MPF Conservation: Washington State Flag First Drafts, Paper

In my other life (the one that pays the bills), Mitchell and I own
a conservation business which conserves (restores) antiquities.
I do a lot of finish (painting, shellacking) work in our business.

The DAR approached us to recreate the First Flag of Washington in order that the historic flag which hangs in the Reception Room of the Legislative Building be preserved.
The saga of the flag is posted on the business blog,
I thought you might find this interesting… My other identity!

If you want to read about the prep for the drafts, below, go here.

Beginning with the test sheets,
I created draft of George, oil on paper.
The paper was primed with shellac to prevent oil seepage.

New tracings from our master tracing are created each time so the marks are fresh.

My first draft was a portrait of George on plain shellacked paper.

The lovely background is not noticed much in our original because the original bright green silk has faded to the colors of the background.
The background was created so that it appears a light is coming from behind George.

The draft on shellacked paper helped to fine tune the paint formulas.

Okay, I had a bit of fun at the end of the day giving him cat’s whiskers!

The original paint mixes when painted in the portrait draft were changed slightly.

Pasty face also taught me not to let the paint dry, but to mix shadings in the moment…
I painted the draft slowly, using the the 50/50 galkyd/linseed mix to thin when needed.

The next four images were done in one day, so the shadings were created properly.

Building up the face.

The hair and lacy shirt…

Adding the green that matched the silk…

A few final tweaks, and the first test is completed, shown here against the original.

A second test was on green painted paper to work the colors again, over green.

Painting over a base of green changes methods just a bit;
the green tint bleeds through the paint.  Green George gave us laughs as his eyes followed us everywhere; I was a bit sorry to have to finish him!

Working green George I became much more comfortable with the paint colors
and the techniques to create his likeness.  His face needs to be a bit thinner and
his hair is a bit wildly curly still.  Painting George has prompted me to review other
images of Washington, because really, while I am creating a likeness of the flag,
I am not a forger and have come to realize the painting will have my hand and strokes
no matter how I attempt to reproduce it.  What I want is his eyes to look at you in the manner of the flag and his smile (which has degraded) to be accurate to his personality.

We tried to find the image the original makers used as a model but no luck so far…
We thought that they may have copied a famous painting.
Our research is leading us to believe the historic flag’s image was
an amalgamation of two or three images we’ve found.
If anyone has any further history we’ll be happy to share that in this post..

This has been an honor and adventure so far;
really nothing I’ve done to date has been quite like it.

I am not quite finished with this test
(hair, costume) but not sure that I will finish him; I’ve learned a good bit from
the paper tests and am now ready for the silk, next post!

To begin at the beginning, visit Washington State Flag, 1.

©MPF Conservation.  May be printed for your own use.
May be reposted if our url + copyright is used as reference.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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4 Responses to MPF Conservation: Washington State Flag First Drafts, Paper

  1. Beth says:

    My goodness! This is wonderful. I loved seeing how you progressed to the finished painting. You are such a talented artist.


  2. anesha says:

    This is wonderful!


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