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Old 12-04-2009, 08:49 PM
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Faafil Faafil is offline
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Poinsettias - WIP

Okay, I think I have the nerve to do this while you're watching. I have yet to do my Christmas card for this year, so decided to get busy, or go to Hallmark!

I recently had a good friend comment that he loved a painting of a waterfall I did in a Cheng Khee Chee workshop, using glossy gel medium on Strathmore 500 series illustration board. I'd forgotten how fun (and forgiving) that surface is, so decided to 'say it with flowers'.



I used a white candle to go around the edges of the illustration board so it won't separate if it gets too wet. It won't happen with this painting, but it's still a good idea.

After the drawing was on the paper, I outlined the holly leaves with green watercolor pencil, and the berries in red. (I often get lost in these busy things, so it's a little roadmap for me). Then, I lightly brushed on acrylic soft gel glossy medium over the drawing, and used a damp sponge to 'blot' it to get rid of any brush strokes in the medium. The gel medium activated the watercolor pencil, but with a careful hand, it doesn't bleed out. And the colors won't move after the gel dries.

Then I let the glossy gel medium dry. Watercolors have a weird reaction to this surface - not slick like yupo - but it does repel it in places. The nice thing about it is that even after the paint dries, you can lift it almost back to white, because of the gel medium. The shiny parts you see is the gel medium - I only put it over the drawing and the edges of the drawing.




I started painting the petals, and after they dry, take a flat brush and lift out the veins.

Now, what I *should* have done, is the background first, because I really suck at backgrounds. But, to show you how easily the paint lifts, I decided to throw caution to the wind, I mixed up some juicy paint and had at it, going over the petals and holly leaves. I didn't have the nerve to go over the whole thing, because what I already painted would have probably been gone.


The next photo shows where I wiped off the paint with a wet paper towel:


I hit the top of the painting with a spray bottle and let the paint move around because I didn't like the background (already)



And now, I'm just painting the petals and leaves. I may just use only watercolor pigments for now, but depending upon how this goes, I'll get out my fluid acrylics.

And, here is where it stands now:



I figure if I screw it up, I can at least crop a good part in a photo for my Christmas cards

Oh - it's a 1/2 sheet - approx. 15x22.

Any comments/crits are gratefully accepted.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

wow mary lou!!! this is fabulous already!! I have never even heard of what you are doing (using the glossy gel medium) and painting watercolor over that...your waterfall is fabulous too!

the poinsettia is just gorgeous already, as are the leaves! wish I could watch you paint because you do such beautiful work! you should see the total mess I made today!!
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:34 AM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

I love learning about interesting techniques like this! Looking good already.

Patty
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:38 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

This is awesome! Very interesting technique! Keep Going. It looks great!
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:19 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Thank you Linda, Patty & Srishti

I didn't get much done on it today, so will post again when I've made a little more progress, hopefully this evening. So far, so good, but backgrounds are my nemesis - it's not easy crossing your fingers while you paint
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:24 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

I was back to look...and you know, have to add that the rock on that waterfall is just remarkable!

the colors on the poinsettias are so beautiful- love where you have a bit of yellow in some...and I am searching for what type of paint you are using but not seeing it (yeah, like that would make me paint just like you LOL) but red can be a difficult color to get right in some types...

I was looking at the Strathmore 500 series illustration board on Jerry's and Blicks...and they seem to be different things...Jerry's has something called:
500 Series Illustration Board for Wet Media
and Blicks has
Strathmore 500 Series Cold Press Illustration Board

so not sure which you are using...also, why do you need to coat it with gel medium? I mean, what would just the illustration board do?
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Last edited by HarvestMoon : 12-05-2009 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:01 AM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Thanks Linda

The reason for the illustration board is really because that's how I learned it. It's the Strathmore 500 series, hot press I think. I'll have to try it on regular watercolor paper, might be fun on that too. Chee calls this his 'improvisational splash color technique', because like on the rocks, you can just really slap on some paint and the colors move and mingle. Talk about watching a master paint - he is phenomenal. How he brings koi to life on a sheet of paper is truly amazing.

