When I see things that interest me I need to know “how that was done.” So the first thing I do is study it and work it over in my brain to see what was used and how it was used and so on. This has been good for me but sometimes an impediment also. You can’t create and study something and turn it over in your mind and expect that creativity will burst forth. I saw a painting someplace. I can’t remember were it was but it was not a show or gallery. The painting intrigued me. First it had birds in it and I seem to be drawn to birds. I don’t paint many of them but for some reason I like to look at them. This painting was not bright with color. It was not one of those, Oh, I got to have that or even I need to paint one like that. But the contrast in the painting was so striking I had to mull it over and over. Days later I was still thinking about that painting. I will try and describe it. There were two complimentary colors that had been laid down in random strokes. Wide swaths across the canvas with some blending to create a nice neutral to go along with the pure color. The painter used a slate blue and an orange brown. They then used a watered down white to negatively paint branches with birds. So the white covered the background and the only thing that remained was the birds and branches. It looked something like this….
These are three samples that I did when I was working up the lesson.
I first painted acrylic paint with a brayer* over mixed media paper* or canvas*. I use Golden fluid acrylics* and did not think about where or how I was putting the paint down. I then watered down white gesso* so it was runny like the “legs on wine,” more on that later. I took a stencil* that I liked and traced around the image onto the painted mix media paper, placing the image so I had the colors showing that would work together.
After I traced the images I painted around them with the watered down gesso. Putting on a very light layer.
I added more gesso as it appealed to me. Some areas I painted two or three coats of the watered gesso and some areas only one coat.
These are some of my students’ work from the lesson that I developed. You can see the different ways that they created their work as they completed their paintings.
These are paintings that are almost complete from some other students.
The students had a good time learning this process and then they took the ideas and made them their own by tweaking them as they saw fit.
I hope you will give this a try and let me know if it works for you and/or what you did or didn’t do with the process. Please share your thoughts. Thank you.
Keep creating everyday!
Tools and materials used: Speedball 1.5inch brayers @ Michaels or art supply stores. Strathmore Mixed Media paper @ Michaels, Aaron Brothers or art supply stores. Acrylics, Golden Fluid Acrylics @ CheapJoes.com or art supply stores. Any brand of Gesso you like. Canvases at any art supply store. Stencils @ stencilgirlproducts.com