Live media – Rub-out method

This post gives me the chance to talk about two artists and a few things I’ve been experimenting with.

The rub-out method works on the principle of live media a term coined by sterling Hundley who I will talk about later.  Paint such as acrylic and oil are dead when dry; immovable and unresponsive. Gouache and watercolour are different, when dry the addition of water animates the paint making it workable again.

The image to the left works on this idea. Usually you would coat your canvas with gesso first, not having any to hand I used white acrylic. Once the acrylic was dry I then did a mid grey wash of gouache over the top. After leaving that to dry I could then use a brush, cotton buds and damp clothes to take off the gouache revealing the white beneath. The acrylic or gesso prevents the gouache from setting into the paper and so makes it easier to remove. Thicker applications of acrylic or gesso can give interesting textures to the image which then affect then way the gouache settles on the canvas.

Dave Grove

So who uses this method? The most well known has to be Dave Grove. Dave grove has an amazing style, when I first saw his illustrations I fell in love with them. They have such intensity and interest, as well as a huge amount of skill.

He now has a new book out called “Dave Grove – An Illustrated Life”. I’m going to order my copy when I go out to America soon.

Sterling Hundley

The other artist Sterling Hundley. I recently watched a video of him working on a painting in it he describes how he will work in acrylic then use watercolour over the top. The watercolour creates some interesting effects by coming together into rivulets of colour which then dry. The watercolour can then be re-activated and worked into further.

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