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Monday, August 31, 2009

Fabulous Photo Session

Last Friday I was invited to photograph a friend getting her back henna tattooed. Henna is used for temporary tattoos and is applied in a paste form. Once the paste dries and after it's been on for several hours it is scraped off and the tattoo will appear brownish red. Here are some of the photos showing the process.

Once the henna paste has been drawn on, and after it's dry, a mix of lemon juice and sugar water is dabbed on with a cotton ball. This helps keep the paste on the skin longer so the henna will be better absorbed.

Of course, now I want to get some henna and play too!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Latest painting experiment & Illustration Friday: Impatience

Well, after painting on smoothly primed canvas with pastel for a while now, I decided to see how this smooth canvas would work with watercolor. I put one of our homegrown tomatoes on my paint rag in my studio to draw up & paint a "quick" study. Of course I forgot that working in watercolor (for me anyway) is anything but quick! Ha! Even though the canvas was a small 4"x4" it still took me a couple of days to finish this little gem. The joys of waiting for watercolor to dry! Since I have been working with dry, soft pastels I only have to wait for something to dry when I've covered the surface completely with pastel---then I spray with my diluted PVA size & sit back to evaluate where the painting is going while it dries. When I work in watercolor I have to wait for different areas next to one another to dry before proceeding if I don't want the color to bleed into a still wet spot. When working as small as I was, that seemed to occur a lot! The good thing is it gave me a chance to paint another pastel while this one dried. I'll share it later---since I'm waiting for the acrylic painted "frame" to dry. Actually in the time it took to paint this little watercolor, I started & am almost finished with a 2nd pastel.

This painting also fits this week's Illustration Friday theme: Impatience. You see, when I'm growing tomatoes, I have very little patience waiting for them to get all the way red---I often pick them while still on the very orange side of red (ripe). The nice benefit of this though is that if I want to paint one of my tomatoes, I don't have to worry about being real speedy---they can slowly ripen while I paint!

Here's the watercolor painting, and a couple of the side views to show how the painting extends around all 4 edges of the gallery wrapped canvas. I think I'll call this one "Homegrown", however since I feel a series coming on, it might change to "Homegrown 1".

I've been attracted to the texture of watercolor lately, how the colors change & mix when water is added, or subtracted, or how when the paint is allowed to drip or bloom it creates new color shapes & values. Something I encouraged with this little painting! It's been sprayed with an acrylic uv matte clear finish to protect the surface - which made me a bit nervous since I wasn't sure if the painting would change once sprayed. Happily, it changed not a whit! Yay!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Workshop with Ned Mueller

It has been a busy couple of weeks and things don't seem to be slowing down much---yet! In July, I enjoyed a 3 day workshop with artist Ned Mueller, our instructor. Each day he gave a painting demonstration, then set us off to paint 'til 3:00 critique time. Luckily for us, it was the week before we had the over 100ยบ temps! Here are some photos of Ned in action the first day along with my drawn canvas & then my almost finished pastel painting.

I had just started painting the sky when I remembered I wanted a photo of the drawing.

I need to study the painting and figure out what still bugs me! What do you think?