What to use for washlines

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What to use for washlines

Postby Jamesnkr » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:39 am

I've been practising in some spare moments with my pen and with a brush, and I've been using dilute acrylic paint. A blob of brown or blue paint goes a long way in a jar of water.

Reckon I might just about manage one without disgracing myself too badly. What should I be using? I'm blowed if I'm using Lion's ruling inks for painting washlines. Can't possibly afford them. Is acrylic OK? Or is there a benefit in using the Lion ruling inks or something else.

A search on the forum suggests that some prefer using watercolours; if so what do you do; do you grind up a chunk of a pastel and then dilute it up?

Thanks
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Roboframer » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:48 am

No, you use watercolours! Pans are more economical than tubes but I sometimes re fill my pans from tubes. I use acrylics mainly for light colours on dark board or if I want something vibrant.

Try a line of acrylic gel medium (diluted and coloured) and then gold leaf.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Jamesnkr » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:11 pm

Roboframer wrote: Pans are more economical than tubes but I sometimes re fill my pans from tubes.


Thanks. I forgot you're an artist... would you please say this in words of one syllable comprehensible to somebody whose only painting experience is walls and doors. My watercolour use was as a child, with a Rowney box. Never did me much good...

I think I meant pastille, not pastel, but I think that may be the French for it. I didn't even know you could buy watercolour in tubes. And what are pans; if you're refilling them from tubes are they soft rather than hard?

https://www.cassart.co.uk/winsor_newton ... colour.htm

So what's the recipe? A pea from the tube and a small glass of water? And more concentrated for ruling lines than the washes?
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby David » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:15 pm

I generally use watercolour from a tube (Daler), I just find it a bit easier, quicker and cleaner, over time they do dry out but you can open them up and use like the solid blocks. Also use inks, particularly Windsor&Newton, their gold ink is a favourite although it can be a pig to use in a ruling pen. Watercolour doesn't show up very well on dark colours so then I tend to use acrylic, gouache or ink.

I mix the colour in a small mixing tray, a dab of colour with a teaspoon or two of water. I use a further diluted solution for the wash of the same colour as the line, it doesn't show up so much if you go over the line. Roughly, I use the same solution as the line then add another teaspoon of water or two to what's left making sure there is more than enough to do the job, you don't want to be running out before the end.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Tudor Rose » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:25 pm

There is a course being run later this month by the Fine Art Trade Guild in London all about mount decoration and washlines. If you can't make that one then there will be another one held in October. Plenty of information and practical help:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/1-day-mo ... 2020711541

Details are:

This workshop will concentrate on the various techniques of mount decoration aimed at providing framers with an additional skill set of using ruling pens with different paints/inks. It will also assist those preparing for the Fine Art Trade Guild’s GCF(APF) examination.

No previous experience is required.

The workshop will cover:

a short introduction to mount decoration.
equipment required and and types of media.
mount widths, proportions and arrangement of
mount decoration.
top tips.
introduction to techniques.
ruled lines, rectangular and circular/oval.
wash panels.
bevel decoration.

Dependent upon time; the technique of marbled panels and patina, and that of the transfer of patterns will be included.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby prospero » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:21 pm

For lines I use Gouache. It's just the same as trad watercolour but opaque. But if you dilute
it enough you can't tell the difference. :P Acrylic sets too fast so you are going to waste a lot.
Gouache is soluble when dry so you can revive it on the mixing surface. (I use a white plate).
Squeeze a dollop onto the rim and mix it in the middle. I don't fret too much about one colour
running into another as muted colours are more subtle. If you are doing a lot of mounts then
use one plate per colour.

For the band you really need trad watercolour as it's more transparent. Having said that I always
use dry powders as they are more forgiving and less stressful. :lol:
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby IFGL » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:53 pm

Nylon tends to be good and strong.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Roboframer » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:32 pm

Jamesnkr wrote:And what are pans; if you're refilling them from tubes are they soft rather than hard?


Pans are small dried cakes or bars of paint in an open plastic container, I suppose you could actually draw with them if they came the right shape - and I suppose that's exactly what watercolour pencils are! I only refill pans with tubes that I happen to have the same colours of and yes, it males a soft wet pan, but that doesn't matter, it just saves squeezing out an amount each time.

Simons sell a decent range of watercolours in pans (not sure about tubes) and also a good range of acrylics - and acrylics, when mixed to a very weak solution, which is what you want (I was taught that there is no such thing as a washline that is too subtle!) will not dry (on the paper) or dry out (in the palette) too quickly. You can also make your own gouache by adding white to watercolour.

If you get in to this it is very satisfying and very profitable because "nobody" does it (well) and there is negligible material cost.

I mess about with stuff like shell gold and "absolutely nobody" does that!
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Not your average framer » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:58 pm

I'm trying to remember when I last did a washline mount. I used to do them at one time, it never was a lot of them, but now I haven't done one for years.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Roboframer » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:39 am

When was the last time you offered up a washline corner sample (you have washline corner samples, right?) to a customer's artwork?

