I was thrilled with this month’s Art Elements challenge, I jumped straight in with an idea I had, and spent an afternoon ironing strips of plastics to bond them. Then I did some stitching on soluble fabric only to find when I came to dissolve the fabric I had picked up the interfacing and not solvy so this plan was abandoned.
Time for plan B, I had loads of ideas but I soon realised this wasn’t the time of year to be experimenting with new techniques so I decided to make something that would be less of a challenge as I knew enough about the techniques involved not to have to think about experimenting, or things not working out.
As you know I was a china painter for a long time, when I was studying for the City & Guilds diploma I had a module on painting animals, to teach myself to paint fur I copied from the book Thorburn’s Mammals. I still have these tiles somewhere, you can see them here. Painting the arctic hare was my favourite.
I enjoyed painting white fur, looking for colours in the fur, light and shadow, as well as reflected light. When you look you see lots of colours. But I didn’t want to do something I’d done already so I decided on another option, to paint on glass ( following on from last month’s challenge)
I did a bit of research regarding hare myth and legend, I like this one best. I was thinking of adding some text but decided the white hare manifestation of someone murdered by their lover wasn’t the best of subjects for inspirational words.
While looking for some glass to make a fused tile I found some glass plates that I bought years ago but I never got round to using them so that’s what I’m painting on, no tile to make. I think they are Arcopal. A black background is just perfect for painting white, the dark values are achieved by wiping out paint which is the other way round to painting on white where the highlights are wiped out.
Painting on glass is just the same as painting on porcelain, only the glass enamels fire to 580 C. I don’t know the annealing temperature for these plates so I went through a range from 540 very very slowly.
I drew my hare on paper and then positioned it on the plate and traced it on.
These are the white glass enamels I have in my stash, I used some for the glass star painting last month.I chose a selection of brushes, some soft sable for applying and smoothing the paint, and some stiffer brushes for texturing the fur. I also used a bit of sponge and a green pan scrub which is great for texturing fur.
For this firing I’m using an oil based medium, which stays open ( doesn’t dry), to mix my paints. I intend painting on, smoothing the paint, then I will wipe out paint to create the darks. I have applied satin silver enamel here, where the moonlight will catch the fur.
Following smoothing the paint ( you can see this on the ear), the fur textures were created using the stiffer bristle brushes and sponge, as well as a wipe out tool to get back to black.
The moon was painted in then the plate was cleaned up where there were smudges and greasy marks , then it was fired. Fingers crossed, I haven’t fired these plates before.
Second Fire – I only want to fire this piece once more, so to get 2 applications of paint on in one firing I am switching to a water based medium to pen whiskers and do some detailing, this can then be painted over with oil based paint when dry, the waterbased layer won’t move.
I used a metal pan scrub to texture the fur
I added some twinkling stars with a pen, they had a some oil based paint added later to give a shimmering light also I painted a ring around the moon.
Of course there had to be a hare in the moon.
After building up the light areas and fur textures with oil based paint the plate was cleaned up, and signed on the back and fired again.
I could go on tweaking it, the hare in the moon has fired out quite a bit, but I decided 2 fires was all I was going to do so there it is 🙂
Now head over and see what everyone else had made for the challenge.
Art Elements Team