Thursday, November 17, 2011

Demo painting: Dippy Duck #3...



 Dippy Duck #3
watercolor, 8" x 8"
Chris Beck

This demo piece was lurking unfinished in the flat files so I decided to play with the background. I've painted this image twice before, initially with a plain cobalt violet background and then with a deep purple/magenta background of feather shapes. I had found a roller designed for painting walls that has stars scattered over the roller and thought it might work well.

As I usually do before working on the actual painting, I tested my idea on scrap paper. I put the star roller on its handle, poured some masking fluid in a tray and rolled the stars through it, making sure they were well-coated. Then I rolled it carefully across the paper so the stars wouldn't get too distorted. After the masking dried, I brushed a simple wash across it and when that dried, removed the masking with a rubber cement pickup.


Satisfied with my experiment, I cut a frisket film for the duck and rolled a star pattern across the background. After removing the frisket, I painted Winsor violet on the background around the duck, let it dry, and then removed the masking. I painted a deep rose across the entire background and followed that with several more washes to get the color depth I wanted. Unfortunately, the end result was a bit intrusive and the color was dull, so I decided to enhance it a bit with spattered gouache.


Because I would be spattering paint with a toothbrush, I didn't have to make a water-tight seal on the duck image. I cut a piece of frisket film roughly the size of the duck and laid it in place, smoothing it out before trimming it.


With a new X-acto blade in my knife, I gently cut along the outline of the duck and removed the excess film. I pressed it down firmly with my fingers, but did not burnish it down.


Using an enamel tray, I put out small dabs of gouache of a deep magenta, deep ultramarine, and permanent white. I mixed up a medium magenta and a medium blue-purple and spattered them with a flat bristle toothbrush. (Be sure to protect your work surface with newspapers!!) The size of the spatters are related to the amount of water in the paint puddle, so it takes a bit of experimenting to get the size droplets you want. Generally, the more water, the larger the droplets.


I ultimately used five or six different shades of magenta and purple, spattering until I was satisfied with the appearance of the background. (Note that, unlike watercolor which dries lighter than it appears when wet, gouache dries slightly darker.) Then I removed the frisket, pulled the masking tape off the edge of my painting, and signed it. You can see that there was a significant amount of leakage under the tape. This is not a serious problem, since I always mat my paintings, but I prefer a cleaner edge on my non-demo work. I normally use a better tape for protecting the border -- Nichiban tape -- which I discussed in this blog post a while back.



Here, once again, is the finished painting!



25 comments:

  1. Dippy Duck is divine:) Love all the techniques you shared, you're so clever. It really turned out terrific!!

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  2. Very cool! If you do this again, what about making the black bits on the ducky star shaped? Might be fun.

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  3. Thanks, Carrie -- I really enjoy trying new things!!

    Hey Rhonda -- I love how one idea triggers another!! That's a great suggestion -- if Dippy gets another shot at life, I might just do that!! Maybe I could do a series -- the nine lives of Dippy Duck -- it's not just for cats anymore!! ;-)

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  4. Great WIP, Chris. Thank you so much for posting it.

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  5. I really enjoy sharing these projects, Kathryn -- glad you enjoyed it!!

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  6. Chris, that is really neat! I am always amazed at how you get the shine on your images. Thanks for sharing. I like to try new things too.

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  7. Thanks, Ellie -- glad you liked it!!

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  8. Love the image and the colours are eye popping beautiful. Hugs!

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  9. Thanks, Tess -- and thanks for stopping in to comment!!

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  10. Thank you very much, Chris! I have learned a lot of things from the projects you've shared here...

    I do have a question -- if you have to make a water-tight seal on the duck, what masking material would you use? Masking fruid or the tape?

    Thanks again!

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  11. Glad you are enjoying my posts, Elfling!! For more info about protecting a section of your work, follow the link I give about using tape. That post has a lot of other info, including links to other artists who use frisket with masking fluid. Hope that helps.

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  12. Chris, your work is beautiful, and I love the care and work that goes into it. Thank you for your generosity in explaining your process.

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  13. Thanks, Deb -- I had fun setting up this post!!

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  14. I love the effect you got in this painting Chris. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  15. Thanks, Nancy -- glad you enjoyed it!!

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  16. Chris! What a jam packed easy to follow - full of great ideas post! Went to Morrisons school supply in San Carlos today with Joyce and saw all kinds of rollers with different kinds of "themes" or "attachments" and immediately thought of you! Have you been?

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  17. Hey Guy -- thanks for the compliment!! I didn't even know about Morrison's -- must make a field trip soon. I'd love to stop in to see the new studio digs you and Joyce have too!!

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  18. Sounds good!! I'll email you next week.

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  19. Such a cool post . . . love all the information and photos of the work in progress. I'm looking forward to going back and reading your post on tape. Your blog continues to be an inspiration to me. Thank you! :)

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  20. Thanks, Kara -- but from the looks of the paintings on your blog, I could also be coming over to you for inspiration!! Beautiful work!!

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  21. Well, silly me. I was not following your blog. Isn'tthat crazy? I dont know how you got by me but now i made it right and clicked follow!! I love that you show your process. Love the outcome even more! Your work is huge inspiration and made even better since you are so nice :)
    xokp

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  22. Kae Pea, you are so sweet to say such nice things!! You're an inspiration to me too -- I love the joy that radiates from your work!!

    As for following -- I forget to pay attention to the blog following app, but find I do OK with my sidebar list -- you're there now!! I'm happy to have the connection!!

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  23. Hi Chris. When i saw your little duck i was gobsmacked. Then got excited as you shared your technique and the end result with us. Wow! The background and the colors on the little guy are all so beautiful. One terrific painting for sure. I also enjoy very much your spotlight on other watercolor artists.
    Thank you for doing this. Blessings!

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  24. So glad you enjoyed this, Ross -- I also enjoyed looking through your blogs -- love your whimsical approach and your skill with watercolor too!!

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