Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finished Art Journal Page and a bit about Casein paint

A couple of posts ago, I detailed my go-to art journal background technique.  Here, I wanted to show you the finished page:

Ok, so barring that her hair is totally, totally off, I really love how the whole page came out.  On the recommendation of a friend (Zura at, I decided to sketch her out on the right, and then paint over her with titanium white, to give me a blank white surface to work on.  But, I also happen to have a tube of Titanium White Casein paint by Shiva (recommended by Amy over at Flutterbye Art), so I thought I'd try that, and be able to test it out at the same time.

Casein (pronounced kay-Seen, as my art dealer told me - and by that, I mean my art addict dealer at H. R. Meininger's, the local art supply store) - is a milk-protein based paint.  We're talking old school here - ancient Egyptians used to use this kind of paint.  It dries to a wonderful matte finish.  From what I had read, over time, it will become permanent.

What I didn't realize is that "over time" means it takes a while to dry to the point that it's not rewettable.  Oh, don't get me wrong - it feels dry, it looks dry - but woo-hoo!  You can rewet it and move it around, even after it's dry.  It behaves a bit like acrylic paint, except it's matte.  It behaves a bit like watercolors and gouache, except it's really opaque.  It behaves a bit like oil paint, except it's not quite as "movable" as oil paint is.  It's just it's own medium.

So, I painted the underpainting white, redrew in my girl, and then went over her with the new watercolor crayons that I got from Dick Blick.  I attempted the watercolor crayons in layers, and that's when I discovered that the white Casein paint will re-wet and move around again when water is applied.  Which is actually really cool.  For my next portrait, I'm going to try the Casein white underpainting again, but do all the shading at once with my watercolor crayons, and then wet the whole thing with my waterbrush.  See if the shading is a bit more smooth.

Oh, and the Casein totally sucked up the water-soluable dye inks I'd sprayed underneath (the Dylusions in Bubblegum Pink).  Meaning, it pulled the ink right on up into the white, and where I re-wet it, actually brought pink into the portrait.  Not bad, but it did happen.  Just an FYI.

Also - the Casein paint from Shiva totally smells like Pine-sol.  I think it's an additive to prevent mold or something, because it is a milk-based paint.  But still really cool for playing around.

Also, also - if you order the color "Cocoa" from Dick Blick, in the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons, you will get a color called "Dunkelbeige".  It's not a mistake - they're the same color number.  But, yeah, I'd call Dunkelbeige "Cocoa" any day of the week.  Just try saying it out loud and not giggling - I dare ya. :D

1 comment:

Warner Carter said...

She's very pretty! I love mixed media, too, and want to experiment more with it in future. Thanks for the inspiring example. :) auto paint