But definitely, you need the glossy gel medium, because it repels the paint. A matte gel won't work, it will absorb the paint and it won't move or lift like the glossy gel. I think Chee used illustration board because it is so matte where there isn't gel, like in the 'mesa' and sky area at the top of the waterfall. That part has no gel. And the rocks, I used really thick gel on that one to get so much texture. I used a plastic fork to smash it around , and there was no drawing.

Colors, wow, I'm using a lot of different colors. MG Napthol Red, W&N Perm Aliz Crimson, Quin Magenta, Quin Red, Perm Rose, Quin Rose, Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, FUB, Winsor Green, Hookers Green, Permanent Violet, Winsor Yellow, New Gamboge and Quin Gold.

For the petals that have yellow in them, I started with the yellow, and then charged the red into them; same with the ones that have blues. Right now I couldn't even tell you which red are on the petals, because to change the hue and value, I just started mixing whatever red was on the palette to change it from one petal to the next, and added blue, or violet. I'd be embarrassed to show you my palette right now - it's a mess.

You can lift very easily with this, so if you want to layer, you have to make sure it's real dry before you glaze over it. (found that out the hard way) But, as for making corrections, it's a breeze - just wipe it out with a wet paper towel or brush. I'll take some close ups so you can see how it repels the paint.

I did get a little more done on this, but the light is lousy, and the flash shines on the gel too much, so I'll try to get a shot tomorrow in daylight.

Oh, just remembered that Mary Todd Beam uses illustration board almost exclusively for her work with watercolors and fluid acrylics.

edit: was able to get a decent close up, but not of the whole painting - will post tomorrow evening - babysitting the grandboy during the day

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Last edited by Faafil : 12-06-2009 at 12:57 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:49 AM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Wow Mary Lou!!

Gorgeous! Great vibrant color and wonderful composition!! Waaaay too many elements invovled for my skill level but boy does that ever give me something to aspire to! One of the best things about Wet Canvas is how many things there are that can inspire you!
Thanks SO much for sharing!
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:03 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

ML- thanks so much for the details- and the knock-dead gorgeous close-up...WOW...have to check out those artists too!
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Like Hap, this is way passed my skill level, but this is just stunningly good. And to take a work shop with Master Chee, you turned me postively green
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:55 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

This is fantastic Mary Lou, such an interesting technique most of which I have never heard about. Thanks for sharing it with us – got to try this out.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Hi Mary Lou, Totally awesome, gorgeous and fantastic. I have bookmarked it so I can come back later and read how you did it. First time I have looked in this section.
Marlene
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:41 AM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

ML this IS fantastic. It's going to be stunning when finished. Greens used to give me fits but I think reds are actually harder for me at this point, YOU are doing wonderfully. I looked at this an hour ago, but went to the link you posted and was a little side-tracked! I love Chee's videos and have two of them. Are there any other links to the technique that you know of from either him or others? Will be back to check on your progress.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:15 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Wow, thank you everyone! I was babysitting our grandson yesterday and didn't get back online.

Hap, Azure - yes you could do this. The gel surface is VERY forgiving. Thank you!!

Linda, Bryan, Marlene (welcome!), Marcia, thank you so much! I'm really having fun with this painting.

I'm going to try to get back to it this afternoon when I get home from work. I plan to lift out some vein lines in the holly leaves, and highlights in the berries. Still not sure about that background though

Marcia, I haven't found any other online demos of this, but if I do, I'll post them. I'm pretty sure it's Judy Greenberg (burg?) who also uses gel medium in her paintings.

Thank you all again!!
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:20 PM
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Re: Poinsettias - WIP

Well, I'm in the home stretch Need to finish the petals, the branches and bits of background.



Here you can see the completed painting, after I've picked out some highlights on the berries, and veins on the holly leaves and flower petals.



I'm looking at it now in greyscale - may have to go back and adjust and add more darks near the flower centers, but for the most part I'm pretty pleased with this.


All comments/crits are happily accepted! Thanks for looking!
ML
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