Never too old to learn

Our November 2023 meeting was a double header!

First up, the Guild’s 2023 Art Camp Scholarship winner, Ruth Flunker, joined our group tonight to report on her experiences last summer at UW-Whitewater. UWW’s Fine Art Camp invites high school-aged artists to immerse themselves in college-level instruction for a week. Campers rank the workshops they would like to participate in. Half of the day, Ruth explored working in aluminum casting. Ruth showed us how she had to first create her design in wax clay that then became a mold for the aluminum to be set into. The other half of her day, Ruth was introduced to two-dimensional digital media production using Adobe Illustrator software. Using drawing tablets, the campers drew a digital illustration of their own eyes.

Next, member Bob Unke led us through the steps and considerations for finishing your paintings. He brought both an oil painting and an acrylic painting and showed us the difference in handling the finishing of these paint types. 

Begin by brushing off the artwork to remove any dust or unwanted particles that may have deposited on your artwork. This will also quickly notify you if your painting is not yet completely dry! Placing push pins into the back of the canvas frame allows the canvas to sit elevated from your working surface giving you access to the edges.

For acrylic paintings, Bob generally uses Liquitex varnishes in either gloss, satin or matte finish.  Minwax Polycrylic is another alternative that’s less expensive.  Golden also makes a good product line.  Foam brushes work best to apply varnish on acrylics leaving less marks and bubbles. Apply 2-3 coats in long, smooth strokes striving to work in a different direction for each coat. These all clean up with soap and water.

For oil paintings, Bob favors Gamblin products.  Gamvar is their varnish line and comes in gloss, satin, or matte finishes.  Use Gamvar very sparingly. With oils, Bob recommends working in the varnish with a brush. Bob cleans up with Gamsol, but mineral spirits followed by a soap and water bath is also a useful cleanup process.

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