Monday, June 21, 2010

Powder Painting Steps In Creation

The link below is to a PDF file which shows the steps during the creation of one of my powder paintings. For this commission the goal was to create a fertile mountain valley scene. Some of the technical challenges were:
  • The panel had to start at 1/4 inch thick to withstand shipping, and an approximate size of 32 by 19 inches
  • Because of the thickness and overall dimensions long firing schedules were required which made it a several week process to work through all the phases of the painting.
  • I wanted a lot of actual texture in the powder to give a feeling of a mountainous landscape. This resulted in increasing the thickness of the panel in some sections and making annealing the glass more of a challenge. Special care must be taken when a glass panel has varying cross sectional thicknesses.
  • Multiple firings were required to build the texture, while also guarding against the powder turning to glass. Once glass powders turn to glass there are chemical reactions which can 'discolor' the work.
  • Hue shifts had to be planned and balanced with each new layer and firing, because each firing made the underlying layers darker and glassier
In the image above the final stage of the painting is in the kiln and a closeup was taken of the main peak. After 5 firings the peak was standing about 3/8 inch high on top of the 1/4 inch glass. The valley is shown towards the top of the image. I've never work this thick with powder, but was increasingly intrigued by building up layers of powder, then carving into them. My sculptural tenancies were getting the best of me.

The PDF is around 2 meg in size and may automatically jump to full screen mode when you open it. If it does, then to leave full screen mode just hit the Escape key. When viewing the sideshow click on any image to advance to the next slide. The color, as always, will vary from monitor to monitor.

Hope you enjoy the sideshow!

Here is the PDF.

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