To Wrap Up… Playing with Magic Sizing

Have you ever been happily at work on a project only to bog down just before completion for no apparent reason?  Well, that is what I did here, while at work on this last post on experimenting with new techniques.  So sorry!  That feels so frustrating!  But here is the last installment, as I try to wrap things up on this.

The completed painting , above, started with color-blocked shapes on silk that I prepped with Magic Sizing.  This allowed me to use a large brush and work in the tree scape, the river, and the sky.  I also put the shadowed side of the rocks down as well.  At this point I steamed it, rinsed it, and went to the next stage.

Stage two began with some gutta lines to define shapes within shapes.  You can see the gutta lines over the initial shapes, in the upper tree area.  I could get more color contrast in the water, and in the grass.  I did move on to several other steamings on this, but most of it took shape in stages one and two.

In this one, I mixed my “two techniques” freely… the Magic Sizing prepped silk and the gutta resist method, that is.   And in this one I really learned some mark making vocabulary with the Magic Sizing technique…

I LOVED the marks that resulted from spaying a second coat of Magic Sizing into still-damp dyed silk.  Look in the upper leaves of the trees to see the blotchy marks of green-on-green.  The photo loses some of the smaller, more textured marks abound the bigger ones.

Not as thrilling was the jagged edge that formed slowly (tricky, because you think you are home free, and then look later and there it is) on edges of shapes where I used more water than necessary.  The Magic Sizing prepped silk is tricky like this- the initial strike with the dye on the damp brush looks perfect.  And then water (and dye) is drawn into the surrounding shapes slowly.  You can see where I made this mistake- see the bottom of the rock to the right.

In this one I used gutta to block out the shape of the blue jay, and after the gutta dried I used Magic Sizing on the silk.  Then I blocked in the big shapes.  After a steaming I started layering the water, using the gutta to block out the river area, and then painting wet-into-wet for the watery effect.  After every thing else had been completed and the silk steamed once again, I used the magic sizing again and put in the details of the blue jay’s markings.  So I went back and forth with the techniques on this one.

I am so grateful to everyone who helped me learn about this-  Karen Sistek, Francine Dufour Jones, and others who have posted information to share their knowledge and skill.  In my previous post on this topic I have a few links to information they have posted.  This has been an exciting topic to explore- thanks to all who have helped me!

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