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SueV

Painting in miniature

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SueV

Pictured below are two paintings I've done using Genesis heat set oil paints. I was fortunate to learn

to paint at the Guild School in 2010, in two classes from the very talented and patient Jeff Wilkerson.

We learned a seascape in one class and TWO English landscapes in the second one.

 

Jeff made it a wonderful learning experience. I had been trying to paint a landscape for the longest time,

and never could figure out what I was doing wrong.  Jeff broke it down for us, telling us to paint the broad

background areas as if we were just painting the side of a house. When we switched to smaller brushes,

he told us it was like painting the trim of the house! 

 

The beauty of these paints is that they operate like oil paints but you dry them between each step with

a heat gun, which literally cooks the paint within a minute on a tiny canvas. Genius, Genesis!

 

The pictures are of the coast of Lake Michigan from north of Milwaukee Wisconsin, and one that is

a commissioned piece. The lake painting is based on a photo I took, and the second one is taken from the emailed photo of the original painting, which is set behind the miniature.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Josje Veenenbos

That's interesting.  I used these paints once in a Jamie Carrington class to paint a doll face.  I did not realise you could use them for painting a painting, so to speak.  What do you use as a canvas?

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SueV

You have to make your own canvas. We used poster board cut in small 'canvases' and glued with Elmer's glue to thin, 1/32" plywood. Let the glue dry. Then you paint a couple of coats of gesso on the paper to give it texture. Once it's dried you can go ahead a paint.

 

This is MUCH more in scale than using heavier paper or canvas.  I've seen lovely paintings in miniature done on regular canvas,

and all you see it the canvas texture, which is HUGE. I make several canvases at a time and let them dry, so I'm all set when I

want to paint.

 

We also sanded the painting a little at first, to eliminate bumps or rough spots in the paint. I do that occasionally but it's not always necessary.

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Debora Beijerbacht

Thank you for sharing these. It sounds like a very particular type of paint. Can you, after 'cooking' it, get back to it? Like, remove parts or area's afterwards, if you think it needs redoing or alternating? And thank you for telling us how the canvas is build up. I wouldn't think of backing it up with plywood.

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SueV

Once it's baked, it is permanent. You can manipulate it before you cook it by removing it with a paint brush and some

odorless paint thinner (we used the Mona Lisa brand, and I still do). You can also sand it lightly after it's dry and then

paint over any areas you don't like.

 

What I especially love about Genesis paint is the speed in which it dries.  Once I get going on a painting I don't want

to wait forever, I want to keep painting!  I have three new ones in the works, hopefully for Guild School.

 

Debora, if you Google 'Genesis heat set oils' there is a lot of information online.

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Debora Beijerbacht

Thank you Sue, already there's been so much new info and suggestions on this new forum, my head is spinning :) I'll look it up; I can see the benefits of this type of paint, sometimes oils just make you wanna scream 'DRY!' Will your pictures be on display in Maine? Looking forward to see more of your work!

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SueV

Yes, Debora, I should have a few new ones posted here shortly, and I will have some for sell night. I've

fallen in love with painting :)

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Corky Anderson

Josje,  I wanted to add an alternative way of creating miniature canvasses for your next painting project.  I learned this from Barbara Stanton at Guild School years ago and have been very pleased with the results.  Barbara mounts silk on heavy artists paper with a spray adhesive and then adds several fine coats of gesso to the surface.  The weave of the fabric is in scale and as she pointed out paintings on silk have lasted hundreds of years in the orient.

 

Since that class I have discovered a paper imbued with an epoxy resin which I think is called a multi media board.  It has the advantage of being rigid, not warping, light weight and easy to cut.  I think it would make a good base as well…. with or without the silk.  I haven't experimented with the silk on that backing yet.

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SueV

I think anything that is in the correct scale would work fine.  One of my full size landscaping books suggests using

artists paper and coating it with gesso, and not mounting it until after your painting is finished. He does a lot of plein

air painting and really accumulates the canvases.

 

Silk would be an interesting thing to try...

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SueV

I tried a small piece of that multimedia board that Brooke Rothshank gave me at open house, and I'm not crazy

about it for Genesis paints.  They don't flow as smoothly as on the gessoed canvas and the paints tended to

grab the surface. It seemed to be a lot more work to get the look I wanted.

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