Sunday, August 8, 2010

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society August Meeting: Deb Ward speaker

So much time since my last post.....I finished a painting, had my birthday, gone on vacation, attended the August meeting of GCWS and entered 2 paintings in a juried show that with any luck will be hanging when the show opens on August 14th.

This month, at the GCWS meeting, the guest speaker was Deb Ward ( She talked to us about painting with casein.

Casein is a milk based paint that has been used since ancient Egyptian times. It is a fast drying water soluble medium that can be used on canvas panels, illustrations board, paper or wood. It is similar to egg tempera in its ability to  resemble oil painting.

Like gauche, it has been a preferred medium in the illustration or commercial artists. It fell out of use in the 1960's when acrylic paint was developed. However, today it is slowly making a come back with water media artists.

Deb began by showing us her tools. She uses a possum palette to hold the paint. However, she uses a styro foam plate to mix her colors because the paint stains. Deb uses her old soft brushes or cheap brushes because the paint wants to stay in the brush. She cleans them with brush soap and water. Deb says that once she finishes a painting she waits a few weeks then varnishes it. Deb likes that way it looks like an oil painting without the smell or mess.

Deb begins prepping her canvas board with lots of water just like she does with her watercolor or liquid acrylics. She stated that she usually starts with a yellow wash. This helps to give the whites a glow. If you let the casein dry and come back to work on the painting, Deb suggests that you wet the area that you are working so that it adheres.

Deb told the group how the darks seem to dry lighter. She instructed us how that when she mixes blues and browns to make a black it seems to be gray. Deb was not sure of why the paints reacted this way, therefore, she uses a black casein paint. She also said that varnishing helped to bring the darks out.
If you have read my posts before you know that I am a fan and blog friend of Deb. I took her workshop on fluid acrylics and value her opinion when I ask for help. Deb is a very informative and entertaining instructor. I love her "try it" attitude, as much as, I love her work.

So, summer is coming to a close and school will be back in session soon. My GCWS meetings are done until next summer. I so look forward to meeting other local watercolor artist, as well as, enjoy the guest speakers that I get to hear every summer. Best money I spend on my art.



debwardart said...

Wow, Gaylynn, thanks for this wonderful post! Hope to see you this coming weekend!

Gaylynn said...

Deb, you are very welcome. I will be there with bells on! :-)

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