Grids on Grids with Golden Molding Paste (Acrylic August, 4/31)

Oh, I’m addicted to texture products! It took me awhile to understand what gel mediums do, what texture mediums do, and how the different paint formulations behave….I guess now that I understand, I want to keep experimenting!    If you’d like more information about this too, I can highly recommend Chris Cozen’s videos on Artists Network TV, as well as her books.   Also, Nancy Reyner has a terrific book called “Acrylic Revolution” that I believe Jill from Jill’s Art Journal told me about.  Jill, you nailed it; it’s a wonderful book, with lots of techniques and great illustrations too!   Chris and Nancy are both Golden working artists and educators, and they know their stuff.


This is another painting do-over.    It was a texture experiment gone wrong on a 5″ x 5″ Ampersand Gessobord and so I needed even more texture to wipe the slate clean, so to speak.   I spread a layer of Golden molding paste on the painting first.    This product dries opaque, leaving no show through from the painting underneath.     Next, I embedded a scrap of 1/2″ grid hardware cloth from Hub’s wood shop into the painting, lifted it up, and then turned it and impressed it again.   This gave me all of those great texture lines.

After it dried (several hours), I dripped some Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay India ink in, sprayed it with water, and moved the painting around, allowing the ink to follow those grid lines, highlighting them.  Where the ink was a bit too strong or became soupy, I sopped it up (on paper towels I will save, thanks to Kerfe’s great inspiring post yesterday), and wound up refining with some Golden fluid acrylic paints.   I think I may have gone a bit too far with Quinacridone Burnt Orange, but I can always go back, add Titanium White, which is very opaque, and have another go with the colors.   Or I may leave it as is.   What do you think?

Blick’s Free Shipping offer for orders of $45 or more is extended through 11:59pm Pacific Time tomorrow, for anyone interested.   Purchases from these links support my site.   I hope we are all having fun with our art supplies.    For too long, I saved them and didn’t want to run out.   So I rarely used them.   Boy, that is just not part of my vocabulary anymore.    Art supplies are the jungle gym and the art world is a playground, and I am gonna enjoy it.    How about you?   I can smell the weekend!    Happy Thursday!  Peace.


Homemade Spray Ink in Golden Molding Paste (Acrylic August, 3/31)

The mad scientist is having lots of fun breathing new life into painting fails recently!   This is acrylic texture product, paint and ink on a 6 x 6″ piece of Gessobord by Ampersand:


This one started out as a painting fail from several months back that I almost wanted to remake as soon as it was posted.   I fished it out of the pile the other day and added some Golden Molding Paste to it to cover what was below, and then drew swirls into the paste with the back end of a paintbrush.   I really love the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India ink set I bought, but it is extremely strong.   I decided to make my own homemade spray ink by adding drops of it into mini mister bottles partially filled with water, and adjusting the mixture until I was happy with the strength of the spray coming out.

This turned out to be an extremely inexpensive way to make wonderfully vibrant spray ink!    And you can see how strong the colors are.   It also gives you the opportunity to mix up your own colors.    (I recently bought a box of 50 small spray bottles very inexpensively on Amazon (only 32 cents per bottle), and plan to make lots more little bottles of spray ink, as combining the colors and watching them mix on the painting was so much fun.)   This is not only inexpensive, but a fun and easy way to custom make a spray ink (in this case, multiple colors to play together) especially for your project.     I do feel this painting needs a stronger focal point, so I may add a blackbird or crow in the lower right corner.   Speaking of which, the August issue of Draw A Bird Day comes to your WordPress screens this Monday, August 8!    I hope you will help us make WordPress fly by posting your bird art then!    I will do a roundup mid-month with a link to everyone’s beautiful artwork.

Note to my fellow art supply addicts:   Blick Art Materials has extended Free Shipping on orders of $45 or more through this Friday, August 5!    Friends don’t let friends pay for shipping if they can avoid it.   😀   Purchases from these links help support my site.   Enjoy and thank you!

We made it to the halfway point of the work week!   Blessings to all for a wonderfully productive rest of the week!   Peace.

