Painting Spent Banksia

So thrilled to be a Finalist in the ‘Local Artist – Local Content’ Art Prize 2021. My painting Spent Banksia is one of 40 Finalists from the Sunshine Coast region.

Spent Banksia
Mixed Media – graphite, charcoal, acrylic paint on stretched canvas 50.7×50.7cms

It is such an honor to be exhibiting Spent Banksia with so many amazing works by local artists. You can view all the Final Entries at the Caloundra Regional Gallery website. Exhibition dates: 19 March to 2 May 2021

I’m especially thrilled at being selected as this painting is part of my new mixed media style that I have worked on since giving up oil paints for health reasons. More information is in my first Blog post New Directions

This method can be a bit tedious as the graphite bleeds easily into the wet acrylic washes. That’s great, and effective, when one wants that reaction, but I don’t for some works. So to avoid that bleeding I seal every line with Binder medium by using a fine brush. I must say the tedium turns to relaxation very quickly.

The charcoal scrapings/dust were sealed with washes of Binder medium. The acrylic paint was applied using traditional watercolour methods. The branch was from friends’ garden at Mapleton, just across the Sunshine Coast hinterland range from us. I used it for reference as I chose to omit the vase and position of a traditional still life arrangement.

Money Savers – Paint Tubes

To save or use the very last skerrick of paint, try the following hints:

The tips for metal tubes below are really only suitable for adults to perform.

  • ACRYLIC PAINT – When a tube of acrylic paint is finished there are two solutions. If it is a soft plastic tube then squeeze some air out of the tube and then place tip in water and allow the water to siphon up into the tube. If a stronger tube, spray some water into the tube using a water spray gun set on  direct stream. With either method shake vigorously an use the paint for washes or for mixing.
  • WATERCOLOUR AND GOUACHE TUBES – A hardened, or seemingly finished, gouache or watercolour (image above) tube can be carefully cut open (see Oils below) and the dried pigment placed in a small jar or into the palette. Add a little water and the pigment will soften.
  • OIL PAINT – There is usually quite a bit of oil paint remaining in a ‘finished’ tube. Wear rubber gloves, and apron or smock. Cut the base seam off the tube and with an old pair of scissors carefully cut up the sides of the tube and roll open. Cut the tube prior to a painting session as the paint will only be usable for a day or so.

A Little Spelling Tip – How many different spellings have you seen for the paint ‘gouache’?  The easiest way I found to remember the correct arrangement of the vowels is to think about what a pain it is to remember LOL!! Go – you – ache … you’re welcome 🙂