This category contains 8 posts

Sunday Studio Visit – Experimenting with Fluid Art : Acrylic Pouring

Since my first post about acrylic pouring a few months ago I have had another few plays with the technique and it is quite a fun spontaneous method. As you experiment more there is a certain amount of predictability to it – the colours you choose, the order that you layer your colours, things like that – but once it is on the canvas the paint takes on a life of its own. In this way it is a bit like pottery – you can control the form you make, apply your precisely measured glaze design and recipe, but once in the kiln the flame will take over and the kiln goddess will have her way!

Previously I have experimented with flip cups* and dirty pours*, so this time I thought I would try a couple of different methods I have seen while losing hours to You-Tube!!

Firstly I tried pouring from a jug in which I layered my paints. I poured in a circular motion onto a larger canvas … I videoed it, but have just a screenshot of what it looked like, because I can’t upload a video directly to WordPress and I don’t have it posted somewhere else to add via URL – anyway the screenshot gives you the idea (I hope). The pic next to it is the end result after some titling.

Next I lined up three toilet rolls and poured my paint into them directly on the canvas. Again, I can’t show the video, put a still pic, and the end result…. I enjoyed this method, and it is a good way to cover a more rectangular canvas.

Finally I did a colander pour! it was a fun method, and I will definitely try it again now that I know – sort of – what to expect! Finally I can show you a video of this as I posted it on my Instagram page. Watch the vid, then keep scrolling to see the final painting.

Dawn Whitehand - acrylic pouring

Acrylic pouring can be challenging in that you are pouring – usually – from a circular object onto a square canvas so that it can be hard to reach the corners without losing the integrity of the pour and “cells”. To counter this I tried pouring a little paint on the corners and then blowing through a straw so that the paint would flow and blend with the other colours resulting in a more integrated effect and not just a blob of paint in the corner – I think it worked quite well.

*Dirty Pour – different coloured paints are layered into a cup and poured onto the canvas.
*Flip Cup – different coloured paints are layered into a cup and flipped onto the canvas.

Sunday Studio Visit – Elaborate Doodling!

As promised I am going to attempt to keep up the Sunday Studio visit blog posts at the very least! So today I will share with you an elaborate doodle that took me a few drawing sessions to finish.

I have been having fun subscribing to Scrawlbox, a subscriber art supplies box of goodies that I receive every month. I began this as a way to prompt me at least once a month to create an artwork, because I have been so overrun with the shop.

I hadn’t received my October box as yet (and still haven’t, so they are generously sending a replacement box – good old Australia Post), so I decided to create a doodle using the alcohol based markers I received in a previous box. I didn’t have any marker paper so just used my visual journal, but I didn’t mind because I wanted to retain the intensity of the individual colours in the doodle anyway (IE – I didn’t mind that I couldn’t blend the colours).

I was happy with the result, and my son loved it so much he wants me to get it printed on fabric and make a shirt for him – or get someone else to make a shirt for him! So that was nice 🙂

I still haven’t received that October box so today I have began a watercolour painting of Peeps, my shopdog, also using supplies from a previous Scrawlbox – this time a watercolour palette. I  have finished the sketch and layed down some colour, which I will continue tomorrow and during the week. I will finish with some finer detail – fur, etc – using some watercolour pencils which I already have in my art supplies collection.

So that’s it for today’s studio visit – see you next week 🙂


Finally ….. An Arty Weekend.

As some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted on this blog for months!! This is because I opened a shop in Central Ballarat where I am teaching pottery classes amongst other things.

Regular readers may know that I taught for years from my home studio which had been renovated and even extended…. but I kept outgrowing it. So in October I moved the whole shebang to the shop/studio and have been flat out ever since. The shop’s window display features locally made giftware, there is an exhibition space, art and pottery supplies, casual studio space hire, kiln service, and classes by myself and other guest artists…. you can check everything out on the ClayMotion website.

Even my weekends have been taken up lately with preserving all the goodies from our garden.

Dawn Whitehand preserving

But this weekend I decided to get back into a bit of art. One of the guest artists this month is running some acrylic pouring workshops at the studio, and being inspired, I decided to have a bit of fun at home. So I watched a few YouTube vids and plunged in!

I used coconut milk as my additive to achieve cells on all of last nights paintings, and I am going to use nail polish remover in the next batch, which I am hoping to tackle tonight. I didn’t pour my canvases over a try, but instead lay grease proof paper over newspaper. This is so that when the excess that poured off the canvases dry I can peel them off as acrylic skins. I then want to cut them into shapes and mount them in glass dome cabochons to make jewellery. So stay tuned for that blog post 🙂

Below I will explain my process for each painting … so read on!

Dawn Whitehand acrylic pouring

This was the first painting I did, I applied the paint by layering the colours in a funnel allowing for more control of application, however I didn’t pour enough paint for it to be fluid enough. The paint was also a bit too thick, and perhaps I didn’t add enough coconut milk. So I had to spread the paint manually which blended the colours together a bit too much and no cells developed. So I decided to try a technique I saw on YouTube called the String Pull Technique, and I think it worked out quite well. After pouring the canvas a piece of string is coated with paint laid on the wet canvas in a shape – for me it was a squiggle – and then pulled off the canvas in a downward motion. I did it with white first, then black and then two with glitter gold. I then pulled a craft stick through some of the wet paint to create different effects. Here’s a vid of what I did (its quite big so keep scrolling down for more info):

Dawn Whitehand acrylic pouring

The second painting I quite like and I created it using a dirty pour. This is when you layer the paints in a cup and then turn the cup onto the canvas and leave it to run to the bottom of the cup. Although I thinned the paint down a little it still wasn’t quite enough and I think I still needed a little more coconut milk. Although there are a few nice cells and quite a few really small ones I do like the colours and the way the overall composition turned out.

