26 novembre 2013

Casein Kitchen Still Life

I was chatting with a friend of mine who's been experimenting with gouache still lifes lately and it hit me: all these «studies» I've been doing are very nice but they're well inside my comfort zone. Mainly because I use photographs, in fact.

I can talk and look all artsy when I experiment with photographs but I'm still very much a coward when it comes to painting (or drawing, for that matter) from life.

So today I set up a still life in my kitchen and tried to tackle it in the same fast & loose process that I use for photograph studies.

It's casein. It's about an hour. It's painful, but hey… I was out of my comfort zone and… you know… I was told that's good.

25 novembre 2013

Kingfisher - Casein

I've been experimenting with casein some more and... GAWD I  love that medium!

This is a fairly quick study (probably around 80 minutes) of a kingfisher.
I used graphite to sketch the basic shapes on regular, cheap chipboard then sealed the drawing with a very thin layer of Liquitex Clear Gesso. I then went straight on with casein. (I used my regular 11-color palette—which I can detail if you're curious.)

After about an hour, I placed my palette in a big resealable plastic bag and let it sit for about 24 hours.
When I came back, the paint blobs were still wet and the mixtures on the palette only needed a little work with a wet brush to be workable again (like you would expect gouache to be).

I loved, LOVED the paint' handling qualities. It really is like nothing I've ever used before. And the richness of the pigments is still stunning.

So... yeah. Next time, I'll use more gesso (or matte medium) to really seal the board so the fibers don't lift as much. (It's a pretty cheap surface that was never meant to be painted on, so... no harsh feelings.)

I'll keep you posted.

12 novembre 2013

11 novembre 2013

Cassowary - Casein study

I picked up a couple of casein tubes recently. James Gurney has been talking about (and showing) casein on his blog for a couple of months and I was pretty curious about it.

This is basically my first shot at it. I worked pretty small (I think it's around 4x6 inches) on Fredrix Canvas Pad.

The paint handles like nothing I've ever tried before. It's like the love child of oil paints and gouache.

It's a bit runnier than oils but behaves much like it on the brush (I used soft synthetic Filberts). It's really, REALLY matte and incredibly opaque. A single white stroke will cover the darkest background color with ease.

It dries as fast as acrylics or gouaches and to my surprise, I found out that it could be re-wet to mix a new stroke or to soften edges (exactly like gouache but with more body). I read that the surfaces actually closes after a while but that it can take weeks. I'll keep you posted on this.

Thought it dries as fast as acrylics, it doesn't have that tacky feeling to it and anyone used to painting with acrylics will definitely be pleasantly surprised.

So… yeah. I loved it and will keep experimenting with it — namely on other surfaces/grounds.