Sunday, August 24, 2014

Egg #6- Tiffany stain glass inspired goose egg from "50 years all cooped up..."

I've always loved stain glass. I even tried my hand at it. It was a little too fussy a craft for me, but still admire the people that can do it, and do it well. Like Tiffany, of course. It didn't stop me from trying to capture the look of the medium, however. I have done a series of watermedia pieces that give homage to the art of stain glass. Here is one painting below:

This painting was done on 300 lb. cold press watercolor paper. The amazing thing about this painting, is that I was already thinking about resists, much like the wax batik resist that exists in the making of Pysanky (Ukrainian eggs). The black leaded lines were painted in first with a mixture of watercolor/goauche and permanent making fluid. Once dry, the leaded lines "resist" and repel any type of watercolor wash that you lay down. You are free to float washes right up to the edge of the line without worrying about accidentally getting an unwanted color into the channel next door. This also allows you to bleed colors together and let them go at will within the confines of the black lines. You may also drop clear water into the middle and watch the pigment push to the outer walls, leaving a glow in the middle. This gives the piece the luminous look of stain glass. If I could do it with watercolor, why not water-based dyes, and a raised black line that would in effect do the same thing?
So, here is my attempt at a stain glass egg, with wax lines that will stay on the surface of the egg. It will be a grand experiment, and as my egg and art peeps and I had the discussion of whether we research, implement or just decide to "fly by the seat of our pants", this is what I was referring to.
I start by dividing the egg into eighths. I draw a curve from the top of each of the upper compartments, hit the equator line in the middle and curve out to the bottom compartment, giving me swirls. I then take a circular paper template with 1/2 "circles and start building up the grapes in a conical shape, from large to a small point. Each time I add a single grape, I give the egg a quarter turn and place the next circle adjacent to the last one I drew, and keep rotating the egg with each course. Eventually I will end up with four bunches that are similar in size and placement around the egg. This takes a little patience.
I'm sure some of you have this in your egging arsenal.
You can see that I have almost completed all four bunches of grapes.
And now to add stems that connect each bunch of grapes as if they really were leading lines keeping all the stain glass together. Drawing was done on an acid etched egg with a .05 mechanical pencil and 2H lead.
Next comes the leading lines, done with a black wax from PUSA. This wax will go through my kitska and stay on the egg. It will become part of the raised design and will not be melted off later.
I purchased this handy little wax melter with metal cups (also from PUSA), placed it on a stone tile and popped the black wax in to melt it. I also purchased a special metal dropper that you can manually fill with the melted colored wax and fill the kitska rather than dunking it in and having to wipe the excess off (although that works too, if you like).
The picture above shows the black wax outline of the grape bunch and the stems. I use a fine kitska, and double up on the stem lines a bit.
After waxing over all of the lines with the tinted black wax, I use UGS scarlet, and hand paint in the first base color of one of the bunches. This will be similar to glazing in watercolor.
Finished blocking in that color. Letting it dry until I can safely handle it and go to the next bunch.
I've now started to block in the green grapes with my favorite color, PUSA Neon green.
I do the same for the concord blue grapes( UGS light blue) and the purple grapes (PUSA mauve).
Starting to fill the background in with PUSA Fern green.
After the background dries, I wet a q-tip or you could use a watercolor wipe-out tool, and back out some highlights in each individual grape. I do this for all four bunches. Sounds tedious, I know, but it is worth the effort, I promise!
Now comes the fun. Shading the sides and underneath each grape. For the green, two shades, PUSA Asparagus and Violet. That hint of purple will be carried throughout each bunch of grapes, making for a cohesive look.
The shading may look a little heavy-handed, but I am also taking my cue from the vibrancy of the Tiffany glass. The colors are strong and bold. I also happen to like to paint in watercolors the exact same way!
Here's the part that might be a little different. I will now carefully paint over the section I have just shaded with Polymer medium gloss to seal in what I have done so that nothing smears or smudges. I let it dry about 30 minutes and move onto the next section.
The next bunch to get shaded is the red grapes. I use UGS red and dark red, and shade underneath with UGS purple.
Once finished, I will seal this part too, careful not to get any of the polymer gloss medium on any other part of  the egg which has not been shaded yet.
Here are the concord blue grapes getting their shading with UGS royal blue and dark red and a little purple underneath.
And sealed with the polymer gloss medium. One bunch left to go. Purple grapes.
There are the highlights, and I used PUSA grape, followed by UGS Purple, Royal blue and deepest shading with dark red.
And here it is finished, and waiting for a seal as well.
Next is the shading on the stems. I use PUSA mushroom, and chocolate kiss. Then seal those areas.
I shade on the PUSA Fern green with UGS yellow near the top, and pull it down to the bottom of the compartment, and then take a brush full of UGS light green and work up from the bottom and fan it out and blend it towards the middle. I do this same exact thing for every background compartment. The bright yellow on top makes the panel look as though sun is shining through, and gets darker towards the bottom. After it all dries, I seal those compartments up with the polymer gloss medium as well. And here is a four-part view of the stain glass egg before varnishing it with a polymer acrylic gloss varnish with UVLS.

I really had fun with this grand experiment, and I hope you've enjoyed this journey with me!

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