Love Blooms by Theresa Edwards

I couldn’t wait to get into my studio this morning, to start on a little something for my cousin’s wedding.

It’s going to be a memorable day – her and her fiancee really do love each other and seem to be a great fit. I hoped to make a piece that they both would like. Something not too gushy, but bright and uplifting, just as their special day will be.

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Flowers are the first thing that I gravitate to when looking to brighten the spirit.

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I realize these little beauties are appreciated more often by women, but figured I could funk it up so my cousin’s “husband-to-be” wouldn’t mind having them hung in their home.

So here’s how it went:
  1. I added a layer of white and green heavy body acrylic paint to the background with my palette knife.
  2. Then I dripped on some red tar gel.

    Out of the container, tar gel is colorless and milky white when wet. It’s up to you to add color.In past I’ve used heavy body acrylics or fluid acrylics. Either work, but I’d recommend fluid acrylics. Golden’s line is highly pigmented and a good consistency for mixing with the tar gel.

    Mix in your color and let it sit (covered) for about an hour to allow bubbles to escape. Then drip or pour on your piece. If there are still bubbles after it’s poured, I use a pin to pop them right away.

    Drying takes hours or leave it overnight. Once dry, the milky whiteness turns clear and your color shows true.

  3. Next I added the colorful petals using heavy body acrylics and my palette knife. These are the areas in purple, red and yellow.
  4. Last but not least was the black ink doodle. This was pretty much an intuitive process… I just let go and doodled. No planning, instead allowed it to flow. I find I get the best results by thinking less, and just doing!
  5. Also added some light graphite doodles in the background at the end for added interest.
Here’s what I used:
  • Golden heavy body acrylics
  • Golden clear tar gel (tinted with acrylic paint)
  • Palette knives
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Pen – Medium
  • Pencil/graphite

When I began this project I was a little unsure – especially since this gift was for two people with different likes and dislikes. But I went ahead anyway, followed my intuition, and the results were better than I could have expected.

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After the wedding, they asked what I had for sale… guess they liked it 🙂

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I encourage you to get creative with tar gel or any medium that you decide to try out. Use it in your own way. Figure out what works for you and your process. Play. Experiment.

Just remember, tar gel is an acrylic medium and perfect for artists working with acrylics and mixed media. Don’t put it on top of anything oil-based, as over time it won’t stay stuck.

And if you’re unsure about a piece that you’re working on (like I was) keep going!

If it doesn’t turn out, you can always paint over. But it may just turn out better than imagined!!

Happy painting – I’d love to hear how it goes.

Theresa

PS – Quick links to the stuff I used in my “Love Blooms” painting (use arrows)…

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