Thursday, November 28, 2013

When Will I Learn...

When Will I Learn (and Why is the Answer to That Question Always NEVER)?

I did a previous black-and-white painting of the Joker with gouache (an opaque watercolor) based on Conrad Veidt from "The Man Who Laughed" (whom the Joker's visual look was based on).  I decided to colorize it as a present to a long-time friend of mine.  I had just finished re-painting it in full color with gouache and was actually pleased by how the colorization turned out, except...

There was a section on top of the painting where the dark red paint refracted the light in a weird way, making it look like the painting was faded from some angles.  So, I was hoping that when I used a matte-based fixative on the painting, it would correct the problem by knocking down the shiny spots.

Fixative is generally used to help keep charcoal from smearing, watercolor from running, and to protect the drawing/painting.  However, I had a problem with some fixative on a watercolor painting I had done a long time ago: I sprayed it on the watercolor to protect it, but it essentially erased most of the painting; it was one step away from just spraying it with white spray paint.  As I couldn't remember the brand name of the spray and didn't have something handy to test it on (OK, mostly I was also just impatient to get the thing fixed and in the mail), I had another great idea!

I had just applied some Matte Medium with an extra-soft paint brush to some vine charcoal drawings earlier in the day with the intent of painting over them later.  I expected a mostly smeared mess, but there was surprisingly little movement of the charcoal.  (It wouldn't have mattered if it had smeared all over, it was just for testing purposes.)  Now, I'm sure you can see exactly where this is heading...

So, I said to myself "Hey, that worked great for something which should have become a gray mess all over... surely it will work even better on watercolor/gouache.  I'm sure any running should be minimal."  Here was the result:

As soon as I touched the brush to the watercolor painting, it began to smear.  Rather large areas of paint broke off and ran across the rest of the painting.  And, sadly, once started, I pretty much had no choice but to keep on going and finish it, trying to brush back as much of the damage as I could.

So, I re-painted the entire painting again (third time's a charm, I guess), this time with acrylic paint.  While the acrylic painting generally turned out well, I still think the colorized gouache was better.  (I also thought there was a bit too much lettering in the first previous one, so left off the "Keep on Smiling!")  Oh, well, live and learn!  Well, live, anyways... ;-)

Now, I'm sure most of you are sick of seeing this painting and have begun to wonder if I can really do anything else, so hopefully it will be the last time it will be featured on this blog.  :-D

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This was done with Acrylic Paint on 6" x 9" Arches Hot Press paper which was glued to Medium Density Fiberboard with Acrylic Matte Medium.


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