Kiln fired glass painting

I’ve known for a long time you can use some ceramic products on glass, I just never got around to trying it.   I used to do a lot of glass fusing but I never really got into it.  It just wasn’t very consistent and that frustrated me.   But I got out some Mayco Designer Liners, which are known to work if you sandwich your painting in between two pieces of glass.

But the real question was whether or not it was going to work with a microwave kiln.

Painting on glass is a pain especially with a water-soluble product like Designer Liner.   If you try to do any layering, the previous layer will come off the second it gets wet. Dripping product onto the glass will work, but brushing will not.

Using a glass calligraphy pen seemed to work well at dropping product where I wanted it.   It also let me scrape product away.   Eventually, I had a cute little lightning design and after letting it dry completely (we don’t want to have boiling liquid on glass) I sandwiched the design with another piece of glass and crammed it in the microwave.

The results were not great.

The product cracked around the edges (the liner, not the glass) and a giant bubble of air was trapped in the middle.  In an actual kiln these air bubbles would eventually rise to the surface and it wouldn’t be an issue.  An actual kiln would be fired for many, many hours and not a few minutes like this microwave one.  Now that I see the result, I’m not sure if this will actually work.

I could try nuking it again to see if I can get the air to release, but I don’t really want to try, it already looks bad.   I also need to try and get the Designer Liner a lot thinner.   I had been warned about that but I guess it wasn’t thin enough…. hence the cracking.

I may try again after pondering it a bit, but for now I’m moving on to other projects.

Backyard Deck

It has taken me several weeks to finish, but I refinished the backyard deck. Most of it was scraping and sanding.  Then an afternoon of painting.   It turned out pretty well.   I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the dog destroys it with his giant paws.    When that happens, I’m just going to burn it down, because I am not going through this again.   That was way too much work in the hot summer sun.

Then, said dog, hurt his leg and ended up needing knee surgery.

This dog, right here.

He’s lucky he is so adorable because I had to spend my weekend building him a ramp so he could get to the yard and make his boom-booms.  He’s not a small dog, so it had to be good enough for a 130-ish pound monster to walk up and down it.

He doesn’t much care for it but he’s getting better at using it.  He kind of has too unless he wants to hold it in for 8 weeks while he recovers.

Painted TV Trays

I bought these TV trays on amazon about 3 years ago.  They were in expensive and looked pretty nice.  But let’s be honest, all these trays are cheap press boards and some printed sticker laminate.

After years of putting hot dinner plates and drinks on them, they started to show their age with some blister spots and peeling paper.  They bothered me enough that I took on yet another project.

I started by peeling off the side stickers which were a thicker stock and suprisingly easy to do.  Then I got out my heat gun and scraped the glue off.  The top sticker was very thin and wasn’t going to come off like the sides.  So, I got out my sander and gave it hell until the whole thing was smooth wood again.

Now I have 4 perfect canvas’ to start working on (after I wipe all the sawdust off).

I got out my gesso and gave them all 2 coats to bring them up to a bright white.   I decided to paint the theme of Rick & Morty and picked out 4 images to work from.

I think they came out pretty well:

Rick Sanchez painted tv tray

Morty painted tv tray

Snuffles painted tv tray

Mr. Meeseeks painted TV tray

The only thing left to do was to give them that glossy protective coating.

Silver and Purple


I had been looking for new bed side tables for my bedroom for quite some time.  Nothing I was seeing had quite the configuration of drawers and cabinets I wanted.   Then amazon’s daily deals had these up for $35 for 2 tables, which was hard to pass up.  Sure they are probably super cheap quality, but I can work with that.   What I didn’t notice from my phone was that the drawer was just a canvas box, not a drawer, which sucks.   For $35, I can’t complain too much.

My room is deep purple and black.   I’ve always liked the combination deep purple (or navy), silver and black so it was time to start adding silver.  A trip to the Home Depot and I started painting these cheap particle boards metallic silver.

One of my art rooms is out of commission, which is a whole story in itself, so I took over the dining room table.   No one needs to eat, right?

I forgot how long painting takes, especially if you want it to look nice.   Sanding, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, painting, sanding, painting, and a glossy taco top coat or two (I [icon name=”heart” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] your channel Simply Nailogical) …. it was going to take some time to finish.

The “drawers” were plain canvas, which also didn’t go with my room.  I gave fabric paints a try.

In the store, this looked quite dark in the bottle.  Once applied it was very light in comparison even after several coats.  So I was a little disappointed there, but at least it’s purple.

In the end, the bedside tables turned out pretty decent.   Once I put them next to my bed I realized they were much too short.   So… yeah, that was a waste of time.  But at least I learned a few things along the way, specifically that I should measure better before I buy things.

Anyone need some short bedside tables??

Finished Foxy

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I was just going to let the fox quietly drift off to its new owner.  I figured everyone was sick of seeing my posts about it on various social media.  After several weeks, I sure was sick of looking at it. However, I had several friends demanding to see the final product.  So I nabbed it back and took a few photos.

So here it is, teeth and all.  No more gumming the city to death.

Now that this is out of the way, it’s time to start something new.  YAY!

