Goldfinch with Berries
Luster Vase

View of two sides of the Vase


This painting was done entirely in Lusters but, unlike most of the other luster paintings I had done previously, the subjects were not outlined in gold.  Only the base and neck of the pillow vase were trimmed with Liquid Bright Gold.

For the first fire, I traced the two goldfinches onto the vase.  Then I went over the graphite outline with the black Stabilo pen.  Next, I used the same pen to draw on the vines, leaves and branches of the berry bushes in a random pattern all around the vase.  I also drew the pussywillow branches that the one Goldfinch is perched on.  Using a scrolling pen and Brown Luster, I outlined the birds, berry bushes and pussywillow branches.  Then I fired the vase to Cone 018.

For the Second Fire, I painted the goldfinches, using Black Luster and Yellow Luster.   The leaves were done in a variety of luster colors, Blue, Turquoise, Green, Pumpkin, Amber.  I used Brown Luster and Amber Luster for the berry and pussywillow branches.  Rose, Carmine, Blue, Sapphire and Turquoise Lusters were used to paint in the berries.  Again I fired the vase to Cone 018.

On the Third Fire, I used some of the same luster colors as before for the leaves, but often I painted a different color over the Second Fire color to create yet another hue.   On some of the leaves, using a dry-brush technique, I painted shadows, leaving the Second Fire color to come through for hightlights.  I sculpted the roundness of the berries by painting a darker shade around each of the seed fruit of the berry.  I painted more brown on some of the farther back branches, leaving the forward ones lighter.   More Yellow Luster was added to the Goldfinches.  Since I had no Gray Luster, I thinned some of the Black Luster with Luster Essense and applied that color to the inside of the Goldfinch wings.  I added Black Luster as needed to darken the Black on the birds from the Second Fire.  I fired the vase to cone 018.

The final fire consisted only of painting the Liquid Bright Gold on the base and the neck of the vase.  As a guideline for the gold on the base of the vase, I used striping tape as a "resist" edge for the gold so I would have an even line.   I removed the tape before I fired the vase to Cone 018.

I gave this vase to my youngest son, Steve.

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