sd 33, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
Working on this series of small drawings allows me to play––to loosely improvise in a painterly way––which is very different from the style of my other projects (which also makes me more uncertain about them). I do the major part of the painting, using 2 inch wide brushes, with the colors I've mixed that day for the ground colors of my larger drawings. You can see the finished drawings from this session here; their colored grounds influence these small works. I haven't before named the paint that I use for laying down that color: I mix powdered pigment with a gelatin size solution, which is a distemper. From now on I'll be more clear about the medium rather than just saying "hand toned". So, in sd 33, the orange and blue arcs are painted in distemper; the small oval at top is egg tempera, added later. I thought it brought more whimsy to what was already a playful image.
sd 34, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
This piece is much more somber. The distemper is the brown and gray, with added thick lines in egg tempera. It would have been possible to change the tone by doing something different with the added paint, but I stuck with the vertical/horizontal, darkly colored theme.
sd 35, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
One thing that's great about this medium is that it is quick drying, which allows for translucent layering of color. I pinned down the flowing shapes with a small gray-blue square.
sd 36, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
sd 36 is an instance when I took a mistake and used it: some small drops of dark paint fell on the bottom of the sheet, so I widened them a bit, then added two more lines of drops.
sd 37, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
I've already noticed a sad tendency on my part to repeat myself, to find a comfortable form and repeat it: a horizontal band at top and a vertical one on the right side. I did it in sd 35 and sd 39 and sd 37 above. I got annoyed with myself, so I turned this one on its side, then added the orange mark in egg tempera.
sd 38, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
A layer of opaque dark red floats over color that is more transparent. The blue rectangle rises above the other layers, or maybe just holds them in place.
sd 39, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
I tend to add very little in egg tempera to these drawings; here it's just the ocher rectangle at the bottom left.....
sd 40, egg tempera with distemper on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
....and here the three horizontal blue lines. They are finishing touches, of a more controlled sort.