Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fine Frame Finishing- you smell something burning?

I just painted another picture of an old torch. Aside from the very cool duty of setting things on fire, they are very beautiful objects. With shiny brass, cast iron, colorful well designed labels, and a lovely shape, there is lots of fun stuff to paint.
I added smoke to this one to give the illusion that it had just been used. As usual I lit some incense and watched the smoke off of that and did my best to design an interesting shape.
 Torched, 12x9, oil on canvas, 2010 

A few years ago I did a painting of an antique torch. I did not get too fancy with this first one. It is pretty much just a simple portrait of a torch.
The Torch, 10x8, oil on canvas, 2007

I had a frame that matched the one on the first torch painting but thought it needed an extra special finish. After placing the new torch painting in the frame I marked where the torch was pointing at the frame, removed the painting, went outside and set the frame on fire with a real torch. I ended up having to saw into the frame a bit to speed the process, but once the frame caught fire, my fine new frame finishing technique practically did the work itself.

Is it not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? It is a bit crazy and maybe even a bit of a one liner, but I thought it was fun. I have officially broken the 4th wall. 
Here is a close up.  
One issue was that I had made a large hole in the frame that now just showed the wall behind, and it stark and  killed the illusion. I decided I needed to soften that transition somehow, but did not want the area to just be black. I attached a piece of thick clear plastic to the back of the frame to cover the hole and then thinly painted and scuffed it till it looked dirty and burnt. I rubbed some black shoe polish on the plastic and then dusted it with rottenstone, which gave a dry dusty look.
Rottenstone is a fine powered rock used as an abrasive used for polishing - A quick tip from Luschek: if you have water damage or white rings from drinking glasses on your furniture, a little mineral oil and some rottinstone rubbed on the area will probably remove them. 
What a useful and fun fact.
Anyway, now the wall behind the frame still shows, it just appears that the wall has been burnt a bit as well. 
I thought about adding a smoke machine- but decided that may be going a bit too far.

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