Monday, July 09, 2007

What Can Brown Do for Me?

Base color tests going on the finished tree form. Texture looking so good in person, even in this undeveloped stage. I'm really happy with it.

I mixed up all the jars and tubes of Burnt Umber and Siennas I've been squirrling away over the years for just this moment... the Halfland Tree painting.

I extended the volume with Nova's matte medium, to both seal the highly-textured plaster surface and to see how much it could cover. That batch got me about 38% of the tree done. I was going to quit for the day and wait for a Wednesday scoot to the fabulously fun Nova Color paint shop for more dark browns and taupes to finish the whole job.

Then I noticed a pint of leftover Latex-Epoxy floor paint with Vinyl Epoxy Resin. Normally, I'm loathe to use anything with toxic fumes here as the set is smack in the middle of our home and my computer desk is just 3 feet away, where I live and eat. But it was EXACTLY the right color, here, and free, um, why not? I put on my respirator and threw down a few areas darkened with a drop of black gesso.

It's already dry and seems to be fantastic. Nice and flexible, no flake. I can get all my burnt tones for the undercoat with it and have a gallon of light taupe for the highlight shades, if I add in a little yellow.

This means I could finish painting the entire tree tomorrow.

::don't miss the post below, if you haven't read it, it's a bit of a "get" I think::


  1. That Article sounds Interesting but I havent read it all yet!, Your Tree is Looking Good. Is it possible to tell me what colours you used so I can have an Idea on how to Paint My Tree (Via E-Mail if Possible so I dont Miss it!)


  2. Now that's the right attitude, use what you have, after that, beg, borrow and steal to get the film made... in that order. (Don't you hate it when people misuse an ellipsis)

    Great article below BTW.

    PS. Ever see the film The Fountain. What's with all these trees?

  3. Ok, Ben, here's some advice, don't follow any color recipe, use your own sense of color instead. (That goes for food and life too I think!)

    However, for your reference, here's what I'll use:
    Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, and a drop of black for the base. I will also add a touch of straight Burnt Sienna (which is a red/brown) in a few places for variation and texural interest. Then on top I'll be dry brushing two or three shades of taupe, one more grey another more brown. The final layer may be a wash of aging solution made from black/brown stains and water, maybe walnut ink too if it looks perfect.

    It may take me a bit of back and forth to get it looking right--but it sure is tree-mendous-fun.

    Hi Rich! That was a misuse? a-boy, I'm in trouble.

    The Fountain? No! I'm Googling immediately...

  4. Rent the DVD, watch the extras. I think you'll enjoy them.

  5. I had read about it, I recall now. Thanks for the rec, I'll Flix Que it.


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