Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Gessoed Hair

Normally it's cat hair, brush hairs or a variety of other kinds of annoying fuzzy things that end up in my paintings. Most of the time I get them out before the paint dries.

This time though, one strand of my hair landed in the gesso, unnoticed (look closely, it's on the left). No chance of removing this one, so I will just pretend it is added character. At least it fell into a very graceful line.

I'd wear a hair net when I gesso, but frankly, I am just WAY too cool for that. Heh.


S.L. Peterson said...

I'm ALWAYS pulling blonde hairs out of my paint. I like to tell myself it's all my golden retriever's fault, but I'm sure some of them are mine.

Chris Rywalt said...

See, there's one advantage to male pattern baldness.

Maggie said...

You are way too cool for that. Besides nothing wrong with a little texture right?

Chris Rywalt said...

I showed my work to a gallerist I trust and they told me that nothing annoys gallerists more than hairs in the paint.

Just a note.

Martha Marshall said...

Interesting to hear that take from galleries, Chris. I judiciously try to keep them out of the paint, but sometimes loading them into the back of the car, when the sun hits them just at the right angle, I'll find another one from one of my dogs or cats.

So here's what I do. I take the painting back out of the car. Then I very lightly scrape across the hair with the point of an Xacto knife repeatedly until the hair lifts up out of the surface. Then I remove the hair, and continue scraping to level the ridge that it has created. Then I smooth it further with a little nail sanding block. Then I go over that area with new varnish.

Of course, if I'm already late for delivering paintings, I'm in trouble.

Chris Rywalt said...

My paintings (so far) have been too thinly painted to pull the hairs out. If I scrape them off after the paint has dried, it usually leaves bare canvas (or panel). I have to get them out while I'm still painting.

The hairs in my paintings aren't pet hair (toads aren't known for shedding) or my hair. They're brush hairs. (When I told the gallerist that, they said, "I hate to say this, but: Buy better brushes.") So what happens is, I see a hair, I get it out of the wet paint, I begin fixing the now-mucked up area where the hair had stuck, and in the process I leave another hair in the paint.

The pain of being an artist!

Tracy said...

I have the same problem, Chris, in pulling hairs out. If I have to sand at all the paint comes off and it looks worse that it did with the hair.

A note about about brushes. Cheap brushes do lose a lot of hairs. I use really expensive, high quality sable brushes and they lose hairs too. Not as many but not none. So using better brushes won't prevent the problem entirely.