I have a LOT of washline corner samples and I also always have a couple or ten things up for sale with washlines - and they're (completed stuff and corner samples) not all traditional either.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Roboframer » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:42 am

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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby caro » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:19 pm

Many thanks to Robo for the link to Facebook French matting, I've been inspired!
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Jamesnkr » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:04 pm

I just came back from Cass Art with a couple of tubes of watercolour. In the absence of knowing anything much about watercolours, I went for Sepia, Prussian Blue and Van Dyke.


It amuses me, Robo, that you are so passionate about doing this, but you're not really (I don't think, forgive me if I'm wrong) into h/f frames. Actually, more than amuse, it really intrigues me. Those Larsen Juhl profiles (like confetti you put up yesterday, or the tray frame a couple of weeks ago) are as far from looking hand-done as it's possible to be (IMO). There's no denying the quality of the finish, but it has the clinical finish of a laboratory. Whereas a washline is obviously hand done and has a softness that is as far away from clinical as it's possible to be.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby prospero » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:54 pm

It's horses for courses James. I don't think Robo would put combine a washline mount with a smooth white frame.
But if he did I would assume there was a good reason for so doing. :D

Colours I use mostly:

Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache.

Raw Umber
Black
Yellow Ochre
Burnt Umber
Olive Green
Alizarin Crimson
White

These give just about any of the nice muted colours suitable for more restrained, traditional mounts.
If you want to be a bit more jazzy, use whatever colour but be aware that some paint ranges
use synthetic pigments that fade rapidly. They are aimed at illustrations for publications were
the 'original' has no importance once copied and is often discarded.

W&N paints are graded ABC. The C ones are not permanent. A and B are better. A grade is the most lightfast.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Roboframer » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:32 pm

There are many pre-finished frames that are suitable for traditional artwork and washlines and to be honest many are far better than some hand finished stuff I've seen here and there. Plus I get a fair bit to replace and re-fit in to their old battered frames. I do some basic stains and waxes but no gilding or veneering etc.

But as I said above, not all wash lines are traditional - one I particularly like for B&W photos is a wide panel of light grey edged with white gold leaf, the panel taking up about 40% of a wide off-white mount*, from the aperture, on top of a deep wrapped bevel and then a black & silver frame such as L Juhl Soho.

Whatever colours you buy, always have plenty of the primary colours and IMHO the best online art shop is ... https://www.jacksonsart.com/

*A "Rule" for washlines is that all the action should be within 40% of the mount width.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Not your average framer » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:42 pm

Roboframer is not the only one who is not into handfinishing. There are many that are not into handfinishing, but that does not matter at all, especially for a creative point of view. Many of those who are not into handfinishing demonstrate their creativity in photos on this forum and really inspire the rest of us.

I've seen far more washline mounts framed in factory finished frames than I seen framed in hand finished frames and I don't think that that there is anything wrong in using factory finished frames either. If it looks good, then does it matter, whether the frame is hand finished, or not? Of course not!
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Roboframer » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:18 pm

I've seen really good hand finished frames, gilded stuff, with mounts that pretty much write them off!

Two totally different skills - and I'm sure there are plenty around that have both, either individuals or within businesses. I'd love to get in to gilding and other stuff too but I don't have the market for it - and I know this from trying to sub it out. There is always creating the market for it I suppose but I'm pretty much past the stage of creating any market at all now.

I'd need a whole separate room anyway; washlines just need a clean/quiet corner, a few simple tools and a box of paints.

Roboframer wrote:not all wash lines are traditional - one I particularly like for B&W photos is a wide panel of light grey edged with white gold leaf,


That's the one on the right.

washline samples.jpg
washline samples.jpg (206.88 KiB) Viewed 13142 times


All shiny lines are real gold leaf or shell gold and all of these samples have a panel that starts at the aperture. One has a deep wrapped bevel and a "pinstripe" mount - a tiny reveal of gold mount board, reverse bevelled.

.
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Steve N » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:21 am

I use watercolour paints, some in tubes and some in pans, I save the white end caps from poster tubes and stick them on a bit of board and hey presto you have a nice mixing pallet :clap:
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Not your average framer » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:33 pm

Roboframer wrote:Two totally different skills


That's true!
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Re: What to use for washlines

Postby Jamesnkr » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:45 am

Roboframer wrote:Two totally different skills


Skills yes. Similar approach to life though!

I don't have the market for it -


I think you've mentioned that before. To paraphrase your question to Mark, When did you last stick a h/f closed-corner sample under a customer's nose? Go round art fairs or galleries in London and the vast majority of things round decent pictures are h/f. You're only an hour's drive away. I can't believe the market disappears so quickly. Given your well-known ability to upsell (Angmering-special-quintuple mount with extra fries, madam?) I'd have thought it would be just up your street.
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