Friday, December 27, 2013

Unintentional "Crackle Finish" - Yikes!

Hello Everyone! 

I know it's been a while since I've posted, I didn't realize just how long it had been! I thought it was a good opportunity to let some of you know what happened to these 2 little 10x10" pieces I posted on the page earlier in the month. I was working on these for a holiday commission and had to make due with finishing a larger piece that I had been working on earlier this year, so thankful that my client was flexible! <3

These 2 pieces forced me into experimentation (which I don't particularly enjoy when deadlines are looming!) Something happened to the ink when it dried that I'd never had happen to me before...I liked the effect but it made the pieces very fragile and the surfaces not mission has become how to use them still without destroying or removing the dried ink...

Below are some pics to show what happened:
In the first image as I was brushing off the surface, the ink flaked right off, only the sepia ink though thankfully...still took the ink beneath it as well though.

In this second piece you can see the sort of "crackle" effect happening, which I liked (never have any luck with crackle finishes so it was kinda interesting having it happen like this by accident lol)

I can't think of what could have caused this to happen, the ink is relatively new and I use it often. I like the fact that it doesn't run as easily as the others, it just stays put as though it's thicker than the other inks. Perhaps that has something to do with why the cracking happened, and I suspect the use of a space heater in the studio may have played a part, or the cold overnight, who knows! 

So now that I have some time on my hands after the Christmas season, I've put a thick coat of Golden's "self leveling clear gel" over both pieces. The cracked, sepia parts are now protected and the pieces have a nice shiny gloss on them, however they were meant as backgrounds for mandalas, not abstract pieces. Sooo....I need to find a way to prepare the surface so that it has some tooth to it to soak up/retain media. Decisions, decisions! Any feedback or ideas are greatly appreciated! I'm thinking a light sanding or a layer of clear gesso. Then I'll be putting another coat of the gel (or epoxy resin) over top of the finished piece.  Wish me luck! I may need it! ;) Hopefully everything goes well, if not, it'll be a good learning experience and it can always be painted over! ;) 

Happy Holidays to you and Happy Creating! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Sign at Heritage Music

Today I got to do something that terrified the heck outta me...not only did it involve heights and climbing scaffolding but also painting the largest painting I've ever done! 5ftx16ft! It was a great experience overall and I'm glad I did it! Once I was up there and working (15ft off the ground - not that far up but far enough!) it wasn't so bad ;)

The owner of the store (Heritage Music and Posters) wanted a cleaner, simpler look to the front of the store but still with some funky lettering. Here are a few process pics to have a look at! Here's a shot to give you an idea how high up I was painting - fun stuff! :O Yikes!

Below is the very beginning - creating a chalk sketch of the letters, I was a little wobbly at first but I got the hang of it soon enough...

Yay! The first 4 letters are finished at this point, moved along quite smoothly actually!

The only frustrating thing was not being able to see how things look as a whole when you're up there a foot away from the wall, climbing up and down constantly wasn't an option for me! But just so happened, my friend was passing by and I asked her to take a photo and send it to me so I could see what I was doing instead of climbing down to stand on the road LOL! It actually was quite helpful!

Below: Down to the last letter! And it had started to thunder and rain damn it! I continued on though - had to get it all done today! ;) (My trusty helper Terry climbing up the scaffolding - she was such a big help and made things go by so much faster!)

And the finished sign! Glad to have done it and it was a definite first for me, I learned so much! I look forward to doing some more work on this building in the near future :)

Cheers for now! Happy Creating!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A New Abstract Piece

This piece was originally supposed to be a new background for a new painting but ended up turning into a new abstract piece instead. I hadn't done one in quite a while! It was fun! ;)

 A little hard on the eyes at this point! Although I do like the contrasting colours a lot...

Below: the beginning on the tone down...just started adding some darker blues, browns and more yellows to dull it a bit and make it easier to look at...

Added burnt umber to the corners with a rag as kind of a vignette and started adding white ink over top. I also used some bubble wrap pressed onto wet paint for the first time to add texture, I've seen so many other people use it, thought I'd give it a try ;) 

Here is the finished piece, out on the back deck :) Yay for sunny spring days! ;)

Acrylic Ink on Wood

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Very "Violet" Mandala ;)

I decided to challenge myself recently by painting with colours that I don't commonly use...just to see what I would come up with...there were a couple of stages where I just wanted to gesso over the whole thing and start fresh! Glad I didn't though...stuck with my mandala making motto: there's no such thing as a mistake! Just keep working with it and see what you learn - such as life ;)

The first few pics are just the laying down of the purples, red-violet and blues...I already had an idea of where and how I wanted to do the mandala design so I tried using the inks with that in mind - something I also never normally do when creating a background.


