Nancy Goldman tips and techniques on the stone paper TerraSkin
I have always had a love of art and have painted a little through the years as I was raising a family. In 2008, I decided to become more serious about painting and created a blog as a way to document my progression and also as a way to hold myself accountable for finishing paintings. I post a new painting each Monday – good or bad – and have found that keeping to that self-imposed deadline has made me more creative and focused. Although I consider myself to be a water colorist, I work in almost every medium. My watercolors have been juried into many local and international exhibitions where they have received a number of awards. My most recent exhibit was a group of 13 paintings that were displayed in the John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, Ca. for two months. Additionally, I will have paintings in the San Diego Watercolor Society Exhibition and the Watercolor West Exhibition this fall.
What mediums do you work with on the stone paper TerraSkin?
My first experiment on TerraSkin rock paper was using watercolor. I was expecting it to react exactly like Yupo but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is much easier to use. It is not as slick as Yupo and fingerprints aren’t as much of an issue. Also, I like the way the paint lifts from TerraSkin better. It is possible to get a more subtle look with the stone paper TerraSkin.
Next, I decided to try using liquid Acrylics and do poured paintings. This is my favorite way to use the TerraSkin. I can get such exciting textures and color blends because each layer is permanent once it is dry so I can continue to build as many layers as I want. People that see these paintings think that they are watercolor and they can’t figure out how they were painted. Because the paint sits on the surface, the colors are very vivid and exciting. You can see my process demo-ed here.
and tips from my blog here
When I tried colored pencil as a medium on TerraSkin, I really wasn’t expecting it to be successful. It doesn’t feel like it has very much tooth but I finished my drawing, using up to 6 layers of pencil, without getting that slick feeling that happens when the tooth is filled, so I consider it to be a successful surface for that medium.
I’m not much of an oil painter and didn’t really consider TerraSkin as an optional surface for that medium but when I found out that I was going to be doing this interview, I felt that I should try it and report how it worked for me. Being a watercolorist, I like the luminous look that is achieved with that medium so I decided to use a very thin paint for my oil painting so that the beauty of the TerraSkin surface would be revealed. Here is my experiment, which was done as a quick sketch:
At first, I didn’t care for the feeling of the surface because it was more slick than I was used to, but as I continued to work, I began to enjoy it. I’m very happy with the luminosity of the finished piece and I look forward to using it with oils again. For my signature, I scraped through the paint with a sharpened wood skewer. That was fun!
The only medium that didn’t work on the TerraSkin for me was pastels, which makes sense because more tooth is required for any amount of layering with that medium.
What initially drew you to try the stone paper?
I love to experiment with new techniques and materials. I found TerraSkin mentioned on a blog (sorry, I don’t remember where) and set out to try and find it. At that time, it wasn’t available in the United States so I bought it from Mitzrock on Etsy.
What technical discoveries did you make or find using the paper? -both positive and negative. What solutions/adaptations did you discover to any road blocks?
As I’ve worked with TerraSkin, I am finding more ways to create texture by trial and error and happy accidents. I don’t think I’ve found anything negative about TerraSkin. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its ability to work as a surface for so many mediums. I am a very controlled, representational painter and TerraSkin allows me to be more free and relaxed as I paint in watercolor because I know that I can lift most paint off if I don’t like my results. With regular watercolor paper, that’s not much of an option.
As I mentioned, I was surprised that TerraSkin is so different from Yupo. Someone must have compared it to Yupo I guess. Anyway, I also love, love, love the feel of TerraSkin. There is a softness that is hard to describe and I also love the way it feels to cut.
Often Artists go in with a set of well defined habits and find themselves opening up in a new direction.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first tried it but I would say that my painting style with the TerraSkin is very different from how I approach paintings on traditional supports because of the freedom I feel when using it.
I’m more experimental when using TerraSkin and try to make sure that the beauty of the surface adds to the finished painting rather than becoming completely hidden. I want to see that glow of the paper in the finished painting.
What are your thoughts going forward?
I will continue to experiment and push for new ways to use this incredible material.
You can see my work on my website and blog.