This blog post is a bit about an experiment I'm doing involving mixing techniques and media. In my current painting, “Ladybugs:3, Thrasher:0” I have used both differing painting techniques, (opaque painting and glazed painting) and mixed media,(acrylic paints and waxed based pencils). I talked a bit about the different painting techniques I used in past posts, and now I'm “show and telling” about mixing colored pencils with acrylic paints. I don't have any evidence of the archival-ness of this mixing of media, but I think it should work OK. I used wax based pencils in between two coats of acrylic glazes and will follow that up with a top coat of acrylic medium/varnish when finished. That should hold it to the canvas just as the paint pigments are bound to the canvas by the acrylic medium.
The image above shows the brown thrasher sketched in with very thin acrylic glazes in brownish red and buffy......the “native” colors of the bird. I'm painting on a prepared very smooth gessoed piece of masonite. Light acrylic glazes (acrylic fluid paints mixed with an acrylic glazing medium) dry pretty quickly and keep their “tooth”. If acrylic paints are applied without a glazing medium or applied thickly, when they dry will assume a plastic texture and wax colored pencils won't adhere to that surface.
I drew in the individual feathers on the upper body of the bird, along with detailing the staring “stink eye” he's giving the ladybugs. (“Stink eye” is appropriate as ladybugs stink to high heaven when squashed.....something the thrasher seems to know!)
At the same time you can see that the glazing of the backlit dogwood leaves is progressing.
Since I wanted to judge how dark to glaze the surrounding leaves, I darkened the thrasher's buffy front and underbelly, with a glaze of transparent brown and cobalt blue. After that dried I drew, with a sepia wax colored pencil, the individual brown stippling on the bird's belly. I covered that with another light blue glaze and checked the effect of the glazed “shadow”.
Now I just have to tweak details, and I will show the finished piece next time.