Tiger Motif Vase

Front View
Back View
This vase was inspired by the artwork of Sandra Bernaitis, who lives in Australia

I first saw Sandra's paintings when I went to the Australasian Porcelain Art Teachers Convention, which was held in Adelaide, Australia in October 2005.  This was a wonderful convention, featuring cutting edge contemporary porcelain artworks.  I was so taken with Sandra's art that I bought one of her painted plates, titled "Spectrum of Life". The plate had what I believe were African ladies dressed in colorful gowns with turbans on their heads. What made the art unique was that their gowns were covered with very detailed line design work. And, radiating from the forms were abstract form areas of color also filled with detailed line design work.

I have only seen this type of design work once, here in Hawaii. The son of Penny Gupton, one of the watercolor artists whose web site I manage paints fish, flowers and other creatures and within the animal form, is contained line drawings of flowers and other shapes. You can see examples of Alex's work on his web site, www.alexgupton.com. To see the fine line paintings, click on the Fine Art link on his web site.

I also bought a vase created and painted by Deirdre Fewell of New South Wales.  And I almost never buy paintings at the conventions.


I decided to try painting a vase in the general style of Sandra's plate, but with tigers as the subject, since tigers are my favorite thing to paint.  I don't know that I would do another painting like this.  It was very detailed work and a little tedious.

I like how it came out, though I did have some problems with the black paint "popping" in some areas, especially along the line designs.  Some of these "popped" areas are evident in the photos above.

I used striping tape to create the black design lines and this caused the paint to build up more than it should have, which I'm pretty sure was the cause of the "popping".  If I did this type of line design again, I think I would try just painting the lines by hand.  

"Popping" is when china paint blisters during the firing and then flakes off in the area of the blister (usually a round dot, although with my line design, some of the line painting came off in larger areas).  When the paint pops, it takes the glaze with it.  So you are left with a dull spot where the paint was.  This usually happens if you apply the paint too heavily during one firing.  But some colors have a tendency to pop.  Black Green is one of the colors which may pop even if it is not applied thickly.  Its hard to correct areas where the paint has popped because of the loss of glaze.  With this vase, I will probably just replace the black with regular black china paint and not worry about the dullness since I don't think it will show as much along the lines as it would if it were in the middle of a subject, and I will not be selling this vase.

I still need to paint the rim and base of the vase.  I will do this in black.  I have been so long painting this vase that I thought I would go ahead and put it up on my web site now.  When I finish the rim and base painting and correct the popped paint areas, I will photograph it again and put replacement photos on my web site.

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