Hello again! Thanks for coming over.
Now this is really useful.
And yes, it is something I mentioned in a post a while back.
But I won’t apologize for repeating it today, because every day I paint, I become more and more convinced of its importance.
And despite my fierce conviction that everyone reads every word I write, I know in my hear of hearts it just ain’t so!
Someone’s sure to have missed at least one of my words of wisdom!
This point I made before, this crucial point, it’s blindlingly obvious.
But I – even I! – only articulated it a few weeks ago.
Yes, it’s obvious – when you see it.
Until then … it’s often like you’re lost in the swirling sulphorous fumes of an angry volcano.
OK so I exaggerate, but you know what I’m like; I want your attention so I can spare you the pains I myself endured to fetch you these glittering pearls of wisdom.
And here’s my point …
When things go wrong, change something – but change what?
When your painting is going wrong, there’s no use just carrying on doing the same thing (which isn’t working) …
Hope is not a painting strategy!
(Great line that, yes? But trust me: that’s just the warm-up act. The main feature follows shortly!)
No, as I was saying hope is not a strategy.
Thing is, when something’s going wrong with your paint, you can’t continue – you must change something.
The question is, “Change what?”
And this is what I realized … Say I’m tracing, and the paint’s too watery, or too light, or all dried up – whatever problem you like …
Then the best and quickest way to set things right is to use my palette knife to scrape all the paint to one end of the palette (probably to the palette-end, provided it doesn’t threaten the integrity of my lump).
Then I’ll use my haik brush and spend however long it takes to make some undercoating paint.
And from there it’s a quick and east step to prepare a fresh batch of tracing paint – or strengthening paint, or flooding paint.
Again – whatever kind of paint you want. Here, some tracing paint:
In fact, whatever consistency and darkness of paint you want, the rule is:
Always tidy up your palette and make as if it’s undercoating paint you need.
Once you’ve done that, just add dark paint by degrees, and drops of water as needed, then twirl and swirl until you’ve made the perfect mix.
I repeat: always start from an undercoat.
And if you’re ever lost, always return to an undercoat.
This is easy. Simple. Quick.
And it never fails.
Yet I also know how this is such a simple rule, it lacks the excitement and romanticism to stir some people’s blood.
So to anyone who yawns at such simple homespun wisdom, I say this …
Please remember how glass painting is a craft (not an art).
So it is therefore from the simple “earth” of honest rules like this – “always start from an undercoat” – that your skills will grow and flourish.