Tag Archives: Faux

PITCH PINE WOOD GRAINING WITH DONAL QUIGLEY

Donal Quigley is an Irish painter and decorator who has a passion for wood graining and tells us about his process and techniques for reproducing pitch pine.

ABOUT DONAL

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Donal Quigley is a third generation painter and decorator from County Kilkenny in Ireland.  His apprenticeship was served under the guidance of his father in the eighties and after completing his training, Donal founded his own decorating business in 1992.

Besides the standard painting and decorating work, Donal found himself working in more and more specialized areas such as hand painted signs, gilded hand-carved signs and sandblasted glass signs as well as different wall finishes.

In 2014, Donal studied at the SWR Decart Studio in Dublin under the tutelage of Michel Nadai, the respected French decorative painting artist.

For the past five years, Donal has found himself focusing on wall panelling systems due to their growing popularity in Ireland.

WHAT IS PITCH PINE?

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Indigenous to the United States and the eastern seaboard in particular, the Pitch Pine can grow upwards of 60 feet and has a lifespan of some 200 years.  A hardy species, not even fire or severe trauma can destroy it.

The reason for its centuries old popularity is due to its high resin content.  Indeed, as well as being used for woodwork, the pitch pine is a source for turpentine and tar, otherwise known as pitch!

These days it has a less glamorous purpose, being used for fuel, pulping and making crates.  In the past however, it was used to create anything from railroads and wooden ships to church pews, panels and flooring.

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Pitch pine is not a strong wood and has a rough texture to the grain, however the high resin content leaves it resistant to decay, hence its popularity.  The resinous nature of the wood has its down side however, as it makes it difficult to machine and sand.

Previously pitch pine was sought after due to the vibrant shades and figuring of the grain, however since the boom of railroads and mass planting and forced early foresting of the trees, the quality of the grain began to suffer which is why it is currently used for less elegant tasks.

As a result, the only way to obtain finer specimens is through reclamation, which means in turn that demand has outweighed supply causing a worldwide shortage and rising prices.

This has led to a resurgence in demand for painted reproductions to match already present architectural elements.

DONAL’S PROCESS

Materials and Tools

Colours Used: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber

Water Based System:

Base colour B.S. 06.C.33.

Johnstone’s pine woodstain.  

Floetrol paint conditioner

Tint with powder colour.  

Work into a paste and thin as required with water.

Tools required

tools

To start brush on a wash  of the above and obliterate all brush marks to leave a translucent effect.   Allow to dry.

  1. Use a S.1210L. Duck Signwriter’s brush to pencil in figure.

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  1. Begin to form the figure.

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  1. Join the sap and continue up.

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  1. Main figure is now formed.  It is important to soften after each line is drawn to avoid smudging into the next line.

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  1. Now using some burlap begin to do the side grain.

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  1. Glaze the other side.

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  1. Then burlap to form tight side grain effect.

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  1. Finished central panel.

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  1. Next tape off top rail.

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  1. Pencil in figure and soften as you go.

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  1. Finish rail.

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  1. Repeat process on lower rail.

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  1. Last two styles to do.  These can be plain straight grain if you prefer.

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  1. Same process, pencil in grain and burlap side.

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  1. And same on other side.

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  1. Allow to dry.

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  1. Add a thin line of colour to emphasise the joints.

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  1. Overglaze with same colour, adding some Vandyke brown to create      highlights and moirés.  Then badger lightly.

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  1. Panel overglazed.

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  1. Finished panel varnished.

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For more examples of his work and to contact Donal, please click the following Facebook link: Donal Quigley Painting and Decorating

 

 

 

 

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ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE IN TUSCAN MURAL by Jeff Raum

As someone who has created their own murals for clients, I often look for inspiration and guidance from respected peers.  I was delighted therefore that renowned muralist Jeff Raum has agreed to give us a mini-tutorial on ‘Atmospheric Perspective’ despite his hectic schedule.

Mike

Venus and Adonis (detail) 11' diameter ceiling medallion.

Venus and Adonis (detail) 11′ diameter ceiling medallion by Jeff Raum

” When Jeff Raum’s kindergarten teacher wrote a note to his mom saying that he had talent and should be encouraged, he knew that he had found his calling. He won a national poster competition in first grade and three of his paintings were displayed at the Baltimore Museum of Art that same year. In eighth grade, he became the youngest person ever to win the National Plastercraft Competition.

Jeff’s long string of charmed art achievements came to an abrupt end when he was exposed to the college art arena. He was unhappy with how the professors looked down their noses at realism. He formed a professional fraternity, Alpha Gamma Tao and started student meetings to discuss what was needed for a satisfactory commercial design program. Jeff presented his findings to the dean and facility, and in his senior year, the new program was implemented. After he graduated with a B.F.A. in commercial design, the entire art faculty was fired.