Riiiiiight around this stage I already wanted to start over ;) Didn't like it at all!

Wasn't too crazy about this stage either! :D lol But I continued on with it....

Then things started to take shape and I actually started to like it...below, the mandala design was almost complete. I had already started painting some areas with silver and white - couldn't resist ;)


Below: the design finished, just adding copper and gold paint and thickening some of the black lines...

And viola! The finished piece...I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the stages of this painting, it was definitely a memorable experience for me :)
Mixed Media on Canvas

Monday, March 11, 2013

Earth Elements Mandala - The Process Pics ;)

I completed this new mandala painting last week and as usual, I thought I'd share some process pics with you :) I always love looking back on the progression of a painting once I'm finished it...It's always interesting to see how it turns out...almost never exactly as I had planned but I always end up loving it! ;)

Below: I began with some Prussian Blue ink around the edges and sides and added a lot of white ink in the center of the canvas, I usually have a spray bottle of water handy to keep the surface wet and just let the inks blend into each other...

Then I decided to play with some drops of alcohol (becoming a habit I think!) ;)

Added some Burnt Umber and Sepia inks around the outside edges.

 After letting the above layer dry, I added some Crimson ink (my favourite colour for sure :D)

Then "Flame Red" and a bit of "Flame Orange" to the mix...splattering the runoff back on to the canvas with my hands...messy but fun! ;) Satisfied with this as my background, I let it dry and got started on the mandala design...

As I was creating the design, I tried to incorporate a few "earthly elements" such as plant life, drops of water, air bubbles and pebbles etc. Here's a few pics of the mandala progression below...


 And here is the finished piece! I hope you like it and enjoyed seeing some of the process pics! :)

Earth Elements Mandala
Mixed Media on Canvas

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Largest Half Mandala I've Ever Done :)

This was a half mandala that I had finished about 2 months ago but didn't get the chance to post the process pics until now. It is one of my favourite paintings as well so I had to share ;) I have lots of pics to show you too! ;)

Below is the beginning of the background and it's various stages...

Adding some alcohol and some texture

Aaaaand some more alcohol and texture and a bit of sepia ink... :)


Below is a detail of the surface of the canvas, still wet

Then, the beginnings of the mandala...painted on my lap for the most part while watching movies ;)


Below, a few detail shots of the progress....

Almost finished! ;) yayy!


The finished piece... :)

 2ft x4ft
Mixed Media on Canvas

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Newest Mandala

Just wanted to share with you a few process pics of the latest mandala, it's being sent off to a new home tomorrow but I've managed to get a few quality photos finally :)

Here are some pics from the very beginning!

Just some wet masking fluid on some dry layers of acrylic ink
Another layer of ink over top of the dried masking fluid...this time using some dark blues...
The fun part! Beginning to peel off the masking fluid to reveal the colours from the previous layers :) I love using masking fluid to create a more interesting background ;) 
Below: Halfway there....

Here it is ready to start painting the mandala design, all of which are done freehand by the way. I find it gives it a more natural/organic energy, less mechanical, which I love :) For this one I used acrylic ink and brush pens to create the mandala. The wood grain is especially hard on brush pens (went through about 3-4) so real brushes and inks are a must...

Here, the first circle and the start of the pattern...

 Below are a few more images of the process...

Thickening of some lines to create more visual interest....

Below: a detail of the mandala - almost half finished at this point :)

And viola...the finished piece...I was going to continue the mandala around the sides of this piece as I did with this previous commission but found the ink to be too dark to make it worth while and decided to paint them black. The main point of visual interest is in the center anyway, I love how this one turned out, especially the colours :)
 Below is a picture of it hanging on the wall in my hallway, the colours matched quite nicely I thought ;) I may have to create something similar for my own place! :D

 Here is a picture I took outside on my back deck. I love taking photos of my art in natural light, makes the colours "pop" that much more :)

 Very happy to be sending this one off to a good home!

 "Brad's Mandala"
2ft x 2ft x 2in
Mixed Media on Wood

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the process and love this mandala as much as I do! Can't wait to start on another! <3 nbsp="" p="">
Happy Creating! ;)


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