Friday, May 27, 2011

Paint, Paint, and More Paint

In an earlier post I remarked that I was ready to paint again with vigorous, big strokes. That meant OIL PAINT.
I haven't used oils in years.

When I began using encaustics in 1996, I was smitten. I left my old medium, oils, for a new one. I loved encaustics then and I still do, but the limitations of the hot wax make it challenging to work in a larger scale. The wax hardens before I can make a long stroke of paint.

Then I unpacked my oils. Yikes! Absence did not make my nose grow fonder. The odor was so pungent that my allergies rebelled.

But, I reasoned, oil paint is compatible with encaustic paint.

So I squeezed out some oils, heated up the wax, and painted. The painting was awful. The surface of the painting was gobby, the design poor, and the smell of the oils made my head hurt! I'd been away too long, and now the odor was a problem. I put the painting away.

Still yearning to paint boldly, I remembered an old stand-by of mine---black and white tempera paint. Powdered tempera is a liberating medium since it is quick to dry, can be made thick enough to have some heft, and it's cheap.The flip side, though, is that it can be brittle when dry. The first "Brain-Drain" painting, Study #2, was crumbly and fragile when it dried.

©2011 Kathryn Dettwiller  Study # 3, Charcoal, Acrylic on Paper,26 x 20"
Since I had acrylics on hand, I thought they could substitute for the tempera. Here I worked some black and white as well as colored acrylic into the charcoal base layer. The finished work is now mostly acrylic paint without the brittleness of tempera.


Nanci Hersh said...

Congrats on your persistance... and certainly worth the effort. This piece is rich and compelling.... keep going girlfriend!

Kathryn said...

Thanks, Nanci. You are so encouraging!

Lola X said...

Great Blog!!! Love it!!!

Lola x

Lola X said...

Great Blog!!! Love it!!!

Lola x

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