Day 4 Painting 2: Notre Dame de Paris

Read the day 3 inspiration blog here

I made two attempts at painting 2. (Hmm, fitting.) The first attempt didn't quite work and I tried to cover it up with paint pen.  The image isn't without charm, it's just not what I had in my mind when I started out.

Notre Dame first attempt.. Mixed media on canvas 12x12

I made a number of bad choices from the get-go. I won't bore you with them all, but I realise that, in my haste, I relied on my own knowledge of the sgraffito technique and dived straight in.

What was the point in that! The idea of this month of paintings is that I learn and discover new things.  

Yesterday, my wrought iron piece was telling me not to resist change and despite pressure (that I place on myself), the joy of this journey is in the revelation. 


So, I watched several YouTube videos on the sgraffito technique, learnt what I didn't know and promptly painted over the first attempt with iridescent gold acrylic. 

My next layer of paint needed to be a strong contrast to the gold and stay wet long enough for me to draw the entire piece.  One of the advantages with acrylic paint (over oil) is that it dries quickly. However, that's not what we want here. To extend the drying time we add a paint medium.

I mixed heavy body cadmium red deep paint with semi-gloss soft gel (50/50) and covered the entire canvas. A rubber shaper was supposed to work beautifully, slipping through the paint/gel glaze as I doodled revealing the gold layer underneath.

For some reason it didn't work. Maybe I should have used liquid acrylic rather than heavy bodied. So I grabbed a pointy tool which not only scratched through the red, but also the gold below.  Obviously too pointy. 

To rescue things, I added a wash of gold liquid acrylic over a couple of areas and doodled with a rubber shaper. This time it did work beautifully, but I was losing the Notre Dame shape by then. 

Not my most successful experiment.   I perhaps need more time to find the right combination of glaze and tool. 

The painting lacked focus, so I doodled some of the windows with paint pen.  If I had more time, I'd try some collage or image transfer, but alas, time to move on...