Barn Photo on Wood (Day 46 of 365 Days of Art) Varnish Talk



For Day 46 of the 365 Days of Art, I am sharing a barn photograph that has been varnished onto wood.


Part 1:

Isn’t the reflection nice?  I like all the foreground – and I bet the rounded edges were “edgy” back in the day. This piece feels like it is 1970s or 1980s. What do you think?

I also like the way the three verticals on top of the barn are in sync with the vertical of the tree to the left. Then the eye moves back to the softer, muted trees to the right – and then maybe the eye gazes to the trees in the middle – while going back and forth with the reflection. The dried grass in the water gives this pastoral setting a swampy vibe, hinting at a colder season – but still warm with the orange of the roof, color in the reflection – including some white – and a nice sky.  Then the shadow on the side of the barn – the wavy line from the tree shape – works in harmony with the waves throughout the piece……

Part 2:

One of my goals this year is to “print” more photos.  I plan to mount a few onto a canvas using Modge Podge (tutorial here).

If you are thinking about mounting any of your photos, or paintings, I highly suggest Modge Podge – it protects and seals.  It can also be used to seal glitter projects or painted furniture. It looks white when you apply it, but don’t panic, it dries clear.

Also…. while on this topic of sealing – let’s look at what they “used to use” before we had Modge Podge or lacquers….  they used varnish.   Some artists still use varnish today.

Over at the Will Kemp Art School site, there is a nice article (HERE) about how adding varnish to photos and paintings can protect them, enrich sheen, and enhance color.

They also suggest using removable varnish:

“Personally,  I always work with a removable varnish to ensure the future preservation of the aesthetics of my paintings. Is removable varnishing appropriate for you? I always think of portraits and paintings that will be handed down to generations in the future it is definitely worth varnishing with an old school technique. However, it’s a personal call…”

Removable varnish has the perk of being able to be removed if need arises, and they shared this example of Fontana’s Portrait of a Lady with a Dog, 1590s  (from Rebecca Gregg Conservation mid-point through a varnish removal example):


credit - will kemp art school - varnish
Credit: Will Kemp Art School

see you tomorrow for Day 47….







27 thoughts on “Barn Photo on Wood (Day 46 of 365 Days of Art) Varnish Talk

    1. Hi C, ok – sounds good. and this weekend sometime I am going to share a painting I made back in 2o12 – so I will let you know – it has texture and some colors I like…
      have a nice day

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I had to look twice at the reflection. The reflection of the end of the barn, along with the grass, looks like a chicken (to me). I was wondering what (in the water) the chicken was standing on. It’s a beautiful painting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hahahah
      still laughing at the chicken – funny how these things can bring some comic relief – but now I wonder too – cos I see that chicken sorta…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it only kinda-sorta looks like a chicken. Straight down from the peak of the gable-end of the barn. Almost centered (top to bottom) in the pond. The reflection of the top of the end-wall of the bark, forms the belly of the “chicken” – It’s a bit of an optical illusion, and it may help that I am somewhat colorblind.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. well I saw a chicken somewhere else – bah! mine was in the right of the swamp… and a little chick down front. oh my.
          but now I am trying to see yours more – hmmmm
          and actually, one of the reasons I featured this piece was because of that swampy and unusual water section. I also wanted something different –
          and then I feel like someone might have loved this placed. Maybe it was a family home or memory property….

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning, Yvette. I like this photo a lot. I saw the whole picture, then the barn, then the refection and dried grass, and my eyes stayed there. Without the dried grass, it is still a good photo, but it probably wouldn’t attract me as much. 😉
    When they removed the varnish, doesn’t that mean the protection is gone? Re-apply varnish?
    Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I like the reflection on the water than the actual objects. My eyes stared at it much longer than the rest of the picture. It reminds me of adding texture over the real picture (photo) to give different mood.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have heard that artists do that – add texture in…
      and did you know that when I first opened up this photo at home – for a minute I was deciphering it upside down. that was weird – I then righted it and saw it all…

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.