Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: Day 2

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 2

Today I got to work with some of the fantastic art supplies I got for Christmas from my mother-in-law.  I'm so excited to try all the new things out!  Here's a overview of the things:

Mona Lisa brand gold, silver and copper leaf (perfect to give a bit of shine to collages)

All the Neocolor II pastels I needed to round out my collection (I've only been getting the most lightsafe of colors, it's a bit of an obsession I have.  But it made collecting all the shades a bit easier, not that it's too hard when they under $2 each.)  I really like the Neocolor II line of pastels because they're wax based and water soluble.  Which means they basically can be used like watercolors.  They've been one of my favorite tools to work with this past year.

I got a great little "color theory" set of Shiva Casein paints.  They work similarly to watercolor and acrylic paints, but give a bit of the look of gouache with a lovely more velvety matte finish.  They use a milk based emulsifier for the paints, which I had never heard of until I happened to read about it in a book.

Sennelier masking fluid, which I've heard great things about thanks to the Art of the Carolinas show back in November.  Masking fluid is used to cover areas of paper or canvas that you want to keep white while you paint a darker color over and around it.  When the color's dry the masking fluid can be peeled off to reveal all the areas of white you wanted to preserve.  It's perfect for making bright stars in a starry sky.

Additionally I got a couple of great books on art from my own mom as well as my mother-in-law.  But I'll save talked about them for another day.

Today I tried out the casein paints and the masking fluid (which you can find at Dick Blick Art Stores).  I actually tried them together, but am a little mixed on what I think of the results.  Here's what the products look like for reference:


So the casein dries fast and is definitely nice and matte like gouache.  I can see why it's called velvety, and I look forward to using it more.  Today I put down some backgrounds for collages.  They're pretty bright since the color theory set came only with red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and violet....no white of black to mellow them down with.  I tried mixing colors while wet and pretty much used them straight from the tube with a brushful of water here and there for blending or to re-wet the colors on my palette.  Here's a picture of the results:

I used a fan brush to apply the masking fluid, thinking the texture would give the piece an interesting feel.  The words ended up being a bit harder to make out, I think partially because I went over them more than I should have.  I'm going to test more in the future though.  The small details from the fan brush came out really nicely though, so I'm pleased with that.

If you couldn't tell my desk is rather messy and due for a cleaning, but I thought I'd share a picture of it too since I feel like spaces give some clues as to personality and so many other things.  I love seeing great artists studios to get a feeling for how they worked.
I don't tend to mind the clutter too much, but I've hit a point where I don't have the space to work!  haha 


So there are my first 4 new pieces of the year!  I can't wait to see how they end up developing.

More tomorrow.
Love, Lydia

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