Thursday, March 28, 2013

the tao of dreadlock maintenance: new painting

at the recent "circle of art" fair here in borrego springs i walked around taking photos of the crowds and the exhibitors form afar. when i got back to our "home" i found a number of shots of a group of exhibitors that did woolen articles for both decoration and for wear. while sitting around, one of the young women was fussing with her hair and this what i decided to use as a reference for a painting. i drew the figure on an old piece of cold press paper (140#, 20"X16") and put  light wsh over most of the paper. i then started  modeling her face and putting in her features. i used a #16 round and predominantly scarlet lake, cadmium orange, and cerulean blue at this stage. her hair was combinations of raw and burnt sienna, burnt umber, and cadmium yellow pale. in trying to depict the dreadlocks i came upon the technique of putting down  flat wash and then "lifting" and "pushing" the pigment in the middle of the dreadlocks with a slightly wetter than damp brush. in the final analysis i think this worked and may be the best discovery of this project.

the conditions while painting were actually quite a challenge. it was hot (90), dry (about 10% humidity), windy (20 mph), sunny, and dusty. this all  accounted for the bad edge control, too many hard edges, and dirty paint. i don't think the rougher texture of the cold press paper helped anything either. i have painted out here in such conditions with hot press paper and didn't have nearly the trouble. i am still not sure if i can salvage this piece but i like the subject and i am sure i can paint another under more ideal conditions that will be satisfactory if this one is a bust.


  1. I want to say a very hearty thank YOU for all your detailed discussions of ted nuttall's workshops...your notes helped me get so much MORE out of his workshop that I took in Duluth early this month.

    Linda N
    Duluth, MN

    1. thanks, linda. glad this complemented what you got at the workshop in duluth. there was alot more, as you know, but this is just what i remembered by the next morning.