Jeff Raum

Jeff Raum

In 1983, Jeff began his career as a medical illustrator for hospitals. He soon tired of creating images of diseased organs and moved to Manhattan to work as a scenic artist for 3-D animated TV commercials, eventually being promoted to art director. When creating art to sell product grew tiring as well, he moved on to Broadway, spending three years as a make-up designer for the productions of I’m Not Rappaport and Into The Woods.

Wanting to leave the frantic energy of New York behind, Jeff moved to Los Angeles. Unable to get into the scenic artists union, he began his own decorative painting business, Jeff Raum Studios. His clients include Gucci, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Luxor, and Macy’s.

In 1998, Jeff began his stencil line, Jeff Raum Stencils, after the overwhelming response of SALI members to an article in the Artistic Stenciler. Jan Dressler became familiar with Jeff’s work and recommended him to appear on “The Christopher Lowell Show” and Jeff went on to appear in eight episodes.

Jeff was a part-time instructor of Interior Design at Moorpark College for nine years. His work has been published in Better Homes and Gardens and Traditional Home magazines as well as an Italian book on stenciling. Jeff is featured in the book Mural Painting Secrets for Success by Gary Lord.”

How to create atmospheric perspective in a Tuscan Mural.

This demo is showing only the middle ground of the finished piece and as I paint, I always keep in mind where this is in relation to the viewer. I start at the top of the mural and work my way down for a couple of reasons –  a) Keeps me from dripping on finished work and b) allows me to slowly change my palette as I go. In atmospheric perspective, objects are cooler, have less contrast, and the intensity, or chroma of the color is less as the objects recede. I try to keep my work sedate in the back and middle grounds so that I can “pull out all the stops” in the foreground and make it pop.

Step 1.  Layout and Background

Step 1

Step 1

The background in atmospheric perspective should be very blue (or cool), so the distant hills are done in grey-blues and blue-greens. Very simply and quickly. To push them back more, I put a wash of my sky color over them. I pencil in the layout of the buildings next.

Step 2.  Laying in the village

Step 2

I lay in my village, always keeping in mind the light source and keeping the colors cool and low key. Just to get rid of all the white, I base in the ground, making the distant ground cooler and lighter.

Step 3. Adding detail

  

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Step 3

 I Add detail to my buildings, but keeping it simple to imply detail. I’m painting for humans, not hawks! Then I add detail to the ground and lay out my rows of grape vines by painting the shadows they cast first.

Step 4 Enhancing detail

Step 4

Step 4

Now I block in the foliage, using a darker, but still cool, color around the village to make the light buildings pop a bit and help focus the viewer’s attention on the focal point. Using “ratty” brushes, I scumble in the distant trees and as I move forward darken the green. The foreground trees are based-in a darker, warmer shade of green

Step 5. Highlighting

Step 5

Step 5

Now I go in and add highlights to all the foliage, keeping it concentrated on the left side of the forms. In the foreground, I add a lighter highlight to create more contrast and make them pop more than the background trees. In creating the rows of grapevines, I have to keep in mind my perspective. They get larger as the come nearer and as the vine go up the hill, the view of them changes from looking down on them to seeing them from the side. Last thing is to add some occasional posts to support the vines.

Completed Mural

Completed Mural

Below are a few more examples of Jeff’s extraordinary work and more information can be found at:

http://www.jeffraumart.com/index.html

Italian Arch

Italian Arch

Tuscany Dining

Tuscany Dining

Statue with Fruit

Statue with Fruit

OAK WOODGRAINING WITH TROMPE L’OEIL MOLDINGS

OAK WOOD GRAINING WITH JEREMY TAYLOR

Wood has been imitated with paint and pigments for at least 3000 years, indeed the grainers of ancient Egypt were among the higher classes of artisans. Wood is imitated for several reasons, whether it is to make a cheaper wood look like an expensive wood, to paint a substance that is not wood to resemble wood or to match new work to existing wood. Oak is very often imitated, in particular quarter sawn oak as it is expensive and has a very distinctive grain pattern.

Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor

About Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy started a Painting and Decorating apprenticeship in 1983 under the tutelage of Robert Black who was a highly regarded local decorator and a part time enthusiastic artist.  After 4 years he then moved on to a local decorating firm until 1991 at which point he moved to the South West of England and worked for a decorating firm.  Whilst living in Devon, he first learned of the late Bill Hollgate from Clithero who ran graining and marbling courses.  Jeremy attended his first course in 1991, going on to attend four more classes, the last one being in 1999.  Bill was totally inspiring, a true master of the craft of graining and marbling and he was a proud member of the salon.  Jeremy was hooked.