Here’s a vid of the dirty pour (again it is big, so keep scrolling):

Dawn Whitehand acrylic pouring

The next painting had much better cell development. I thinned the paint down much more and added more coconut milk. Again it was created with a dirty pour.

Dawn Whitehand fluid art

And the final painting had even better cell development – not quite enough, but better. It was also created using a dirty pour. I do like the middle swirls too. It looks a bit galaxy like.

I enjoyed the process and liked how it is very similar to slip marbling and feathering on pottery. This has set my mind racing to try the string pull on a plate!

And now I am off to do some more playing!

Sunday Studio Visit – Professional Development

This weeks Sunday Studio Visit is a little belated because I wasn’t actually in the studio – I was in Canberra, the Australian capital!! I had never actually been to Canberra before, so was pretty keen to see parliament house the National Gallery and anything else in between- so lets put the road trip down to professional development! Parliament House Canberra

One thing I did do before leaving was to make sure my Arts Party- Founding member sticker was on my car!! The Arts Party is the latest political Party to be registered …. I have always been very political (vegetarian feminist socialist – yikes, what a combination!) yet this is the first time I have ever been a financial member of a party!! AND I certainly wanted to spread the message in the nations capital!Arts Party

The main reason, however, for the sojourn was to visit the National Gallery (NGA) where an Arthur Boyd exhibition is currently being held entitled Agony and Ecstasy. Arthur Boyd is an iconic Australian artist who came from an iconic Australian artist family – his father, Merric Boyd, is known as the ‘father’ of studio pottery in Australia. While Arthur did do some ceramic work, his main medium was painting.

I love his work! For some it can be dark and depressing, however, for me it is the expression and acknowledgement of this futility which ironically suggests hope via a working through of emotions and ideas. For those familiar with my poetry blog you will know what I mean 🙂 The exhibition was fantastic and I am glad I went… seeing original art is certainly different to viewing images in a book!! Of course, pictures are not allowed to be taken of artworks within galleries, however, the NGA also has an outdoor sculpture garden, so I was able to take plenty of pictures in the garden!

Christmassy Themes in my Etsy Shop

So I have just realised Christmas is 14 days away!! Yikes…

That means if you would like to order from my Etsy shop you need to do so as soon as possible to ensure pre Christmas delivery.

As well as my usual handmade and unique jewellery and tableware products, I have also added some Christmassy items to the jewellery and cards sections of the shop. The handmade earrings are in Christmas colours and the cards are hand painted on gift card stock, which includes an envelope and a protective cover.

So give a unique and individual gift this Christmas and support handmade 🙂 MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas colours seed bead jewellery

Christmas colours seed bead jewellery

Christmas colours upcycled button earrings

Christmas colours upcycled button earrings

Hand Painted Christmas Card

Hand Painted Christmas Card

Evolving: Mixed Media on Canvas

This painting is being entered into the Art Is… Gallery in Geelong 12 x 12 canvas exhibition, which opens this Friday 6th September.

Entitled Evolving it is a mixed media piece built up with string, kitchen plastic wrap, onion bag netting and wood, finished with several layers of acrylic paint.

I am really happy with the built up tones in this painting and really enjoyed making this piece, so plan to make more art using this method.

Handmade Gift Cards

Did you know that as well as making sculpture and jewellery and functional tableware I also make blank gift cards?

The cards I make feature images of my artwork, images of ephemeral artworks or original hand drawn images – not pictures of them, the actual drawings.

All gift cards are blank so that they are ideal to compliment any gift on any occasion for any gender – as well as being a unique gift within themselves.

All cards come with an envelope in a protective plastic sleeve, and are frameable once the gift giving is over.

The following images are some cards that feature in my Etsy Shop, where you can buy online, and over the next week or so I will be adding more cards in time for Mothers Day.

Painting on Paperbark

As some of you may know I am currently living in East Bentleigh – temporarily. Although I originally come from Melbourne, I have lived the past twelve years in a semi rural environment, so my current location feels very different.Many suburban streets of Melbourne are lined with Australian paper barks, planted enmass during the 70’s probably as a reaction to European trees, and that Australian natives are low maintence, so easy for council, or so they thought.

Of course now we have tall trees interferring with telephone wires, climate change, drought and bushfires… hence trees are awkwardly trimmed enmass!

That aside, I am enjoying walking around the urban streets – with my dog, Eddy – and collection bits of urban emphemera, including bits of paper bark that have blown off the tree trunks.

So, I thought I’d have a go at painting on some. Below is my first effort – a watercolour abstract. I think I will experiment a bit more tomorrow.

Paper Bark Tree
Paper Bark detail

Urban Landscape: Watercolour on Paper Bark

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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