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Friday, June 05, 2009
  drawings on copper


A few months ago, I found some thin copper sheets at a liquidator store, and recently I decided to try drawing and painting on them with oils, oil sticks and cold wax medium. I first wiped them down with solvent to clean up any grease or dirt, and before finishing them, made sure that the entire surface had a coating of wax, to keep the copper from oxidizing. The surface was wonderfully smooth to work on, and in places the copper shine comes through, in a subtle way.

These pieces were very hard to photograph, for some reason--maybe because of their (slight) metallic sheen. In reality there is more depth and definition than you see here. I was pleased enough with the whole experiment that I went back to buy more copper sheets. But of course, since it was a liquidator store, there were none left. I'm pretty sure that I could find something similar on line though. Has anyone else out there tried copper as a support?
 
Comments:
Greetings, Rebecca,
The copper substrate sounds like an exciting experiment. Images appear as though I could walk on a pathway right through them. Lovely! Thanks for the technical tip re: waxing the surface first. I wonder how other metallic surfaces would work? I'm thinking the finished pieces could be mounted on cradled panels? Or is the metal thick enough to just attach a cradle to the edges, and perhaps a supporting crossbar? Thanks once again for the inspiration. I'm off to the local recycling yard...:-)
 
This copper is thin, not much thicker than drawing paper. So far my plan is to float them on a mat under glass (with frame)as I would a work on paper. Not sure how I would mount them onto a panel. But that's a thought worth looking into.

Yes, I think any metal surface would work, as long as it was clean and sealed with wax. BTW, I did consult first with the makers of Dorlands, and they foresaw no technical problems.

If you try this, please tell me what you thought--there is an old tradition of painting on copper, but using a ground, not the wax. I'd say this is one more example of the cold wax's versatility--
 
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