more fun with the gesture/portraits …mixed media
(charcoal, watercolor and gouache on acrylic toned paper)
charcoal/watercolor set up
I’ve been enjoying working up these gestures and pushing the charcoal/watercolor mix. You can only learn what a technique or media is capable of doing by pushing it until it stops working. It’s about the learning and polishing the process.
I’m developing a special set up for working with charcoal and watercolor. Because the charcoal does go into suspension as you paint I decided to use my small ten well plastic palette (if I want to continue with charcoal and watercolor I may invest in a small porcelain palette) so I don’t contaminate the paints in my larger palette. Since I’m in my experimental phase I’m also not using my better brushes. I’m also trying to find the right water/Gum Arabic mixture.
This painting began as a quick sketch using my homemade charcoal then I used some soft compressed charcoal to add a bit more depth to the darks. Once I was satisfied with the drawing I began to use the Gum Arabic mix to bind and spread the charcoal about. There are some interesting things happening with the charcoal during this part of the process. Once the binder dried I added washes of ultramarine blue, dioxazine purple and burnt sienna; as well as, white gouache for some highlights diluted with the same mix of Gum Arabic/water mix I used as the charcoal binder. This particular mix does add a nice gloss and brilliance to the color.
8.5×11, mixed media
(charcoal, watercolor and gouache on acrylic toned 110lb acid free cardstock)
Every painting and even every thought is a necessary step to lead to the next painting. (Alice Dustin)
Here are a couple links to some nice articles about Charles Burchfield
A Closer Look: Charles E. Burchfield’s ‘Dreaming of Christmas’