Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Back to the Drawing Board!

You recall people who, when retelling their progress in life, say, "I learnt from that"? Well I now have such a story ... I've just ruined the oranges reflection painting, "On Reflection."

I forgot to put on an isolation coat before varnishing it. Consequently the varnish has clouded parts of the painting. My daughter doesn't know what I've done wrong, and is happy, nevertheless it's wrong.

I Learnt About Varnishing & Isolation Coats from that.

I'm not that bothered, believe it or not, as I know a lot more about varnishing now than I did before I ruined the work, and that's what I'm all about: learning to paint. It's a bit like computer programming really, you tend to remember parts of a new language better if you now know a piece of code that you get badly wrong the first time round.

Pat really liked the painting and so I will do another one for her ... making a better job of the oranges, the white jug and ... the varnishing.

So back to the drawin.... 'er ... easel 

I can't leave this post without a picture, so here is my great grandson, Logan John, who is walking at 9 months!


14 comments:

  1. Oh no!! Though I'm sure you were annoyed at the time, it's good that you can chalk it up to experience. I can't remember who it was who said there was no such things as mistakes, only learning opportunities, but it was spot on. You'll remember next time ..... I hope. ;-)

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    1. Very true, John. Good to see you back

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  2. Before ANYTHING..your great grandson, Logan John is so handsome..it's hard to believe he's 9 months old already! I remember how excited you were when you found out you were going to be a Great Grandpa!!!
    "On Reflection" is absolutely beautiful John! Congratulations on a beautiful piece... your daughter will treasure it.....and I scrolled down and you did an amazing job on "Angolan woman".....wonderful work!!!

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  3. Thanks for your kind comments. Logan is a very independent character who has a lot to do! I don't call him Logan ... I call him Topgun

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  4. John, your great grandson is adorable. Wow, 9 months and walking, my boys also started walking early, they kept us on our toes as well. Enjoy and God Bless, they are a joy.

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    1. He's a bit special ... first boy in 50+ years

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  5. My Grandson is close in age John... eight months and just beginning to walk along furniture! He is so cute and this photo is adorable!
    Hmm... Isolation??? Well in that case you know more than I do about varnishing as I've never heard of isolation! What I DO know is that you should never varnish an oil painting until at least 6 months after it's complete - preferably 9, depending on the number and thickness of layers. As much as it won't make a difference at first, it will have an effect over time if varnished before it's totally dry. Even if it feels dry, it isn't! 6 months is the minimum it will take to truly dry and varnish is a no-no before then. Meanwhile, there is a safer way to at least even out the sheen without compromising the life of the painting. When it is dry enough to run a finger over it, you can apply 'Artists Paint Medium' gently with a lint free cloth in circular motions. This will make the painting look varnished even though it isn't - by that I mean that the sheen will be even across the whole painting, without being either shiny or mat. Anyway, you are right, there is no such thing as a failure in art... Success only comes from previous failures, so they are a positive :0)

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    1. Thanks Sandra. I'm talking purely about Acrylics, I haven't tried oils yet. I've varnished the canvas in the past without a problem, but that was because they were small, and the quick drying acrylic varnish didn't cause a problem. On the larger canvases I now use ended up in places with a cloudy 'frosted' appearance. My guru, Will Kemp, gives a technical reason for this, "the varnish and solvent being absorbed into the support leaves the matting agent on the surface, where it appears as white solid". Which is what happened.

      The isolation coat is one part medium two part water mixture, which is applied and allowed to dry before varnishing ...which is much the same as you are saying.

      Thanks for taking so much time ...much appreciated.

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  6. I've never heard of an isolation coat either although i don't use oils so that's my excuse! That's a very cute photo of your great Grandson.

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    1. Glad you liked the photo of Topgun.

      See what I've written to sandra above about the isolation coat

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  7. You did well to publish the photo of your great grandson, a beautiful child with extraordinary eyes, looking up at me from the screen.
    Ruining something ... I've ruined so many things ... failed watercolors were quite normal and sometimes a mess happens again ... It 'a shame because your work was really very well done.
    Knowledge of materials with the acrylic is really very complex, because these colors are transformable
      but the whole transformation is based auxiliary material that is not easy to manage, as I learned, even I, with my past experience.


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    1. Thanks for the advise and support, Rita. I'm learning slowly.

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  8. I had no idea there's a coat of something that goes on before the varnish coat. I've yet to have that painful lesson. Top gun makes all that disappointment meaningless.

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  9. Hi John,
    Logan John is SUCH a CUTIE!!! He has beautiful, intelligent eyes, and I bet he is going to be quite the lady-killer when he's older. :)
    I am sorry to read that you had a hard lesson with that lovely still-life. The colors in it were so warm and rich.
    Kathryn

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