Golden Fine Pumice Gel and Fluid Acrylic Paint (Acrylic August, 2/31)

I experimented awhile back with Liquitex Glass Bead gel, which is one of the first acrylic mediums I bought months ago. I think I fussed too much with it, and wasn’t happy with the result. The painting needed a remake rescue.

Enter Golden Fine Pumice Gel, which is my favorite of all of the acrylic mediums I’ve tried so far. If you look closely, you can still see some of the tiny glass beads from the bead gel underpainting scattered around, giving texture to the finished piece.   I couldn’t resist adding Golden fluid acrylic paint in Iridescent Copper light fine.   I just love a bit of metallic paint here and there, love the depth and pop those paints create.    And I love all of the lines I see from using my palette knife in the wet Fine Pumice Gel.    This is such a wonderful medium, I am in total love with it.   I hope you will be too, because I bought a 32 oz. jar, and plan to make good use of it!

I still see fine tuning to be done, and perhaps too much of the underpainting shining through here and there, but considering where this painting started out, I am happy with the progress so far.    Plus, it gave me a chance to use my favorite Golden Quinacridone Crimson and Quinacridone Violet Fluid Acrylic paints!    Such depth, especially with a bit of that Iridescent Copper light mixed in.  Dreamy and creamy!

Note to my fellow art supply addicts:   Blick Art Materials has extended Free Shipping on orders of $45 or more through this Friday, August 5!    I don’t know about you, but this makes me very happy.   I love to pay rock bottom prices for art supplies and pay no shipping.   With a no-questions-asked return policy, even on open items…..for one year.    You just can’t beat it!   Yes, I am a paid affiliate now, but I would say the same things, paid or unpaid, about Blick.   Their service, prices, and selection are top-notch!

Yes, I am having a love affair with acrylic paints and mediums.   Hub is aware of my two-timingness, as I did a sanity check with him before ordering a 32 ounce tub of the Fine Pumice gel!    I had completed yesterday’s painting, and then had a nice little makeover with this one, and decided to go a little hog wild!   Looking forward to more mad scientist experiments with Fine Pumice + loads of other textures, media and everything but the kitchen sink!    Peace, and have a great week.

Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Ink and Watercolor (World Watercolor Month 14/31)

Another experiment from the mad scientist!   (You’ve come to expect them at this point, right?)  This time with permanent, transparent acrylic ink and watercolor. This is 5 1/2″ x 8 1/4″ Arches 300 lb. cold-press watercolor paper:


I recently met an artist named Andrew Seal of The Changing Palette blog through Debi Riley, an inspirational artist, teacher and all-around wonderful human being here on WP.   Debi recommended a watercolor book titled “Painting Landscapes from your Imagination” by Tony Smibert, and Andrew has been completing and posting exercises from the book, including quotes and examples.   Needless to say, he sold me on it, and I recently received a secondhand copy in the mail.    I have only just begun to read it, but I thought: Why not try a landscape from my imagination today?   And so I did.

I began by laying in a quick sky working wet-in-wet with a mixture of M. Graham phthalo blue (mostly) and ultramarine blue.   I went back in with some watered down purple Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay ink, which I mixed from Magenta and Blue (there is a purple bottle in the set, but I wanted to mix my own for this).   Coming forward with darker and warmer tones, I laid in the other mountains in my mind’s eye.  Wherever you see purple here, including the reddish-purple on the tops of the mountains in the foreground, that is the purple ink.   I really like the granulation produced by this ink.  It was so easy to drop into the damp paper for the vibrancy of acrylic paint, with only one wash.    All of the inks in this set are transparent, lightfast, permanent, and non-toxic, a pretty nice combination in my book.   (I have Set 1; there are three sets of 12 bottles each available at Blick.)

This ink is very highly pigmented, and so I found it helpful to use disposable Glad mini food storage containers to water down the ink at times.   (This comes with the added bonus of being able to put the lid on when I’m finished for the day, so I can keep it from drying out.)    I was experimenting to see how the ink mingled with the watercolor paint, and found they played together well.    As I’ve said, the ink is permanent when dry, which can be really useful when building up layers, or if you don’t want to worry about your background blooming or moving on you, for example.   Plus, it gives me the really bold acrylic colors I have been missing at times while painting in watercolor this month.   (Note:   As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links will support my site and a fledgling art business.   Enjoy and thank you!)

