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A Little Bit of Garlic

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Little Garlic I: a painting on clayboard by Jenny Armitage

Little Garlic I ( 6" x 6" watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

I did these three little paintings at the Gallery on Wednesday.  My primary purpose was to continue learning to handle clayboard.  I had taken the reference photos some time ago and they seemed perfect for the little six by six inch panels I had to work with and they were great subjects for learning technique as they have soft and sharp edges and a full value scale from black to white.

I used  the same palette for all three paintings:  burnt sienna, red brown madder (much the same color as burnt sienna but much less sedimentary and brighter), cobalt blue, phthalo blue, new gamgee , raw sienna, and because both reds are really orange, dioxion violet.   This gave me a highly sedimentary pigment, and transparent pigment for each primary.  The transparents, new gamgee, red madder and especially phthalo and dioxion violet are difficult to lift from paper.

Little Garlic II: a paining in purples and yellows by Jenny Armitage

Little Garlic II (6" x 6" watercolor on clayboard) $40.00

I emphasized different pigments in each painting. Little  Garlic I is all about blues and greens with a little orange-red and  orange for punch, i.e. two analogous colors with a touch of each compliment.  Little Garlic II is a complimentary color scheme, violet and yellow.   Garlic III is simply the reverse of Garlic I; orange-red  and yellow predominate and blue-violet and green provide the punch.

I mixed the colors almost entirely on the clay-board, laying down the warmer colors first and dropping in the cooler ones.  Primarily, I mixed sedimentary colors with sedimentary colors and transparents with transparents. Mixing transparents with transparents and translucents with translucents is another trick I learned from Karen Vernon.  Droped into thier own kind, they spread out nicely.  Otherwise sedimentary colors tend to push everything else aside.

Little Garlic III watercolor on clayboard by Jenny Armitage

Little Garlic III (6" x 6" watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

Because of the ease of lifting  from clay-board, I didn’t use mask.  The very whitest whites are reserved through negative painting but most of the whites are lifted.   All of the soft edged lights in the garlic roots are lifted.

After I completed the paintings, I fixed the surface with two coats of Krylon’s UV Archival Varnish, and three coats of Golden’s Polymer Varnish with UVLS (satin). The result is that the paintings may be  framed without glass. The coating is not only protective, but archival and removable for conservation purposes.

Little Garlic II is still available for purchases.  Prints of all three paintings are available through Fine Art America.

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The Columbia River on Paper and Clayboard

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Foggy Morning on the Columbia River (paper) Painting by Jenny Armitage

Foggy Morning on the Columbia (watercolor on paper 12 x 16) $175.00

These are two paintings I did at the gallery in late September in preparation for a workshop with Karen Vernon. Karen, best known for her huge floral paintings on clayboard. My primary goal for the workshop was to learn to paint on clayboard. So the week prior to the workshop I painted the same scene twice, once on cold pressed paper and once on Ampersand’s Aquabord.

The first painting I did conventionally painting from light to dark and reserving the whites without masking. Some of the fog is lifted, some of it is reserved. I used a very restricted pallet of burnt sienna, cobalt blue, phthalo blue and new gamgee.

Foggy Morning on the Columbia a painting by Jenny Armitage

Foggy Morning on the Columbia (watercolor on aquabord 8 x 10) $60.00

For the second painting I added dioxon purple to my palette. I proceeded once more from light to dark getting to know the new surface. The first thing I discovered is that the surface has to be bone dry to accept an over glaze. The second thing I discovered is that it’s very hard to lay down an even wash on the clay surface. On the other hand lifting is very easy. Rather than reserved the whites, I lifted them after the painting was almost completed. The result is softer than the watercolor painted version.

In class I learned that the trick to even washes on clayboard is to saturate the surface and let the water soak all the way through the clay part of the board before beginning. Over glazes require that the board be thoroughly dry. A hair dryer is an absolute must for working with clayboard.

The workshop turned out to be a fantastic experience.  I will be detailing so of the lessons learned in the coming blog entries as well as posting the paintings I started in class.

The clayboard version of the painting is protected with a clear satin polymer varnish and may be framed with or without glass.

These paintings are currently for sale on line at my Etsy shop.

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