Friday, January 19, 2007

A Note

Catholic Exchange has some blogs, to one of which I shall be contributing periodically.

I went by the irascible Erik's place to thank him for linking to something I wrote. Open comments box. Write comment. Hit "post." Comment disappears. Do it again. Comment disappears. What am I doing wrong? Do it again. Comment disappears. To hell with it. Go back later today and the comment's there. Interesting system. He must spend a lot of time reading multiples of the same comment.

10 comments:

Erik Keilholtz said...

In order to prevent the more graphic spam from sullying the public sphere (and to edit or delete propoganda posts from Protties or Mohammedans), I read every post before it gets approved, edited, or deleted. I do not shrink from claims that I practice censorship. In fact, I delight in them.

I have, in fact, banned the IP numbers of two non-commercial posters because of content: one Joseph d'Hippolito and an Anglitic who went over the line.

William Luse said...

You wouldn't be the first to ban that guy.

By the way, I use Naples Yellow frequently in watercolor, but haven't seen it in acrylic.

Erik Keilholtz said...

I have, but it is always a substitute (Naples Yellow Hue) in both water color and in acrylic, because lead-based pigment cannot be used in water-based media (without the protective coating of oil, the lead will darken and eventually corrode).

William Luse said...

I just looked at the tube and you're absolutely right: "hue". Nevertheless it is a hue to which I have frequent recourse. Many things can be done with it.

Your knowledge of all this reminds me of a book Elizabeth gave me for Christmas called "The Complete Oil Painter". A lot of technical stuff about paint quality, mediums, fluids and thinners and bases of one kind or another. I can't absorb it all. I guess she wants me to get to oils eventually, but I've been putting it off - the smell the mess and it don't cost a lot less. Besides, I started in watercolors and wanted to achieve some measure of mastery, which I probably won't live long enough to see. But I don't like traditional watercolor technique, the suggestive washes lacking detail, or the illusion of it. I like building things up in layers so that the effect is denser. Or is that 'more dense'? I'm off duty.

Erik Keilholtz said...

You might be better served with gouache, if you are not into the traditional watercolor technique (or, since the Brits dominate the genre, should I say "watercolour?"). The opaque medium is great for building up layers. I have had a lot of fun with it.

However, when it comes down to it, I am an oil man. I like the feeling of the paint, the smell, the look, all that.

William Luse said...

I'll investigate the goulash. (Sorry).

And I gave the wrong impression about oils. I too love the smell of the paint and the feel and look of it. It's the mineral spirits that bug me, unless you can recommend something else. Because I know I'm going to try them eventually. I'm also worried about drying time between sessions; I suppose it depends on the kind of thing one is doing, but I doubt everything can be done the Bob Ross way. Any advice on that?

Erik Keilholtz said...

To speed up drying use a synthetic medium like alkyd (or Gamblin's fantastic neo-Megilp). One thing to remember is "fat over lean." Underpainting should be less oily than subsequent layers. By the time you get to glazing, the paint should be at its fattest.

Now, there is a lot more to it than that, but frankly, if you just paint and don't worry, the chances are you will end up OK, except for the fact that the Florida humidity might louse things up more than the Bay Area humidity. I dunno.

You could take the hard road and read one of the chemistry-heavy manuals that gives you specific rates of oil absorbtion for each pigment, rates various approaches in terms of archivalness, etc. I have done this and enjoyed it, but I am a geek. There are no two ways around that.

There are, however, books that are much easier for regular, non-chemistry geek people. For instance the Artist's Manual published by Chronicle Books. That one covers the basics well, without boring you with details of covalent bonds (although, some of us find that sort of stuff fascinating).

William Luse said...

I don't have time for covalent bonds at the moment, but the book Ebe gave me does have a chart illustrating that absorption rate for pigments, to which I will pay close attention when the time comes. I am familiar with fat over lean, but that stuff about synthetic mediums is a big help. I'll also look up that book. Many thanks.

Erik Keilholtz said...

Another good source is the Gamblin website. They, of course, are selling product, but I have found their advice sound, and their writing clear. No one can accuse Robert Gamblin of not knowing what he is doing.

William Luse said...

I'm on my way.