Thursday, August 23, 2012


Posted by: Kate

Here's a little something I painted a few months ago.  Above you can see that I've laid in a bit of an ébauche. 

Here you can see my first layer of thick, pure paint.  I'm using the delectable Lead White No. 2 by Natural Pigments.  It goes on like butter frosting and tastes like brain damage.  I cut it with some Velazquez medium, which is rendered down fat from Velazquez's remains.  This imparts a gloopy stringiness and causes the brushstrokes to pool and settle a bit.

Look at that ropey-ness.  I picked up a bit of white with my knife to mix a grey, and created a fondue cheese-like trail in the process.  Once again, forever as always, I used my combo of ultramarine blue and iron red oxide to work warm and cool magic in any area that pretends to be neutral grey.  The entire shell was more or less these two colours, plus yellow ochre pale, and a wee bit of alizarin here and there.  Alizarin is that loud guy that you don't want to come to the party, but somehow he hears about it and shows up anyways.  And it's really annoying because he doesn't fit in with your other much cooler friends.

Above, a second pass at the planks behind the shell.  You can see how I've started noodling some texture into the bottom of the two planks.  The top plank ended up being wiped.  When working on texture like this I like to work up to higher contrast layer by layer.  I won't put my darkest notes in until the final pass, and that's also a good time to re-accentuate the highest notes too.  This helps keep things from getting messy or unmanageable.

Final pass for bottom plank, with some extra delicious crunchy bits.

Lurvly paint chips!  So much fun.  Digging through other people's demolition garbage piles is totally worth it, tetanus shots aside.  Most of the paint chips were applied with a palette knife.  Now for some close-ups:

I love how that top right corner is an abstract painting all on its own.  Below is the preparatory drawing for the painting:

I've had this piece of paper with white droplets on it for years, waiting for the right drawing.  Oooh, and guess what?  I have a brand new piece of studio equipment:

His name is Bishop.  He keeps exactly three square feet of floor warm and takes care of any extra pigs' ears that might be burdening my workspace.  He also comes with a whistling snot feature that acts like a meditation chime while I paint.


  1. i love this painting! i love the texture in the wood up there, too. You painted that with a palette knife?!!
    Sorry in advance for my ignorance on mediums - what is Valesquez medium? I'm still learning about different stuff to mix with paint.

  2. Hi Julia--Velazquez medium is a medium put out by Natural Pigments. I don't normally dabble too much in mediums, but I love NP's products so I gave it a whirl.

  3. Took a break from painting to read your post....made me laugh, I love your writing. Oh and your painting is great too :)
    I hear the whip cracking, back to work...