Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Useful Tool for Drawing With Paint and Moving in to the Studio

The painting, with a layer of drawn marks using the bottle system

It seems ages since I was last in London when we looked at Grayson Perry, Hockney and others.  While we were in the city I popped in to Atlantis Art Supplies and thinking of my problem of trying to produce similar marks to the ones in my drawings, but with paint, Sarah, who studied textiles at Winchester, introduced me to some little "bottles and tips".   This is actually what is on the packaging - there's no fancy name!  They are small plastic bottles that come with metal tips through which the paint, dye or ink is forced, a bit like a miniature icing nozzle (plain), with which you can draw.  And they work! 

The marks do get a little bit "blobby" occasionally, but actually no more often than my pen marks on absorbant paper (as in the Chinese notebook I have been using), and this system does allow for drawing with very fine lines with paint.  I am really surprised that it worked so well and glad that I have found a way of reproducing the marks similar to a pen that a brush simply will not.


The bottles come in two small sizes and each metal nozzle has a corresponding pin to keep the hole clear and unblocked.  Each bottle also comes with a plastic cap to prevent the ink/paint from drying out.  It is recommended that the metal nozzle is removed and cleaned at the end of each session and the bottle capped until the next use.  The system is only recommended for acrylic paint, fabric paint and glues, obviously not quick setting glues. 

So far I have used it on the surface of the last painting, I kept the painting on the easel and worked with the bottle fairly upright.  I enjoyed the way the marks changed as I progressed across the different surfaces of the painting; the smoother surface of the collaged areas were just like working in a notebook, where the nozzle went across the more thinly painted areas of the canvas, it juddered a bit and I developed the technique slightly, holding it against the surface less firmly but when the nozzle "bit" into the cotton duck and wobbled, it made a much more tentative mark, which I like.  Across the thickly painted area it worked smoothly.  As I pointed out earlier, care had to be taken to avoid blobs, but even these, when they ran, created interesting marks, so I just kept going and went with it.

I am now making decisions about further layers for this painting and it will be put to one side for me to look at while I get on with finishing the studio and moving in, as well as making some more work at last.

The partition wall in the studio is now complete except for the final panel of mdf, which will have to wait as we forgot the rawl plugs yesterday and the upright at that end needs to be attached to a brick pillar.  The rest are up, fairly straight and gap free, all they need is a couple of coats of white matt emuslion.  Behind them there is a sandwich of plastic and insulation salvaged from the demolition at home.  There are a few big gaps to block somehow above the doors and at the base of the doors and then the space should be much more draught free.  I have no illusions that it will be warm, I have purchased a gas heater with the plan to buy another one if needs must during the winter.

Plastic in between the uprights, insulation and another layer of black plastic on top, should see the wall pretty draught, dirt and petrol fumes from next door free!

This work took us all day yesterday, made more awkward because the uprights were very odd distances apart, which meant that each sheet of mdf had to be cut seperately.  The back wall will be much easier because we are going to put the uprights where we want them and we'll be able to keep most of the sheets of mdf whole.  The rain didn't help; we had to keep rushing everything indoors to avoid the very heavy showers to keep the sheets from getting wet.

My trusty helper, Pete, without whose help none of this would happen!

Second layer of plastic before the boards

Completed wall, a gap to fill, (end upright not vertical!) and the final board to do when we remember rawl plugs.  Painted, it will make a brilliant working surface.

The plan is to move in this week. . . .

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