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Brou de Noix

April 26, 2007

On Tuesday, my friend Ronell came over for our weekly painting session, but this time she had a strange new substance with her : Brou de Noix in French, which we decided should be translated by walnut stain. This is traditionally used to darken beams in old houses, and my previous contact with it had been to try to lighten beams which had been treated with this stuff by a previous owner. I watched her out of the corner of my eye (pretending all the while to draw the still life I’d set up) and it looked like she was making a terrible mess on her paper – then she had to pack up and leave early. That night I checked her blog and there was a gorgeous still life! You can see it here or click on African Tapestry in my blogroll.

So, I went out this morning and bought a bottle of the stuff – a lifetime supply for less than $4.00 – and tried my hand at it, shamelessly using almost the exact same still life – minus our friend’s gorgeous shoes.

I’m addicted now – it’s a lot of fun to work with, straight from the bottle,or slightly diluted. After I worked into it with conté crayon, but the final white touches were done with pastel – the conté just isn’t bright enough.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2007 3:58 pm

    Hi Casey…oh I do love this!! And I’m glad you like it, it almost gives you a freedom, no? Maybe because it doesn’t have that delicate look or touch like watercolor…that’s how I can just go wild with it and see what happens…
    Really nice sketch and the pastel works great with it.

  2. April 26, 2007 7:08 pm

    Casey! You guys have discoverd a wonderful medium! Is it a chemical stain? is it like what we would call walnut ink here in the states? is it toxic? Your painting is really beautiful as Ronell’s is too. A very distinctive, old world look. I want some of this stuff!!

  3. April 26, 2007 8:29 pm

    It’s great how you and Ronell learn from and inspire each other. This is lovely – like a sepia painting. It makes me want to go down to the hardware shop and buy things to experiment with!

  4. April 26, 2007 8:35 pm

    I like the sepia tone of this walnut stain. It’s very pretty and has alot of depth. Very nice!

  5. April 27, 2007 7:09 am

    Really amazing! Who knew you could use walnut stain for painting! Very very nicely done. 🙂

  6. April 27, 2007 5:28 pm

    Oh this is GORGEOUS! It’s so “old world” in feel. Walnut stain? Who would’ve thought — is Ronell always so industrious? I’m guessing it is permanent when dry and doesn’t run when watercolor is used over it?

  7. April 29, 2007 3:02 pm

    Very interesting effects from the walnut stain. It’s so much fun to experiment with different media. As always your composition is great too. I have a WordPress tip for you: when you want to include a link that works, instead of putting the link address IN the text, type the text you want to make a link of, like “African Tapestry” and then select that text. Look in the little menu bar above the text window for something that looks like a link in a chain and click on it. Put the address there (you can paste it) for the web page you want to link to and click Insert (I think it’s Insert, or OK or something like that). Now your text will be an active link without all that html showing up.

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