Thursday, August 5, 2010


I plan to drive out to Deb Ward's place in the Indiana countryside to paint with her and Sharon today. We'll critique each other, give each other extra eyes and help along the way and probably laugh a lot.

Here are some photos I took during the watercolor society demo and talk Deb gave yesterday on painting with casein. Casein is a milk based paint and I found it had a very strong ammonia-like smell to it (or maybe it was like turps). The paint doesn't move and flow like watercolor or fluid acrylics - it pretty much sits where you put it even when you prewet the illustration board before putting the paint on. It is an ancient painting substance, having been found on the walls of the Egyptian pyramids. So when it's dry, it lasts! You can layer over it to get the look you want but you don't want to paint thickly with it or it will crack as it dries. Deb varnishes her paintings when she is done so she doesn't have to use glass when she frames them.

Four of us stayed after the program (I think the terrible heat kept a lot of members at home today because it was a smaller crowd than usual, even with our annual art supply sale going on).

Deb gave us dabs of the casein and paper plates to use as palettes, and an 8x 10 piece of illustration board to paint on. We copied a drawing she'd done of pears on lace.

Everyone (but me) wanted to try the lace. Deb does lace like you've never seen - you feel as if you can reach out and pick it off the canvas/board - but lace is not my thing so I decided to play it safe.

<--- Jo
Jane --->

had some colorful pears and a good start on their lace cloth.

Sally wowed us all with her light touch and beautiful modeling of the pears...

And Deb's were beautiful, of course, as she built up the colors and shape, bit by bit...

While yours truly rushed through like a monkey on a ten-speed bike, going too dark, too intense, too much, too whatever.

I did not get pretty colors like Sally, Jo, Jane, and Deb did. I also didn't even try the lace since I know I'm not a lacy girl and wouldn't benefit from learning how to do this (which Deb says is just painting "what isn't lace").
I'm going to finish mine up with acrylics. I used to have, somewhere in my art room, some traditional acrylic paints. I can't find them. Don't know if I gave them away or took them somewhere and lost them...or where they disappeared. Maybe they'll turn up someday. I had quite a few although I never used them.


Rachel Rose said...

This is interesting!

debwardart said...

Thanks for this post! Glad you had a good time, even without the lace!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Great pictures! Thank you for letting us be a little bit present at that workshop by Deb.

You are always too hard on yourself. I like your pears!

laura said...

It is great to paint with others--and to have such a talented teacher. I always find in classes that there is something enjoy in everyone's painting--sometimes even in my own! ;-)
I love your painting--the colors, yes, and the the animated way your pears seem to be huddled together.

Vicki Greene said...

Thanks Rhonda for sharing this with us and I really like that texture you have on that red pear.

Ann Buckner said...

Rhonda, hope you all had a good time yesterday. I enjoyed this post and how each of you showed your own style in your paintings. What fun you all must have had.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks to everyone who commented on the post. You are too kind about my little sad pears! But it was an interesting demo and was fun trying it after the program.

Carol King said...

I like your pears! And I really enjoyed reading about the 4 of you working together. Thanks for all the photos.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Carol. You're too kind. Mine look so childish compared to the others - but that's okay. Whenever I pick up a new medium and try, it seems I have to start all over with what I've learned about values, composition, etc.