A fox gums the city

9 tailed fox with no teeth

9 tailed fox with no teeth

My painting has come a long way since the last post.    The purpose of this painting was to make something for a friend but, for me, it was to play with mediums and do something different.  I fully expected it not to turn out, but right now i’m pretty happy with it.  It’s hard to take a photo because the mediums I used were so glossy and everything is shiny but I think you’ll see enough of it even with the light from the window.

The only part left untouched at this point is the mouth.  It’s funny, I actually forgot about it until my last photo.  Then, I realized there was still a big pink blob in the middle where a mouth was blocked out.  Next time I’ll have to remember to take some steps back and take it all in for a bit and not leave out an important part.  Right now he’s just running around gumming the city to death like a geriatric monster.   Hopefully tonight I’ll throw in some fangs and he’ll be complete.

I ended up trying 3 mediums in this painting.  Texture paste, which pretty much covers the entire painting.  Airbrush medium, which I pretty much used to wash over the whole thing and darken it.  Last, I tried glazing medium, which I used for highlights and coloring in the monster.

Speaking of highlights, check out how that glazing medium made the reflections of fire actually come out on the billowing smoke and on the buildings.  It’s not as impressive in the photo, but in person with the gloss and texture, it’s really like the thing is glowing.  I actually shut the lights off to see if it was just a reflection off of something red in the room…. but nope, it was just my amazing glazing.

Hopefully tonight I’ll finish it up and and maybe show a before-and-after photo before moving onto the next project.

So foxy!

wip nine-tailed fox painting

wip nine-tailed fox painting

After all my cleaning I finally got to sit down in my clean painting room and work on a project.  Hopefully, I can keep it clean for some time if I stick to one project at a time and clean up throughout the project instead of just flinging things around while I work.   Ok, I don’t do that, but I do somehow manage to destroy a room throughout a project.

A friend has requested that I paint him a nine-tailed fox from the Naruto anime.   I dug up and image online and decided instead of copying it like I usually do, I’d take the opportunity to try something different… maybe push myself out of the comfort zone a bit.

So here is the fox so far.   It’s far from done, but I really concentrated on texture.  My sky started out more Van Gogh, but ended up as just solid color swirls by the time I was done.  I guess I was a little obsessive and didn’t realize I was mixing the color streaks so much…. oops.  I still like it.

After filling in the rest of painting with texture I plan to play with glazing techniques.  Which I also have not ever done.  Should be interesting, hopefully I don’t ruin it all.

Palette

rectangular painters palette melamime

I finally broke down and bought a painters palette.  I’ve always been a little thrifty with painting.  I wait for the best deals, use household goods when I can, and I buy relatively inexpensive brushes.  Art supplies can be very expensive and while I’m not a cheap person,  I do have a lot of interest in different art mediums so I need to spread that art supply money around.  Up until now I’ve always made do with wax paper or palette paper… because cleanup is as easy as tossing the paper in the trash can.  But, using an actual palette seems to be a thing and for $15-ish I figured why not give it a try?

When I bought it, it was all plastic wrapped and such, so you really couldn’t try it.   Slipping it on my thumb I noticed it wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but after a few hours of painting I’m sure I’ll appreciate the rubber thumb cushion.   After using it for a bit  I  realized what I’d really like is a plain board with a cushioned strap on the bottom so you can hold it flat in your hand without worrying about dropping it.

And then there was cleanup.  I keep moist hand wipes around the art spaces to just do a quick clean up and I thought, ‘hey, this will be a breeze.’   Nope.   By the time I was ready to stop for the night most of my paint had dried and while most of the paint came off after a little wiping there’s still a very thin layer of paint on the board that’s almost like a stain.  I know you can use a razor to scrape old paint off, but I wanted to avoid scratching up my new palette on the first use.  I scrubbed with all my might and finally just tossed it on the table and decided it wasn’t going to get any better without a magic eraser sponge or something more than moist wipes.

So… I guess I’m happy I bought it, but I wouldn’t mind redesigning it and maybe changing it’s color since stains will obviously drive me crazy.   I’ll keep using it and maybe my attitude towards it will change.  Palettes are a thing after all, I just need to figure out why.

Taboret

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I may have snuck off this weekend and bought a taboret with easel.   I may also have snuck it into the house and right into one of the art rooms while no one was home.

It’s solid wood and heavy, but lighter than you’d expect it to be.  As you can see from the picture I need to remove some items in the room so the table and fold out without a shelf or door in the way.   More cleaning, YAY.   The room needed to be cleaned and organized but I was planning to keep pushing it off for a while.  If I want to use my new easel I guess I better get on it!

Hopefully, I’ll get to use it soon so I can tell you how much better the Becky Taboret is over my stupid little metal tripod easel that falls apart whenever I use it.

I Hate Varnish

Every time I finish a mini-series of paintings I get the brilliant idea of vanishing them.   And it never fails,  I let completed paintings sit overnight or for a few days then gently brush varnish on one.   And every time it becomes a smeared mess. This time I noticed it right away and stopped, so it’s not as bad as some of the past ones.

I need to try spraying varnish instead but I don’t have a great place to spray things.   And Seattle weather rarely cooperates with taking things outside

Now, I need to repaint this one.   I don’t have any of these mixed colors left over so it’s going to feel like starting over.