Archive for the ‘Studio Tips’ Category

Making Mixed-Media Monotypes on Canvas for the ART*SPARKS Solo Show

March 19, 2012

"Spring Recital" ©2011 Marian Osher completed mixed-media monotype on painted canvas, 11" x 14"

Marian Osher printing a monotype on her etching press. photo by Julie Hipkins

In the beginning there is only a piece of frosted mylar that I coat with gum arabic. This becomes the printing plate. Sometimes I lay a pencil sketch under the translucent mylar. Next I turn on the music and draw and paint on the mylar until I am happy with the image. The image is transferred to dampened paper with my etching press. It is always exciting to pull up the paper from the plate
and see how the print has turned out! Next, I “put the print to bed” between layers of blotters under heavy books until the next day.

Now I have to decide which parts of the print will be raised and which lowered. Then I tape the monotype to a piece of acid free foam board and CUT THROUGH THE PRINT and the foam board with a mat knife for the raised layers. This is the scary part, because once I cut, I can’t turn back. (more…)

Make an Adjustable Cropper/Slider/Viewer

February 1, 2011

I often suggest that students view their subject matter through a simple viewer to isolate composition options. To make an adjustable viewer, use an exacto knife to cut out a 2″ x 2″ window in the center of a 6″ square piece of mat board.  I like this size because it is large enough to hold comfortably and the window is small enough to look through at a comfortable distance from the subject.

To make the window adjustable, cut a vertical piece of mat board 6″ long by 2.5″ wide to use as a slider. Place a rubber band over the window and the slider.  Then you can adjust the slider to change the proportions of the opening.

A Frame Alternative

July 27, 2010

"Shell 1" ©2010 Marian Osher, mixed-media acrylic painting, 6" x 6"

Painting on deep gallery-wrapped canvases gives me the opportunity to continue the painting on the edges of the canvas.  One obvious benefit is that it cuts the framing cost to zero.  Another benefit, (more…)

Music to My Art

July 1, 2010

I feel that music and art are both about motion and emotion combined. While I create art in my studio, I listen to a wide range of music, including  rock,  jazz, bluegrass, country, soul, Native American and world music. I tune in to the rhythms and “vibrations” of a wide range of music to enhance the “letting go process” that leads me to feel intuitive color choices. Part of the letting go effect is mental and part is physical. (more…)

Make a Brush and Pallet Knife Wiper/Paper Saver

June 17, 2010

Tired of being surrounded by paint encrusted crushed up paper towels and rags? Do something about it! Make your very own Brush and Pallet Knife Wiper/Paper Saver.  Simply wrap a double layer of paper towels around a rectangular piece of mat board or foam board.  Secure the paper towel with two or three “band-aids” of masking tape.  Blot and wipe your brushes and pallet knives on this surface.  When it gets covered with paint, simply add another layer of paper towel on top of the old one and re-tape it.  It ends up becoming a nice cushioned surface for wiping your painting tools, and cuts way back on your use of paper towels and rags.  It also creates a neater work area.

Recycle Your Muddy Water Jar

May 20, 2010

One really good tip that I learned when I was student teaching years ago is to use a plastic ice cube tray with multiple wells for diluting watercolors and washing brushes when changing colors.  No more muddy brown water jar to knock over. Refill your ice cube tray only when you run out of clean wells and rinse out when you are done using it. I use it for water colors and acrylics.  Don’t worry about the acrylic stains on the plastic.  They won’t affect your water and they add ambiance and character to your water tray.

Hold that Conte!

May 10, 2010
Paper conte holder

This nifty holder keeps your conte from breaking.

Extend the life and ease of working with sticks of conte by taping them to the eraser ends of pencils.  This makes holding and manipulating the conte much easier even when the conte is worn down to a short stick.  If you want to work with sharpened conte, you can then (more…)