View Full Version : WIP - Warehouse Block

08-24-2006, 01:27 PM
hi all,

been a long, long, time since i've posted a WIP! i hope this doesn't disappoint; i intend do show as much of my own technique as possible and as far as i know, it's unique

the particulars:

white colourfix sheet, image size 15"x15"
prismacolour pencils: indigo, black grape, henna, goldenrod, true blue, cloud blue, white, crimson red
ecohouse citrus solvent

i try not to adhere too closely to any given photo, so for this one no ref photo will be provided - it's an old warehouse in hamilton, ontario... a city full of old warehouses.

08-24-2006, 01:30 PM
Gord - I'm most anxious to watch this as I love drawing buildings, the older and more rundown, the better.


08-24-2006, 01:39 PM
Such a different subject! It will be great to watch you work, especially with another technique... Thank you for sharing! :D

08-24-2006, 01:56 PM
I can't wait to see your progress on this. Thank you for sharing your technique. I'll be watching!:)

08-24-2006, 02:07 PM
Front row... (still to summer-y for hot chocolate, but chocolate milkshakes?)


08-24-2006, 04:38 PM
well i guess i've found my "ouevre", which is old, nasty run-down buildings, factories and warehouses - what can i say, i'm a big fan of rust!

08-24-2006, 06:11 PM
Old warehouses...Hamilton...I could make a slew of jokes right here or comments on odours wafting across the 401 as one drives through Hamilton...but I won't :evil:

That said you're off to an interesting start here Gord and because I haven't seen a lot of your work I'll just sit here watching patiently.


08-24-2006, 11:17 PM
I'm eager to watch and learn from your use of the solvent. It looks very water-color-like so far. What do you use to blend the solvent?

08-25-2006, 04:52 AM
I'll just take the last front-row seat next to Marci (wouldn't mind a milkshake either) and watch this piece develop. Looking forward to watching your technique...


08-25-2006, 07:41 AM
Now if everyone will scootch over just a smidge I can squeeze into the front... Thank ya kindly. I've brought ice cream... now does anyone have a blender? :lol:

Oops, sorry, Gord. Promise not to drip on the artwork!

I'll be following along avidly... My eyes keep looking at these run-down barns I pass on my way into work. One of these days I'll work up the nerve to knock on some doors and see if I can take ref pics.

Now for a question: how do you apply the solvent on colorfix? Are you using a brush or ... ?


08-25-2006, 08:10 AM
Hi Gord. Its nice to see you doing another WIP. Looks like you're off to a great start. Is that you in your new avatar? :)

08-25-2006, 08:31 AM
LOL Claire, I do believe, unless I'm much mistaken that the avatar is Ricky from Sunnyvale Trailer Park, from the Trailer Park boys :D Go Gord! :D I love your warehouses and rusty things, you're a unique one and no doubt aboutchya :D

08-25-2006, 08:48 AM
hi all - no, that's not me in the avatar (give the prize to wendy)

i fell asleep at 7oclock last night (!!) so i haven't worked on it very much... hehe

right now, i'm getting a very loose underlay of indigo to go into the dark shadows and places where i think need a bluish tinge... on colourfix it's very easy to blend/smear, so i loosely apply the strokes and smudge them with my finger...

08-25-2006, 09:25 AM
the entire first layer of indigo is applied and rubbed now - note, there has been no solvent applied yet - that will come much later

08-25-2006, 08:54 PM
last update until monday - here i've put down layers of black cherry, black grape and henna - rubbed the white spots up a bit with indigo/black grape and touched up the darker areas somewhat - the whole picture has been worked, which i find easier to adjust values than doing one area at a time...

next up: solvent!

08-25-2006, 09:41 PM
Ohh my gosh..This is so awesome. I love buildings like that, but havent dared draw one...yet...Thanks for showing this wip.

08-25-2006, 09:57 PM
Gord, this is coming along great! I real joy to watch how you acheive such great results. :)

08-25-2006, 11:08 PM
thanks - this is just the 'roughing-in the colour' stage - nothing too exciting really - once the solvent is applied and blended the picture will be ready for all the fine detail - there's a pretty long "ugly stage" to this type of method

08-26-2006, 02:33 PM
Great progression Gord! :clap:

It is wonderful to reach that stage when you feel secure enough of your technique taking you where you want to go, and can easily put up with the "ugly stage" without deep angst... :thumbsup:

08-29-2006, 06:09 PM

sorry for the long break - i've had computer problems, connection problems AND my camera cacked out on me (glad i have a backup).... so here's my somewhat blurry update...

after blending the pencil into the rough surface of the paper with my finger(this method works on any rough surface: canson mt, watercolour paper, gessoed board, etc), i brushed on the liquid solvent with a flat 1/2" brush...

