Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Painting Technique

Hello Friends,

The following blog entry is taken from a post I did on the Jansen Art Education forum. I decided to repeat it for anyone who does not participate in this forum but is still interested in decorative painting posts. With that being said, I would highly recommend that anyone who does not read the forum (which can be found at under the forum link on the left side of the screen) considers doing so as it is a wonderful and informative home for decorative painters of all skill levels.

I have been working on developing a new painting technique for a while. I wanted this technique to be very casual, relatively easy for a beginning to intermediate painter and very fast.

Last summer I was at a workshop at the Jansens and we experimented with a technique that we called "mosaic' painting. I liked the technique but found that it had certain limitations which I won't go in to right now. So I have been experimenting and have come up with a technique that I call the "Global Harmony" technique. I named it this because everything is pulled in very thick global paints and the use of White paint and Faux creates a harmony throughout the entire painting. Very simply the entire technique is done wet on wet into very thick global paints. (If you are not familiar with global paints, they are Heritage MultiMedia paints that have been prepared so that Extender and Blending Medium has been substituted for the water in the paint which makes them have an extended drying time like oil paints.) Specifically I started with the background done in globals and pullted the leaves directly in the wet paint to give a soft look. The background was painted around the pattern for the elements similar to direct painting. To paint the elements I blocked in color with absolutely no definition. It is very important that the globals be fairly thick so that they create some resistance in the last step. Finally I filled a very scruffy #8 shader with a mix of Faux and various values of white. I pulled that mix directly into the thick globals creating all of the elements in this step.

It is a very fast technique. This is the first piece that I have painted with this technique and it took me about 2 hours including tray preparation. It is fun and fast. I am going to continue experimenting so that I can get a bit more value and intensity range in the painting. Now that I have done this I know where I am going. This is a work in progress but I thought I would let you all know what I have been working on. It has been a really fun day.



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Benefits of a Learning Style

I have always enjoyed watching my husband learn and conquer new things. He has an interesting and tenacious learning style where he repeats a task over and over again until he has completely mastered it. This learning technique may have come from his many years of playing musical instruments. After all the hours of practice, he has become a wonderful musician capable of playing many different instruments. He says it comes from the fact that he is an average guy and has always had to work hard to achieve anything. I don’t believe that having seen the many things he’s accomplished but whatever this learning style comes from it has benefited him in many ways. He is an accomplished teacher, musician, artist, gardener, husband, father and friend.

I have also benefited from his learning style. For example, recently my family came to a decision to share the job of cooking. It is a task I have completed for over 24 years myself and I am burning out. I’m stuck in a rut of cooking the same old things and have lost the desire to experiment. Now with both of my daughters taking one night a week each and Paul taking a night or two, I am left carrying much less of the load. And Paul has approached this task with his usual tenacity. He is always looking for new recipes to try and is working hard to improve his skills. He reads and studies and watches the cooking channel and my children and I are thoroughly enjoying the fruits of his labor. Also, his excitement for the art of cooking has had another positive effect on me. It’s become contagious and I’ve started to feel excited again about experimenting in the kitchen!

The greatest benefit from Paul’s learning style is the beautiful artwork he has completed. Over the many years he has been painting, Paul has strived to master many different styles and types of artwork. Each time he worked on something new he painted it repeatedly on many different surfaces and in many different ways. For example, when he wanted to learn how to paint roses, he painted all different kinds, styles and techniques for six to eight months. As a result, we now have many beautiful paintings of roses in our house and studio. Even more obvious in our home is his journey to learn Zhostova. He painted this style for several months and now our kitchen boasts a beautiful wall of Zhostova plates and trays as you can see in the picture. When people enter our kitchen for the first time, they are awe struck by the beautiful wall of art they see. I have never tired of this beautiful wall and will enjoy this benefit of his learning style for many years to come.