3 years after moving to England Jeremy returned to his native Scotland to start up his own business.  In 2002 he went back to college to pursue another passion of his which is Traditional Signwriting.  He attended Edinburgh’s Telford College one day a week for 2 years and gained qualifications in Signwork at HNC level.  Jeremy‘s diversity and extreme attention to detail have allowed him over the years to build up a wonderful client base.  He also carries out work on a contract basis for Historic Scotland since 2002 which has meant working at many of their castles and monuments in the Grampian Region.

In the summer of 2012 Jeremy travelled to Sweden Palm Fine Arts to attend a one week Wood Graining and Trompe L’oeil course ran by Mats Carlson.  Jeremy was hugely impressed by Mats’ talent at decorative painting thinking him to be one of the very finest in his field.  It was an amazing week and it allowed him to learn new skills to develop and grow as a decorative painter.

More recently Jeremy has trained with Michel Nadia, Gert- Jan Nijsse and Patrick Laheyne, who are all world class decorative painters!

Real Quarter Sawn Oak

A Brief note on Quarter Sawn Oak

Labelled either “Quarter Sawn Oak”, or simply “Quartered Oak” this wood is oak lumber that is riven or sawn along a radius of the annual rings or at an angle less than 45 degrees so that the radius is edge-grained. The slower growing hardwoods may require 75 years to yield good saw timber and 100 or more years to produce quartered lumber or high grade. What is known as quarter-sawn lumber is the best for pattern-work and all wood-work, because it is not so likely to warp as is the regular, or bastard-sawn. Quarter-sawn lumber is wood that is sawn approximately parallel with the medullary ray. The trunk of a tree is made up of concentric cylindrical layers, bound together with radial fibres, which are known as medullary rays. It is the exposure of these rays that gives to quartered oak the beauty that is so much prized.

Quartering is a very wasteful way of sawing lumber, and involves an extra cost, however for pattern work that must be made thin, it pays to use quarter-sawn lumber, even if it does cost more. The grades in quartered oak are “Clear”, “Sap Clear”, and “Select”. In contrast, the grades in plain-sawn oak are “Clear”, “Select”, and “No. 1”. The shrinkage or swelling in the width of a flat-grained board is nearly twice that of a quartered or edge-grained board of the same dimensions. As a rule, it takes quartered oak two years longer to dry in the shade than it takes plain oak, walnut, chestnut, and the like. Quartered oak veneer is usually obtained by sawing, not slicing, for the latter procedure destroys the effectiveness of the ray fleck. Quartered wood dries more slowly than plain-sawn.

 

Sawn Oak Diagram 1

Sawn Oak Diagram 1

Sawn Oak Diagram 2

Sawn Oak Diagram 2

Jeremy’s Process

Colours used for this panel are: Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Black, White and Proceed Low Viscosity Glaze.

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Below are the tools required to complete the panel.

Tools

Tools

Mix raw sienna, raw umber and black with low viscosity glaze.  Brush on the panel and use a hog hair brush to create the grain, pulling from top of panel, sometimes in a wavy motion to the bottom.

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With a fine tooth steel comb, start at the bottom of the panel and crosshatch the grain at a 45 degree angle – this produces the pore marks in the oak.

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To wipe out the silver grain, I use an old plastic credit card shaped to resemble your thumb nail.  A lint free cloth is wrapped over the graining horn as it is known.

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Starting at the top, begin to wipe out the silver grain, it is very important to keep moving the cloth so you keep the figuring nice and crisp.  The bigger markings, known as dapples, are generally found at the centre of the panel with fine supporting grain at the sides, which just fades away.

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Progress of the silver grain.

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Using a folded cloth, create half tones under the big dapples – these often take on the same shape.

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Using the graining horn with the cloth, start to wipe out the annual rings, known as heart grain.

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Joining of the two saps.

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More heart grain progress.

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The heart grain is completed using steel or rubber combs to carefully finish the sides.

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Once the initial figuring is completed and dry, mix up the same colours and brush over the panel, creating mottles with the mottler brush  and wiping out highlights around knots – the knots were created with a small sable brush.

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When overglazing the silver grain a flogging brush can be used by dragging down the panel to create streaks over the silver grain and can then be broken up using the crosshatch method with a one inch steel comb.

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Creating the Trompe L’oeil moulding

Mitre the corners using low tack tape for a sharp finish.

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Complete the next stage of the moulding in the same manner and let dry.

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Using a striping brush and a mahl stick, start creating the profiles of the moulding by adding black to the base glaze.

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Progression of profiles.

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More progress.

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The profiles are blended by stippling them, softening with a badger brush.

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Progression of the mouldings; note the chosen light source is from the top left.

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Highlights are added with the base glaze mixed with white.

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The centre raised panel and the round ornaments are marked out with a stabilo water based crayon.

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Close up of marked out Trompe.

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When shading the panel and ornaments remember all the time that the light source is from the top left.  For highlights add white to the base glaze and for shadows add black.

