Category Archives: Paintings

All painting types.

plum gum paint

This morning, I made paint from gum from my plum tree and painted a plum: plum and plum gumYesterday, I used too much gum binder and the paint didn’t wash and spread like watercolor. I had to tug at it. So, today, I was careful and only used a little of the solution – no, I think it’s a suspension.

It washed. Woohoo! Supposedly, all the gums from cherry, plum, peach, apricot and almond trees have the same properties. Says Ralph Mayer. And they supposedly can replace gum arabic.

I have a cupful of the peach gum. 🙂 I think I’m going to do some watercoloring.

peach gum paint

This is a quick experiment with homemade peach gum paint! ->peach_peachgum

I was reading in The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques, that you can use sap from cherry trees, apricot, peach, plum, etc for a gum binder for paint. I threw the book down, ran outside to my ancient peach tree and grabbed balls of sap from it. Thanks to borer worms, it exudes sap. So I dissolved it, made paint, painted a peach….isn’t this cool! I think it’s a lot like the gum arabic in watercolor. I don’t know yet…here’s a sentence from the book: “Recipes for the use of cherry gum in emulsions or to replace gum arabic can be easily worked out; it emulsifies very well with all tempera ingredients; it is an entirely acceptable material, and a favorite with those painters to whom the notion of utilizing domestic, noncommercial materials appeals.”

I’m grinning from ear to ear.

Untitled 2 day

I’m impressed by what egg can do in less than 2 days. Let me show you the first day. I drew it and painted an underpainting – on terrible drawing paper! – the 1st day:


Now on that terrible drawing paper, which gave me awful problems, like weird circular spots that wouldn’t take paint, the second day:


That’s several layers of egg glazes on the face (in 1 day). The background is almost completely casein. I’m probably going to quit working on it. I was in such a hurry, I didn’t even know I had grabbed a piece of cheap wood pulp sketching paper. 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)


Update, 29th of June: I can’t believe it! After working and working on it, I have almost the exact same result as the one I originally posted! Here’s the latest, with the earlier below:


I’m working on a real portrait, of a beloved. I can’t quite get the exact perky look. And every time I change it, I get further away from what I want. So, while I almost have the look, I’m posting a photo of the WIP (work in progress). Oh and of course I have to look at a photo, because I’m not good enough without staring at a photo long hours.



I tried coating paper with gesso and glazing with casein. Sure enough, the casein lifted from the gesso. 🙁 So, I switched to egg. Same problem. So the paint is coming completely up while I change every feature.
Oh note – I’ve always hated my ground charcoal (as a true black) in every medium. But in egg, I actually like it.
Well, that’s an opaque I’m using now –
According to Daniel Thompson, of The Practice of Tempera Painting, the fact that I’m using transparent pigments means that I’m just watercoloring with egg. Just kiss my grits, D. Thompson!

Maybe I’ll have something better to present her……in a few….days….

Man in cap

I did an egg face – I’m happy with how the paint goes on:

Man in Cap-Moon
Reference photo credit & thank you to Creative Commons licensed ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Thomas Leuthard:
I used whiting for the beard and mustache and I really regret that you can’t see the raised effect. His stubble is made of raised bumps.
This is a little fast, so no fine detail. Close up, you see swipes and wipes. Fine lines, aka hatching, only for wrinkles and hair.
Oh, and thank you also to my sister’s chicken who laid the egg I used!!