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. 


Folk Heart said...

Thank you so much for this great post! I am a digital artist who is getting a bit bored with that genre, and now I am inspired to go back to paper and paint, and still get the difused look and depth that I love in digital painting. Thank you again!

dix said...

Great post! I feel your pain...I get frustrated when I can't find time to create, too! Loved seeing your stages and the finished product.

PlumCat Art said...

Love this post! It was great going through the steps of your mixed media collage piece.

DeeJae (Deb) said...

Beautiful! That little guy and your lovely piece definitely gives me a "summery" feel. Thanks for the stages of your art, it helps me see the layers and depths. :-)

Anonymous said...

How fun to see your process.

And how lucky I am to be the proud owner of that canvas.

The past few weeks here have been touch and go with art. It's too nice to be inside and when I am, there are those nasty house chores to take care of!

Thanks for sharing. Nice to 'see' you!

Motherkitty said...

This is fabulous! I love the look of it very much. Thanks for sharing the steps involved in creating it, and the inspiration.

Aimeslee said...

Gorgeous piece and tutorial. Guess you are still guarding a few ssecrets in that last step, hehe. I'm very curious how you got that thin white outline shadow around the 'little poet', what tool you used. I love trying to illustrate poems and quotes. You hit a homerun. xoxo

Rosemary said...

I love this post; it is always interesting and inspiring to see the creative process of an artist and their project as it evolves - what was their inspiration, their take on that, and so on. This came out wonderfully, I really like that the mood you intended to evoke came through. So nice to be back and visiting some of my favorite blogs!

Heavens2Betsy said...

This is such a lovely piece Heather. Thank you for showing the various stages in its creation. Any art time, however brief, is better than none, I'm sure. And the results are well worth the wait. penny

Melissa said...

Hey Heather!
What a nice tute! I always enjoy seeing the process. To me art is more about the process than the finished product. Stop by my blog, I'm talk about you in my latest post.

Trudi Sissons said...

Heather! Great tutorial! I'm like your first commenter "Folk Art" - getting tired of digital and wanting to get back into paints, etc. even drawing! You made this look so easy!
And a fabulous outcome! I started working on your October 4 x 4 a couple of days ago - so it should be done before the end of the month!

Hope you're well and enjoying autumn.
We picked strawberries today and feel lucky we haven't had a frost yet.

Cheryl S. said...

Gorgeous piece and thank you for your step-by-step process you used!
I also get very frustrated when I can't find time to create something. Thanks for sharing.

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Great tutorial. beautiful finished piece.

Urban Interest said...

Great post/tutorial! I like art and paintings with relief in it. Thanks for sharing!