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Things on my shopping list that probably aren’t on yours

oxgall

It is what it says it is, though why ox gall and not sheep gall or weasel gall, I have no idea. It’s a very traditional wetting agent.

I’ve decided I’d like to try my hand at proper miniatures. I’ve always painted small — sometimes really small — but it takes more than little to make a miniature.

Certain paints, certain techniques, certain brushes, special frames with convex glass to let the surface breathe and not be touched. And holy shit all that stuff is expensive!

I’ve always been intimidated by the prospect. I know a bit about it, but never tried my hand. I mean, what’s the worst they can do — send the miniature police around to break my fingers?

Oh, the ox gall, in this case, is to brush lightly over vellum before you begin. It degreases the vellum (it is skin, after all) and makes it more receptive to watercolor.

Wish me luck. Mooooo!

Comments


Comment from dissent
Time: March 13, 2017, 10:30 pm

Good luck!

 


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 14, 2017, 12:26 am

Are watercolors on vellum the traditional media for miniatures? I slipped over to Google to look at some.

 


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 14, 2017, 2:53 am

“…send the miniature police around…”

That conjures up visions of foot-high bobbies.

 


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 14, 2017, 3:27 am

I saw some program on miniatures with Simon Schama. They were exquisite. There was also a fad where they did their lady friends’ miniature portrait exposing one breasts. They were quite cute. I bought some ox gall years ago and never used it. I’m afraid to open the bottle just in case it smells awful.

Unfortunately, I’ve had enough of old Simon. He is a total moonbat.

 


Comment from Mad Ivan
Time: March 14, 2017, 2:12 pm

Will you be painting a miniature portrait of Uncle B.? Perhaps to put into a locket on a silver chain, to wear upon your bosom?

Or a selfie, in the style of M.C. Escher?

 


Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: March 14, 2017, 4:03 pm

Remember the beginning of National Treasure, when Nicholas Cage figures out the first clue via a discourse on iron gall ink?

That kind of gall doesn’t come from animals though.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 14, 2017, 8:11 pm

No, that’s an oak gall, isn’t it?

Yes, Simon Schama is a ass.

Watercolor on vellum is the most traditional (they originally painted on cut up vellum playing cards – you’ll often find a diamond or a heart on the back of an early portrait). But later they did watercolor or oils on ivory and sometimes enamel (or even copper).

In the modern prohibition of ivory, you can now get several synthetics like ivorine, or real mammoth ivory (go figure! It’s not restricted). Even good quality paper is sometimes used.

The idea is to use little flicks of paint and let the ground glow through, so anything bright will do.

 

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