This is all about trying out different unusual painting media. I selected the following from the exercise list either because they are readily available or because I wanted to try them. Jam, icing, coffee, coke, ink from the wooden end of a brush, household paint, enamel, ice, nail varnish.
Jam ( and peanut butter). Used jam to paint plates and also decided to include peanut butter for comparison. The jam was not so easy to manipulate and control the shape and surface compared to peanut butter which allowed finer control. Also tried pouring icing from an icing bag onto a black background. Using the icing bag was like writing with a dripping pen with fine control. This kind of media has in inherent short life span.
Coffee, made to the right strength, can be used effectively like watercolour and create washes which can be built up to be darker. If watered down too much it becomes vary faint. Pools of coffee dry out leaving a darker ridge around the edge. Using a wet in wet technique for the reflection and wet in dry for the plate worked and draws attention to the plates and interest in the reflection.
Coke on the other hand was too watery and gave a very faint stain on white paper. Once dried it did leave a thicker but still faint sticky brown mark at the bottom of the painted mark.
Painting ink from the wooden end of a stick creates thin lines which start intense and gradually fade as the ink quickly runs out. The lines are therefore consistently limited in length and intensity. This does create a sense of rhythm, maybe even a meditative approach. This made me think of an artist John Franzen who painted lines within a breath.
Pouring paint to draw outlines is hard and requires the right consistency of paint, the right amount to pour to get a flow and the right vessel to pour from. I found the household emulsion poured from a spoon worked well if a little difficult to control. I did get some waves in the line created by a reduction in the flow.
Pouring acrylic onto aluminium can be done however I’m not so happy with the result. The acrylic was mixed with a thinning medium and a little water until it seemed like it could be poured. Two colours were mixed and poured from cups onto aluminium. It may have been too thick because it didn’t spread much and held its shape. I was able to control the pouring to get a good shape and once down I was able to use a spoon to further mix the paint, see the swirl for the spoon head. When wet the surface was flat but when dry the paint sank where water dried out, creating a very uneven surface. The colours also dried much darker. An nice effect was when ink was added to the surface which had been scraped back to the aluminium. The ink dried and allowed reflection to shine through and contrasted against the darker acrylic worked well.
I explored painting ink straight onto aluminium and found it very difficult to apply to the aluminium because it keeps pooling and moving away from where you want it. Its also difficult to mix the colour and keep the consistency right so that it maximises the transparency. I found painting in direct sunlight helped.
Ice was difficult to use because it soon becomes a surface of water. For the time just after taking out of the freezer the ice can take some watercolour or ink, then after a short time I found you can press paper on and get a print with the colour forming patterns along ice break lines. I tried filling half a straw with ice to create a long thin line but I didn’t get any obvious colour mixes.
Painting on pva reduces absorbency of the surface resulting a lighter brighter result where brushwork is more visible compared to working on paper. This is true for acrylic, oil, watercolour and gouache. The oil paint direct from tube was oily and created the sharpest contrast for the brush marks compared to using linseed oil or thinner which created a wash with a blurred brush mark.
Painting the collection of clothes worked out well with the light and dark acrylic rings looking like the hat and providing light and shade. The heavy dark green brushwork of oils created a soft heavy feel in comparison to the hat and transparent material from nail varnish. The nail varnish creating a light although shinny feel. Its possible a layer of pva may reduce the shine. Overall I was pleased with this result because it captured the contrasting clothes needed in the hot sunny outdoors and cold indoors for city life in Hong Kong.
Painting enamels is messy, smelly and harsh on the hands and brushes. However its easy to paint onto the aluminium, can be glossy or matt and can be manipulated for some time on the surface. I decided to use enamels to paint the collection of his and hers perfume. Having discovered the transparent reflective nature of ink I could see this being used for the glowing red perfume bottle and enamels for the rest leaving parts of the perfume top bare aluminium. I was pleased with the result, the ink shows promise and delivers a warm glow when light is reflected. The ink needed to be thinner to maximise the colour reflection although this was very difficult to control. The enamels create a sharpness partly because of the gloss finish and partly because of the sharp edges which I left to form naturally.
The collection of pens and pencils was full of colour and seemed to have movement in the form of a spiral sweeping around. I decided to try painting the pens on to the collection of mobiles and paper. I first painting the mobiles to support the spiral from top left down and round to the right with the large ipad shape to attract the eye. I also painted a course white around in the lower right with sand and gesso to contrast with the smooth reflective black glass surface. The pens were painted in enamels and I moved the pain in the direction of the spiral movement. The rough surface slows the movement down as intended but doesn’t work well overall. Theres a lot going on, the focus is not clear and the movement is not as I intended. I like the different colour mixes starting to happen on the smooth compared to rough surface.
The following painting of shoes compares a well used shoe with the foot marks on the sole next to a more delicate less well used shoe. This contrast and the position of the pairs caught my eye. I started with layers of coffee for both shoes, starting thin and building up the layers with more coffee. I added some water colour to the souls of the well used shoes. The outside of the well used shoes were shiny and well kept so I started with a layer of pva before using oils. This was to prevent the oils from absorbing into the paper and creating a brighter glossy look.