Monday, 6 March 2017

A Painting Day with Friends

I paint with a small group of friends. We have known each other a long time. Most of us met through our local painting group and that other common thread family. Six of us gathered at my home yesterday. There was food a plenty, multiple conversations going on at once and of course painting. Acrylics, watercolour, coloured pencil and graphite were some of the materials of choice. We started with a quick warm up - this involved displaying an image (in this case calendar photos) and having 40 seconds to draw/paint that image. We did a total of 8 of these quick studies. This is such a good exercise - forces me to edit out most of the details and look at shape, line and value.

One of the original calendar images and a sampling of the some '40 second' sketches.


I did a small painting - not from a quick sketch though. I used acrylic paint (titanium white and a premixed grey), watercolours, Inktense pencils and 8B graphite. I have never mixed these twos mediums so it was an experiment that at times I thought was going horribly wrong or seemed to be working. I put some of the acrylic paint down first and 'drew' into it with a pen and then started adding watercolour and then more acrylic. As soon as the second layer of acrylic met the watercolour (which was dry) the watercolour pigment mixed with the acrylic. My first thought was to quit and just use watercolour, but I decided that maybe I could make something out of the original smudges. So continued painting with both mediums, spritzed with water and rubbed and lifted with paper towel. I do like how the titanium white and watercolour mixed to make some great opaque areas. This is probably nothing new to some of you but this was the first time I had tried mixing the two media together. I am looking forward to more 'experiments' in the 'art lab'.

Mixed media on 140lb
rough watercolour paper


  1. Janet: wow.

    I can fully appreciate how disorienting it may have been to have materials not behaving in the ways to which you are accustomed but of course the materials don't have a care in the world for what you expect; they just do what they do. What they did here—AT YOUR HAND—is magnificent. You've created tremendous depth front to back, and a fascinating, evocative quality of light. I love the (pencil?) linework.


  2. I agree with Dotty, She says it so well. What is really catching my eye...those "dirty" bits of white that mixed with color and created a soft neutral. If that happened to me, I would think it a non-happy accident. But here, it is the perfect touch!

  3. Aren't painting groups the absolute best! Great work today especially with all the challenges of "misbehaving" materials.