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View Full Version : New to WC, new to casein


Light Seeker
02-08-2007, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone

Here is one of my first caseins, done while we 'babysat' my daughter's kitten George Michael over Christmas. The color in the original is richer. It was done on 8x10 canvas board (from WalMart no less!) with Shiva casein. This has been my most successful casein to date (out of about three). It is such a different technique from watercolor, which is all I have ever done until now. I got a Masterson's Sta-Wet palette that really works in keeping the paint from hardening over several days.
I have had a hard time with Shiva's Blue Deep and their Permasol Blue, both which contain phthalo blue (PB15) - they really stain my brushes! I've switched to their cobalt blue which is easier to handle.
Do any of you find that you have to wash your brush out in soap periodically as you paint? Maybe that is something I will just have to get used to.
I recently gave the Shiva casein emulsion a try, but I'm not sure what to think. Is it commonly used?
And what about the casein varnish? I understand that a dry painting buffs up nicely after it dries, which I tried and seemed to work. Is is worth using the varnish as well? Will it yellow over time?
Looking forward to your comments, critiques, and hopefully some answers!:) :cat:
Thanks

Cynthiahttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Feb-2007/100096-George_Michael_color_corrected_reduced.jpg

dbclemons
02-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Very nice, Cynthia. The face looks great!

Why do you feel the need to use soap to clean your brush while painting? Is it due to the staining colors? I typically just use water. The stains won't mix into other paints in my experience. If you're worried about it, you might just switch to another clean brush. You definetly need to wash with soap when you're done. Acetone can help remove the stains, but use with caution. I think Winsor & Newton sell a special brush cleaner that has acetone in it. Pthalo blues and greens, and some reds are bad at staining. You can safely mix casein with watercolor paints, by the way, so if your blues in that medium clean out more to your liking, that's another alternative.

The Shiva varnish is shellac based, and can also be used to isolate layers of dried paint from new layers. I generally don't put a final varnish on my caseins, but do occasionally use shellac for layering. I don't use their emulsion either, just make my own.

Here's some more info about the Shiva products:
http://www.richesonart.com/cat11.pdf

meglyman
02-08-2007, 07:09 PM
Cynthia,

Excellent rendition of George Michael! I'm here for the gouache, and know nothing about casein, so I can't answer any of your questions. I just wanted to say you've done a great job capturing the personality of the kitten and I like your brushstrokes.

Meg

Light Seeker
02-09-2007, 11:08 PM
Thanks David and Meg for your comments and encouragement. I checked your websites, and you both do very impressive work.

David: I have been using daVinci Cosmotop Spin watercolor brushes and some lesser quality synthetic watercolor brushes - perhaps that is the problem. I have to use soap to get all the pigment out of the brushes before I can change colors otherwise after changing from blue to yellow, for example, I'll get green. Do you use brushes designed for acrylic? or oil?
Another reason that I have been washing the brushes frequently is that the paint in the brush dries so quickly that the brushes get gummy. Again, perhaps this is due to the soft brushes that I have been using.

Thanks for your suggestions and sorry for the slow response.

Cynthia

Old Tex
02-11-2007, 05:47 PM
Very nice, Cynthia! Like Meg, I'm here for the gouache, and know nothing about casien. I assume the chemistry is different from gouache, because my brushes clean up very well with water. Once I get comfortable with the gouache, I'm going to study some of you cat painters. I've got friend with a beautiful pure white cat that I want to try eventually. Before I try fur, I've got to first figure out just how to paint hair!

richlll
02-16-2007, 01:02 AM
Hi everyone

I have had a hard time with Shiva's Blue Deep and their Permasol Blue, both which contain phthalo blue (PB15) - they really stain my brushes! I've switched to their cobalt blue which is easier to handle.
Do any of you find that you have to wash your brush out in soap periodically as you paint? Maybe that is something I will just have to get used to.



Nice work, casein is in a class by itself as far as handling options, casein makes a very good ground by itself...... if you are using primed canvas, it is not as suited to casein work IMO, you need to work on smooth rigid surfaces like wood or hardboard to see the possibilities of casein.

Try homemade casein and pigments for the most control.

I can definitely answer one of your questions.....in short Shiva does not make a good blue, you have hit on the biggest problem with them, the pthalo blue is not and will not disperse properly. When working with these paints you should keep a 20% solution of ammonia water by you, rinse the brush in the ammonia water then your clean water as you work, you'll keep your brushes cleaner, you can use bristle brushes. Goodluck.

cmwynn
02-19-2007, 05:56 PM
Looks as though you are quite comfortable with this new medium. Loveable cat. But I know all about paintings you don't want to post! I agree that ammonia water is a great help. And pthalo colors want to rule the world. Use them with care.

RedEquus
02-22-2007, 08:02 PM
Hi Cynthia,

Lovely painting.

I do use the varnish and I like the results. I use it for layering and have finished a few paintings with a coat of varnish. It does deepen the colors.

As for the phalo blue issue, I've had no problems using it.

The emulsion is great if you have dried pigments and want to mix your own paints. I'm hoping to try mixing my own, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I have used emulsion to keep the paint moist for a short period of time. Water works just as well in my opinion.

Janice