Thursday, March 5, 2009



  1. I have had a thought... perhaps the reason you have had an issue with delamination (If I recall correctly, you have had this issue before) is because the charcoal does not allow the paint to bond sufficiently with the surface. It seems to happen most in the areas with the most shadow, where you would have used the most charcoal.

    Anyway... as you know, I am not versed in this sort of thing so I could be saying something that does not have any relevence.

  2. No, it wasn't the charcoal. There wasn't really much charcoal anyway, I only did a rough outline of the figure. No shading or anything.

    Here's what the problem was. I put liquin over Damar varnish before the varnish was completely dry and it created that bloom effect. It was a real pain in the ass. I did manage to get rid of all of the white spots (that were all over the place) by using some sandpaper. This painting was really coming along but the sandpaper pretty much obliterated most of it and now I have to rework the whole thing. I've worked on it some more but I just haven't been able to get it back to how it was. I'll get it right eventually. The thing that pisses me off the most is that, aside from the face, the rest was pretty much finished.

    Now here's the dirty little secret about Liquin, Galkyd and others of the like.

    Oils and Alkyds don't really work as well together as their respective makers would have you believe. They should really only be used with alkyd paints. I have a painting here that I used liquin on a few years ago and a whole layer of paint is separating from the layer beneath. It's just peeling right off. I'm sure the formula they use has been improved since then, I just don't completely trust the stuff.

    I usually only use the stuff when I make an oil sketch because I really don't care about those.

    My advice is not to use too much liquin or any other alkyd medium. Just use a little bit. And don't use it as a final varnish. That's not it's intended purpose. A varnish should always be removable. Once you put liquin on, it's on for good.

    I'll just file this mistake in the lessons learned folder.

  3. hah! I remember you making those comments about liquin before, somewhere in my head I recalled them... but I still use a LOT of medium (perhaps I am still holding on to the "wash" idea from W/C).

    I prefer the Galkyd but the liquin is easier to use; well, in a few years if my paintings begin to delaminate, I'll know why.

    I've had to step back a bit from the painting, lately. I've been doing a few drawings (perhaps you've seen them in my sketchbook blog) and some sketching.

    I seem to be wrestling with the problem of taking my sketches that I want to translate into a painting, and actually translating them into a painting! Do you use an enlarger to project your drawings onto your surface? have you always done this; and what did you do prior to having a projector (if you use one)?

    I don't relish the idea of having to re-draw whole pieces when I have already worked out lighting/comp/proportion issues.

  4. I do use a projector sometimes. When I get a sketch just how I want it, I don't always have the patience to redraw it. I want to get straight to the paint. A lot of people would probably say that it's cheating. The way I see it, like the computer, camera or whatever, it's just another tool for the artist. Anything that can make the job a little bit easier isn't necessarily a bad thing. David Hockney wrote a book a few years ago called "Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters" That dealt with this. If Caravaggio and Van Eyck could do it, I don't see the problem. Of course, they didn't have 400w halogens back then. If they did they would have used them too.

    I have two projectors. One is an Artograph Prism I bought about ten years ago, and an old Baush & Lomb that Tony gave me back when Hyannis Art Supply went out of business. It's huge, heavy, has three lenses and is absolutely awesome. If the bulb ever burns out I have no clue where I would find a replacement. I'm always afraid that either the bulb will go or I'll burn down the house when I use it. I could probably heat the house with the damn thing. So I don't use it much.

  5. BTW; I have no issue with using a projector to enlarge your own work... just like with a camera or a computer, when one uses it to duplicate someone elses work I start to have a BIG problem...

    I'd like to find a decent used one but they are relatively expensive; and being jobless does not help.