Painting Day, hurrah! Even though it was a hot day, I was delighted to be out and on my way to painting this morning. I felt ready; Monday evening, I made sure I had my bag packed with the necessary supplies and put it in the car. I even checked several times to be sure I had the final sketch of the Mews, the tracing of it, the graphite paper (all "just in case"), the water color block with the transferred drawing on it, my color guide for the buildings - in short, I double checked everything. No way did I want to find myself missing a crucial piece once at the studio.
After I had greeted my friends at the studio but before I was able to begin unpacking my bag, Sharon smiled at all of us and said the magic words, "The brushes have arrived!" We all eagerly clustered around and received our precious brushes, and then we reluctantly put them aside. Since they are shipped from England where they are hand-made, they have a sort of "sealant" on the brush hairs and have to be specially cleaned before using.
For me, that didn't really matter because I had to apply my masking fluid. I had started when Sharon said, "Oh, I'm glad you're doing that today because I want to show everyone what I ordered specifically for the application of masking fluid." She held up two "brushes" that had silicone tips at both ends. One "brush" had white silicone and the other had eraser pink silicone. It turns out that one was hard and one was soft. Each brush had a chisel tip on one end and a pointed tip at the other. Then she asked if I'd like to try them, and I nearly fell over myself in my eagerness.
My grubby, cheaply-made-for-children's-use brush was put aside, and I started experimenting with those mask applicators. Oh my, I fell in love! When you look at the drawing/beginning painting below, look at the narrow lines, and some of the tiny details that have a yellowish-white stuff on them. You can see why I was thrilled to have a tool that made applying (and removing) that sticky, gloppy mask material! Indeed, I liked the applicator so much I went to our local art supply store and bought something like it though not exact. I'll have to experiment with that one next time.
Here's what I accomplished today after applying the masking fluid.
Oh, I should also mention that I had to spend almost half-an-hour using a kneaded eraser to lighten my transfer lines. I'm always so afraid I won't be able to see the lines that I press too hard, and they come out too dark. I also use a pen that has run out of ink as my tracing tool, and means that my lines are both too dark and too thick! Sharon suggested I switch to an HB pencil with a good point to use for the tracing. After spending all that time "lifting" my transfer lines and spending a day with sore thumbs from pressing the eraser down again and again, you can be sure I'll try that next time!
Although not much actual painting was done today, at least I got a good start laying down the initial colors.