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Once the panel is dry, overglaze with burnt umber for depth of colour and soften with a badger brush.

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Finished Panel.

Finished panel

Finished panel

Jeremy Taylor and some examples of his completed work, including his Pierre Finkelstein Oak Contest winning piece.

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Winning entry for the Pierre Finkelstein Oak Contest.

Winning entry for the Pierre Finkelstein Oak Contest.

VERT DE MER FAUX MARBLE – A TUTORIAL BY LAURENT HISSIER

 

Laurent Hissier

Laurent Hissier

Laurent Hissier was born into a musical family in 1965, in Périgueux in the Dordogne in France.  He began working at the Palace of Versailles in 1990 as a night security man. In the ten years that followed, he developed a deep fascination with the painted and gilded panels and furnishings that surrounded him on his nightly rounds.

In his spare time, between playing in various blues bands, Laurent began to practice painting small panels, teaching himself and figuring out the techniques and finishes that appealed to him so much.

On a visit to the gilding and restoration workshop in the palace to seek advice on a panel he was working on, Laurent met Daniel Sievert, the head of the restoration department, who freely shared his knowledge. During one of Laurent’s many visits, Mr. Sievert mentioned that he could do with an extra pair of hands and after applying for a transfer from the security department, Laurent began work as a gilder and painter in 2003. His duties included making pedestals and frames for works of art in the palace and restoring the existing furnishings, all under the watchful eye and tuition of Daniel Sievert, who trained him in the traditional gilding technique used throughout the palace.

In 2004, Laurent met Pierre Lefumat, who trained him in the techniques of marbling, faux stone and patina. Laurent published a book along with Daniel Sievert in 2011, ‘Gilding at Versailles’ which is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in the subject. When Daniel Sievert retired, Laurent was promoted to the position of head of gilding restoration.

After reading Laurent’s inspirational story on Pierre Finkelstein’s website, I contacted him online some years ago and a firm friendship developed. He is always very generous with his knowledge and here he takes us through his method for creating Vert de Mer, or sea green marble.

Palette

Palette

 Sea Green Imitation – by Laurent Hissier

I use the technique of Acrylic and Oil on a black background.  The materials required are as follows:

Acrylics:

Palette: Chrome Oxide Green, Titanium white

Other materials:

Natural Sponge, Spalter medium, small, Twin head brush http://www.boesner.fr/pinceaux-art-du-faux/7364-leonard-chiqueteur-2-meches-petit-gris-3660599030276.html, Small pointed brushes, Badger

Oils:

Palette:  Green English 1, Ivory Black, Titanium white, Red Ochre, Prussian Blue, Blue overseas, Natural Siena, Bitumen

Other materials:

Badger, Spalter, Three strands or chiqueteur, sable brushes flat, sharp Brushes: medium and fine

Toothbrush, Glaze: 2/3 turpentine – 1/3 linseed oil, a few drops of dryers

DAY 1

ACRYLIC WORK

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 Degrease the surface with whiting and a damp sponge

  • Rinse and dry the surface
  • Make a mixture of white and green and begin to glaze the surface with the sponge very lightly and soften with the badger
  • With twin header start fundamental work with a slightly white glaze, and layout the marble.
  • This work is long, varied; use sponge to break these veins and smooth.
  • Wash the twin header before creating different shades.
  • Gradually add white to the colour and continue.
  • Make effects with small Spalters, sponge, soften
  • Using fine brushes and always with the glaze begin to realize the veins of varying size.
  • Create thicker veins in places
  • Marble is built at this stage, think about making very light veins that will sometimes be chopped, cut, broken, etc.
  • Vary how the brush is held.

OIL WORK:

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  • Mix bitumen with the oil glaze and achieve effects, soften
  • Allow to dry

DAY 2

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  • Glaze the surface, spread well with a spalter
  • Take white, green and repeat the same work as acrylic, sometimes on painted veins, sometimes not, using flat brush or pointed.
  • Build colour always very gradually
  • The direction of the grain may have a different meaning or overlapping with the veins made with acrylic.
  • With a very dilute Prussian blue create subtle stones.
  • Take a sable brush and work with the tip, alternating very thin veins and thicker.
  • With another flat brush create black pebbles sparingly.
  • Do the same thing but with pure white.
  • Spatter with a toothbrush with a mixture of turpentine and pure white or slightly tinted, but also with pure black.
  • Using the twin header, making a discreet cobblestone effect and only in places with red ocher
  • Let dry and varnish

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Some examples of sea green marble painted by Laurent Hissier

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Laurent Hissier is currently working as a freelance gilder and decorative painter at the Articuci workshop in the south of France, and teaches courses in order to pass on his craft.

More details of Laurent’s work can be found here: Atelier Articuci