Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Experimenting with watercolor on Tyvek

"Uncle George"
Watercolor on Tyvek
12" x 16"

Inspired by Myrna Wacknov's demo and knowing that I will be starting her workshop Friday, I dug out the Tyvek I bought from Myrna last year. I selected a photo of Bob's late Uncle George, a brilliant man who had engineering and law degrees and was the patent attorney for the Eniac, the first commercial computer. This photo was taken when George was in his nineties, sitting in a wheelchair at his son's wedding. It was very hot under the Utah sun, and someone had given him a baseball hat to wear with his handsome suit.

The Tyvek is great fun to work on, but I have very minimum experience using it. I find I like it as a support for people because it resists paint and has a wonderful texture because of the fibers running through it. Tyvek is the product used to wrap houses during construction. I was able to keep working and wiping off and redoing, adding and subtracting, until I declared victory. I especially like the texture and the suggestion of shapes in the background.

14 comments:

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, I like this painting on tyvek! The shapes are exciting. I think the texture supports the expression of a grand gentleman! Cool!

Sheila said...

Very nice! Outstanding that you did such a wonderful painting BEFORE the workshop. I'll have to look into this Tyvek.

Watercolorist said...

Never heard of Tyvek. I've tried Yupo, which resists watercolors. Where does one buy Tyvek for artists? Love the painting, by the way. Lots of character.
Jean

PAMO said...

This is great work Mary! The texture really adds to your painting. Thanks for the tip- I'll have to try the Tyvek!!

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks for checking in, everyone. I will respond about Tyvek here and also in my next post.

Myrna Wacknov introduced me to painting on Tyvek. She used to be able to get it in art stores, but they no longer stock it. She orders 500 sheets at a time from a commercial supplier and then she sells it to people at cost, $2.00 a sheet. She's even sent some off to people in other parts of the country. You can go on her blog and see her posts about Tyvek and contact her if you like.

Meanwhile if you want to try a small piece, Myrna says the Post Office has free large envelopes of Tyvek. There is some writing on it, so your piece will e small.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary, what a great portrait of a very special person. Your information on Tyvek is fascinating. And I agree with Sheila - this super work is before the workshop! Wow! We will be looking forward to more beautiful paintings on Tyvek.

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks, Christiane!

Margaret Ryall said...

Mary,
Tyvek produces a very interesting surface to work on. The only time I used it was as a writing surface for a poetry installation I created near my summer house. I needed something that would withstand the high winds off the ocean etc. After many attempts to keep it secured it flapped away into nothingness. I had forgotten all about that. Thanks for the reminder. Your portrait really works on this surface.

Mary Paquet said...

Margaret, thanks for stopping by. What an interesting experience you had with Tyvek!

Using Tyvek as a watercolor support is interesting. You have to work on it with the board flat. I usually paint with the board upright. Myrna recommends the use of Dr. Martin's Hydrus liquid watercolors because of their staining strength. It's possible to use tube watercolors, but they must be freshly squeezed.

Marie Theron said...

Hi Mary, I am learning something here! How nice to have captured this gentleman in an image to treasure!

Mary Paquet said...

Marie, the Tyvek is a really interesting surface.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, what an unusual support to paint on... Who woulda thunk it?
I'm sure others have done it but leave it to you to try it. And how well it turned out! Thanks for visiting.. I've been a little slow on the posting lately, but I'm still there. !

L.Holm said...

Tyvek?! Really interesting effect. Is it at all absorbant? Well, i see the discussion..will get a sample. Really nice portrait, Mary, and interesting post!

Mary Paquet said...

Barbra Joan, so nice to hear from you.

L. Holm, thanks for leaving a very nice comment. I've joined your blog -- looks really interesting.

I'm in the midst of the workshop, so not much time, but I will post more about Tyvek when I show you some paintings I did in the workshop.