Experimentation with Shellac

I recently did this shellac experiment on a piece of plywood.   I put lots of layers of shellac on first.  I discovered that shellac is  great for sticking too, so I added paper bark to it and covered that with many layers of shellac.  It came out looking rather unique.  I like the shininess of it and the texture.




All About Pigment

A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.

Many materials selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light. Materials that humans have chosen and developed for use as pigments usually have special properties that make them ideal for coloring other materials. A pigment must have a high tinting strength relative to the materials it colors. It must be stable in solid form at ambient temperatures.

For industrial applications, as well as in the arts, permanence and stability are desirable properties. Pigments that are not permanent are called fugitive. Fugitive pigments fade over time, or with exposure to light, while some eventually blacken.

Pigments are used for coloring paint, ink, plastic, fabric, cosmetics, food and other materials. Most pigments used in manufacturing and the visual arts are dry colorants, usually ground into a fine powder. This powder is added to a binder (or vehicle), a relatively neutral or colorless material that suspends the pigment and gives the paint its adhesion.

A distinction is usually made between a pigment, which is insoluble in its vehicle (resulting in a suspension), and a dye, which either is itself a liquid or is soluble in its vehicle (resulting in a solution). A colorant can act as either a pigment or a dye depending on the vehicle involved. In some cases, a pigment can be manufactured from a dye by precipitating a soluble dye with a metallic salt. The resulting pigment is called a lake pigment. The term biological pigment is used for all colored substances independent of their solubility.

In 2006, around 7.4 million tons of inorganic, organic and special pigments were marketed worldwide. Asia has the highest rate on a quantity basis followed by Europe and North America. By 2020, revenues will have risen to approx. US$34.2 billion[1] The global demand on pigments was roughly US$ 20.5 billion in 2009, around 1.5-2% up from the previous year. It is predicted to increase in a stable growth rate in the coming years. The worldwide sales are said to increase up to US$ 24.5 billion in 2015, and reach US$ 27.5 billion in 2018.[2]



References  Wikipedia 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigment (accessed March 31 2015)



Working with mixed media

For a drawing with mixed media project that I did at College a couple of years ago, I used non-traditional ingredients such as shellac, food colouring, leaves, various pencils, chalk, beetroot, spices and herbs.  The marks which were made with these substances came out as interesting abstract patterns.  For a future art project the theme of my work will be about the labour of art.  I am going to do something in connection to pigment and how there is lots of work employed to create a tube of oil paint.  Because my work is going to be about labour, I thought I could create landscapes where pigment or paint is not used in order to highlight the behind the scenes  work associated with creating a picture.  It doesn’t start with the artist it begins with the workers who create the art materials.  Anyway here is my abstract artwork below.  For my project I think I will do something similar to this work where non-traditional art ingredients are used.

drawing with mixed media from 2013





Painting Experimentation

I recently painted a snowy landscape inspired by Peter Doig’s White Creep.  For the painting I used white acrylic, bicarbonate soda, wax, pigment powder, gloss, crystals and herbs. It is interesting how using different substances for painting can give it another dimension.  I applied these substances with sponges, brushes, rollers and a palette knife.

Snow field with bicarbonate, cystals, pigments