Things I noticed today:

  1.  I used a flat brush for this entire painting – an acrylic brush, actually, made by Princeton.   I usually use a round brush when painting in watercolor, but I was really pleased with the effects I got from this 1/2″ flat.    I need to work with a flat brush more often in watercolor.
  2. Phthalo blue makes a really wonderful sky when watered down a bit and mixed with just a touch of ultramarine.
  3. I am growing to love Arches 300 lb. paper more and more, the more I use it.   It is luscious and forgiving, which is helpful for this beginner!
  4. I think I am going to really love that Smibert book by the looks of things; thanks much to Andrew and Debi!    I’m looking forward to incorporating acrylic texture products into some future “imaginary” landscapes.   Tony explains everything you need to know, with a bit of Zen, and without lots of flowery language.   I think I’m going to enjoy reading this book quite a lot.
  5. Now that we’re just about at the halfway point, I find I’m getting into the swing of painting daily.   My body is learning how to get up at 5:30, or thereabouts, on its own, which helps!   This, oddly, seems to give me more energy in the day.   I’ve also added yoga before breakfast, which is definitely helping with the energy bit.
  6. Maybe watercolor isn’t so bad……..I think going in with a playful attitude is key; thanks to Margaret, Jodi, Jill, and others who have been coaching me up!   I start to wonder will I leap back to acrylics in August, or stay with Watercolor awhile and see what surprises may be in store?    Stay tuned to find out.   I have no idea where this train is going!   Which is part of the fun.

So now that I’ve written my first novel, I’ll say hasta manana for now.    Peace and Happy Almost Friday to you!

Abstract-ish Calla

Beth of Smiling to Life / BetulaWorldpress shares the most amazing images on a daily basis, and her work always inspires me. She graciously gave me permission to try and render one of her beautiful photos, which can be found at this link.   Her work is also for sale at this link, and I encourage you to visit her shop.   You’re sure to find something beautiful every single time.   Her florals in particular always move me, and sometimes I’m able to get a sense of them on the page.   Neocolors to the rescue once again!


The next two weeks are probably my busiest in the whole year, so I may be posting sporadically for awhile.   Hoping to catch up with all of you soon.   It’s Friday!   Are we dancing?   You bet!   Tailfeathers all a-twitch over here.  Peace.

Wood + Acrylics

I thought it might be fun to try a small acrylic painting on a scrap of balsa wood from Hub’s shop. This is about 6″ wide by 3″ high.


I first coated the wood with matte Mod Podge, let it dry and then went in with the paint. One thing I have to be mindful of when working with acrylics is that they always dry darker, which is the opposite of what I’m used to with watercolor. The nice thing, though, is you can always go back in and add light paint over dark areas if that happens, so … bonus!

Happy Monday, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and productive week! Peace.

Round and Round

Experimenting with magical molding paste, which covers a multitude of sins! This painting began as this piece, which I made during the summer. I was never really happy with it, so I decided to mix gesso with molding paste, cover it up, and see what else I could conjure.


After about a year of working with watercolor, I’m appreciating the properties of acrylic paint and its various mediums. I really like the idea that I can create a painting on a canvas, cover it all up and start again. This one may be covered up one day too! Nice to have that option. I’m finding watercolor paper is also a good substrate for acrylic work. Bonus!

Have a creatively fulfilling Sunday. Peace.

Charley, You’re So Majestic! (#54): 100 Face Challenge

Sometimes a photo of an animal immediately grabs me and I must draw it right away.  Johanna at Colorpencil2014 recently shared a gorgeous photo of her dog and I jumped into it right after dinner last night.


What a stately, gorgeous animal! I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with this beautiful dog and my mixed media art journal last night. Thanks so much for sharing your photos, Johanna! I hope you enjoy!

Happy Weekend to all! I hope you make some time to do something that fills you with joy and satisfaction today. Peace.