Oak leaf canvas

Like so many things, these 5″×5″ mini canvases have been sitting in my stash for quite some time. Waiting, I suppose, for me to come up with the right idea and the confidence in my abilities to commit something to canvas rather than paper. Well, thinking like that is why they hadn’t been used yet, so I determined to just make something.

I sketched some oak leaves and then went over them with a tube of outliner — it’s designed primarily for using with glass paints but worked fine for my purposes — and then drew freehand contour lines around the leaves. And waited for it to dry. The colour choice was simple. I have two sets of six Pebeo solvent-based paints that haven’t had much use, easy solution: make two canvases, one with each of the sets. This canvas uses Pebeo Fantasy Prisme, which theoretically creates a honeycomb effect as it dries. I think it needs to be applied more thickly for the effect to work though — there is a hint of the effect in the red paint near the top edge — or it may just be that the paint is a couple of years old, or it might be the canvas substrate causing the problem. More experimentation is needed.

Whatever the reason for the lack of honeycomb, the paint went on nicely and dried as slowly as most solvent-based paints (touch dry in a few hours, continues to smell for another week). Rather than use a brush to apply it — because I hate cleaning up solvent-based paints — I used a wooden stirrer to transfer paint to the canvas and a cocktail stick to make sure it went right up to all the edges. I added some simple veins to the leaves and, luckily, the paint was thick enough to hold the lines drawn into it.

In spite of the solvent smell and the need to have the window open in November, I enjoyed making this. Every now and again it’s nice to have something to do that doesn’t require a lot of thought once you’ve come up with the initial idea.

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