CONSTANTLY CLEAN YOUR BRUSH~! (you don't have to have clean solvent, but dip your brush in and wipe off the excess on the side of your dish)

important, the first couple of brush strokes give a very subtle, almost watercolourish blend; the more you brush these layers, the more they spread and the deeper the richness of the colour.... DON'T FREAK OUT IF IT DOESN'T GO TO PLAN!... you can correct things very easily at a later stage.

let the layers dry now; this will take perhaps an hour, maybe less, depending on how much solvent you've used - i tend to lay on quite a bit of solvent, so i will set it aside on a FLAT SURFACE to prevent dripping (of course, if you want a dripped effect, that can be really cool too)...

when the surface appears dry, the wax pigment of the pencils is still somewhat plyable - you may choose (as i do) to do a little more blending with your finger only, to rub out the brush strokes..... this moment provides quite a good effect and for me is very tactile - i feel like i am in total control of the "painting" and there are some very pleasing results

at this point, the picture is still very rough - you should be able to discern some small details, but the important thing is to have your total value scale established! don't sweat the details....

once the painting is completely "dry" (you may want to leave it for a few hours or overnight), THEN i start in with the fine tuning - sharpen up the darkest areas first, then blend and highlight as much as you please .... you may notice when shading that some of the pigment will "ball-up"; this is normal, but be cautious that you don't rub them away with your hand or you may end up marking the picture (these "balls" will also rub back into the painting in pleasing ways; use you imagination)

there's a technique known to pastelists called "scumbling"; this is basically applying pigment to the top most "peaks" of your paper - i would advise everyone to try this technique in the final stage as you can achieve some very loose, artistic effects and really provide depth to your colours

note: correcting with solvent - i've found it pretty breezy to correct with the solvent; simply apply a CLEAN BRUSH with several strokes overtop of the error - this should remove a good bunch of it....

i'm sure i'll think of more later - if you have any questions at all, i would be glad to answer

08-29-2006, 06:14 PM
a couple of detail shots

08-29-2006, 06:52 PM
Wow, gord this is amazing!:)

08-29-2006, 08:01 PM

Rating it!


08-29-2006, 09:41 PM
Amazing, liberating technique!!! And the results are terrific! :clap:

A big thank you... :D

08-29-2006, 11:55 PM
Wonderful, gord...like old buildings, but never thought of industrial...hmmmm, something to think about

08-30-2006, 12:03 AM
Did someone already say "WOW!" I can't wait until I have time to study what you've done. Thank you for sharing the details.

08-30-2006, 09:02 AM
Never realized how beautiful old buildings can be:clap: :clap:

Good job, Gord:thumbsup:

08-30-2006, 09:31 AM
Gordon-this is just such beautiful work. Thanks for the explanation and demo and pictures. Love it!!!!!!!

08-30-2006, 12:15 PM
Gord, I'm a little lost. On Post #20 there are two images, on my monitor the left one is very purplely and the right one is bluer with more detail. Is the left one with the first application of solvent? Or is it with finger blending? Is the right one after the solvent has completely dried? Or is it just my monitor? I am a complete neophyte on this topic.:confused:

Thanks! Ann:smug:

08-30-2006, 12:34 PM
Wow Gord thanks for the clear explaination. I was amazed to see the finish piece! It really looks very pastelish.So do you spray it when you're done? Sorry if you mentioned it and I missed it but what solvent do you use? Turpenoid? Wanda

08-30-2006, 01:51 PM
Gord, awesome work! I especially love that lower tier of windows, definitely warehouse-ish.
I have a question about using the solvent on Colourfix, that being do you use a lot of solvent? If so (or even if not) do you find that the paper buckles at all?


08-30-2006, 04:57 PM
you're right ann, the first shot is purplier - that was after the final application of solvent - the pic on the right is the final result after all of the additional layers/blending/details.... if my camera hadn't quit on me, i would have provided more wip shots, sorry

wanda - i use ecohouse citrus solvent (made from the biproduct of liquor) but i imagine anything would work

rita, that's a relative question but i guess i would say that i do use a lot of solvent - perhaps 5 oz for this picture (15x15) - there's only a little buckling around the outside edges; about the same as using watercolours

08-30-2006, 08:51 PM
I really like this one Gord - the abstract quality of those old windows is gorgeous.

Thanks for all the work you did telling us your methods. & hey I learned something. I didn't realize I was scumbling. I knew what scunbling was for paint but didn't realize that's what I do with my cp's!


08-31-2006, 06:33 AM
What a great thread. Thanks for all of the explanation.

I love how you have taken an old rundown building and made it a work of art. I probably wouldn't have looked twice at this building!


08-31-2006, 09:41 AM
thanks anne and nicole...
i think that's the essence of art, anne - showing people things in a way that is uniquely "you"... of course, i understand not everyone wants to look at an old building or urban rot or whatever, but there IS beauty in everything :)

forgot to respond: i do spray the final result with workable fixative (krylon)

09-02-2006, 12:45 AM
Hey Gord, I'm from the Hamilton area too. Great work on the warehouse! You have found great beauty in industry! Do you ever do any shows? There are so many wonderful galleries opened up in the Hamilton area now. Cheers, Michelle

09-02-2006, 04:44 PM
thanks michelle - the cheque's in the mail!

upcoming shows -

mixed media gallery - hamilton, on (opening october 13)
bad dog cafe - hamilton, on (spring 2007)
manhattan's jazz cafe - guelph, on (spring 2007)

check the "exhibitions" link on my webpage for more details....

09-04-2006, 12:45 AM
I've been to mixed media. Will check out your show in october:thumbsup: