Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's Slow Going on Parchment

I sat down at my computer late last night to scan and post part of this spread (tiny kale, onions, and grape hyacinths from the square foot garden) , and the screen refused to open.  I tried power surging, no good.  The screen was frozen on the apple icon.  So at around 10:45 PM I called iYogi, and happily the tech support guy was able to clean things up and magically resurrect this ancient computer one more time.  He also gave me tips for closing down so that programs are not still running in the background that then gum up the works when I try to open back up.  I love iYogi and recommend it to everyone who needs tech support from time to time and doesn't feel like dragging the computer in to a shop where it will sit for a week and come back maybe fixed and maybe not but in any case with a large service charge attached.  You subscribe to iYogi and then call them as often as you need help and there is no further charge unless you have to buy an upgrade of a piece of hardware like the external hard drive that I finally broke down and bought.  They also fix printers, scanners, iPhones, and anything else that's connected to your computer.

Anyway, here are more drawings in the parchment journal.  This time I rubbed whiting onto the left hand side and a little to the right hand (flesh) side.  
I drew the watermelon radishes today.  The two on the left were done on the hard greasy hair side of the page with no calcium carbonate.  The ink beaded up and watercolor was impossible.  On the right, also hair side, I rubbed whiting (calcium carbonate) in before painting, and the paint took pretty much like it does on paper.  So the surface preparation is important, at least when using pen and watercolor.  I do love the look of this side of the skin.  I just rubbed the powder on, with no water, because parchment reacts quickly to water by buckling and curling.  The watercolor was fairly dry, almost gouache-y feeling.  It's difficult to overpaint the watercolor without lifting the underneath layer.  Maybe that would work better if the first layer of paint were completely dry.


  1. ohhh this is very exciting! i know how silly i must sound, but i just love continuing the tradition of working on vellum. i visit a book at slu up the road here, it's an ethiopian bible (maybe) all on vellum and i just love touching and "reading" it. the "icon" pages are lovely. but i understand #4311 in a way i will never "get" that "bible".

  2. gwen, this parchment and these paintings are exquisite...