Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh...this sultry heat

This is when I have to hold back from some of my favorite painting practices.  My medium usage draws back to a trickle, as the humidity rises and drying time lengthens.

For the way that I use acrylics, it's a good thing that they dry quickly, a great thing, in fact.  I am a layer girl, in both my paint practice and in how I dress myself.  Textures, colours, overlapping, interlocking, harmonizing.... layers sing.

But in this heat, forget it!  The medium of choice for this devastatingly drippy season is Low Viscosity Polymer (Tri-Art Finest Quality).  It's thin, glossy and clear.  My glazing becomes a succession of vapor thin veils of light colour.  The effect is subtle, drenched in depth, slow and soft like the air.

Another medium I embrace during this season is Tri-Art's Dry Media Ground.  Why? You have to use it to know exactly what I mean, but I'll try to explain.  Although this is made to be used with dry media (pastels, graphite, etc.), I like to paint into it.  It absorbs in an unusual way.   The medium whitens immediately, then settles back slowly to it's clear state.  During the wet time, blending on this velvety surface is smooth and luscious.  Using a dry brush technique yields a completely different effect.  The colour looks dusty, like a soft pastel, like a breath.

There is a piece in my hallway that I don't think is quite finished, it has areas of Dry Media ground, others of glossy glazes, and some a la prima bits that keep shocking me.  I find myself petting it when I go by.  I'll stand there sometimes, touching it's varied surfaces, loving the feel of it, even though I'm not quite satisfied with the whole of it.  For now, as my busy time overwhelms my creative time, this is actually enough.


  1. Nice to know I'm not the only one touching the surfaces of their paintings.

    Truth be told, I want to touch almost every painting I see. People tend to frown on that, though.

  2. touchable paintings....one thing I learned from you, and children for that matter...they touch everything!

    (and in my case, paintings are smudge-able! ha, hows that for interactive! ;)

    thanks for reminding me that dry media ground is not just for drawing on <3