Over the past few months I’ve been experimenting more with rubbing-out. Whilst in America I did the below Bear and Wolf images. I was a bit limited in my materials so they’re painted on cardboard using just ordinary white house paint as an undercoat. After priming the undercoat with a spray varnish I applied the wash of gouache, rubbed out the white areas then sealed it with another coat of varnish. I then added thin washes of acrylic to build up the details.
The problem with this process was that it was too hit and miss. The spray varnish being the biggest problem; too much and the gouache would’t adhere to the surface, forming little islands of paint. Too little and the gouache wouldn’t come off easily, not good if you want to have fine detail.
When I got back from America, being in the comfort of my own studio I had a think. There must be a better way! So I started experimenting with weak solutions of PVA glue instead of the spray fix/varnish. Below are a couple of trials with the PVA glue.
I worked a bit longer on this image, using acrylic to really build up the detail. The girl’s proportions are completely off and the colours are a bit hap-hazard but still a good experiment. I really like the strokes of the gesso layer coming through. I hope to use this in a better way, much like Dave Grove.
This is the latest painting. Same process, just refining it.
I will mention that the two models above are taken from here. Marcus J. Ranum has a bunch of stock photos that are well worth a look.