. You can still shade with the Pitt Pens, but the ink doesn't move as freely.

This canvas with the background complete sat in the studio for months. I loved the pink and greens, didn't have any ideas what to do with it. Then I saw something this past week, and did the hand drawn squares border, and cut a butterfly image out on printer paper to used as a mat. I sponged Golden's Titanium White paint around the paint, leaving some of the background still slightly visible.

 I outlined the squares with a Montana medium size paint marker. I let it cure for 2 days, then decided to seal the canvas with a light coat of Liquitex Matte Medium. Guess what? The Montana paint marker doesn't seal, is not permanent. What you see in this photo is before the final seal. The canvas now has a slightly black shading effect. Once I realized what was going on, I controlled my brush movements to minimize the damage. But damn. Lesson learned. Not all paint is permanent, and test everything, never assume. And that is the reason for this long post. Wanted to warn you not to make this same mistake.

Have a good one.

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