Sunday, September 25, 2011
Art in Stages
Okay, I'll admit it.....I get crabby when I can't squeeze art time into my day in some way. Do any of you share my pain? The solution for me has been art in stages. Often each stage only takes a half hour or less so it is reasonable to accomplish in a jam packed day. Let me demonstrate with the progression of a canvas.
First Stage: Prep the canvas. This involves sanding it, wiping it off, applying a layer of gesso and leaving it to dry.
Second stage: Choose your paint. I usually have the focal image in mind when doing this. The little guy with the jar and little net reminds me of the summer days of childhood, warm, bright and full of potential. The yellow background was selected to evoke sun-drenched days, the green was the lushness of trees and grass mid-summer and the red to me was the excitement of discovery. Paint the background colour on the canvas and leave to dry.
Third Stage: Dig through your scrap paper boxes or drawers for papers that capture the mood that you wish to create and that coordinate with your background colour. Cut them into pieces of various sizes. Using gel medium, glue them to your canvas. Don't overthink this just do it intuitively until you are satisfied with the look. Remember to also add a thin layer of gel medium on top of each piece as well. This will allow you to add additional layers of paint. Allow to dry.
Fourth Stage: I like to add a layer of light paint that has been watered down. It just calms the base colour and sinks the papers into the background. Allow to dry.
Fifth Stage: Add stamped script to the background using StazOn ink. As you can see, I've separated the rubber from the wooden mount. This allows me to get the best coverage. You don't want to fill the background with script. I usually ink the stamp only once then stamp it randomly.
Sixth Stage: Using a foam stamp, apply green paint and stamp randomly onto the background. Again, you only need to actually put paint on the stamp once or twice, not before every image. This way you'll get some darker and some lighter images. Allow to dry.
Seventh Stage: Using a stencil, in this case an alphabet stencil, and a stencil brush, stipple colour through the stencil holes onto the canvas randomly. Allow to dry.
Eighth stage: I like to reapply another layer of watered down light paint at this stage. I don't want the letters and stamped images to be as prominent as they are. After this layer dries (you can help it along with your heat gun, just be sure to keep the gun moving so it doesn't burn), I used the top of a jar, applied some white paint to the rim (not all the way around) and stamped it onto the canvas. Allow to dry.
I also use sequin waste and a stipple brush with light coloured paint on it to add texture and to blend elements together. Allow to dry.
Ninth and final stage (usually when I have a bit more time and am well rested): This is when you use your focal image and other elements to create your collage. Arrange and rearrange until you like the look then apply images with gel medium. Don't forget to apply a layer on top of the images as well. Do a little shading and outlining with charcoal pencils and a blender. Add a border if you wish. You might want to dig out that lid and light paint again and stamp over top of your images to sink them into the background. Embellish as you wish and voila! Your canvas is complete.