Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Layer 2

With the second layer for this series, I used Prismacolor watercolor pencil. Along with watercolor paint, watercolor pencil is one of my favorite media. I am particularly fond of using the pencil to define shapes by shading into the negative space and leaving the positive spaces untouched. This pushes the negative spaces into the image making them seem to recede from the surface. The spaces within the shapes seem to stay on level with the surface, thus starting the push and pull that I desire.

Since I worked on several pieces at once, I was able to experiment with a variety of color combinations and a variety of shapes. This watercolor pencil work begins to lay the compositional foundations for the pieces.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Layers - Step 1

I've been working on a series of small 4x6 inch layered pieces, and when I work small, I usually use the same process for each of them while experimenting with color, application, and imagery. So I've decided to share my process as a bit of a tutorial, and to let you in on what goes on inside my head as I work.

Layer 1 - Watercolor

With this series, I cut up a few pieces of Strathmore Mixed Media 400 Series paper and then began experimenting with watercolor. I relish the versatility and the transparency of watercolor paint, and I enjoy playing with brush strokes, stamping, and stenciling. I can quickly add a starting layer without much thought, set the piece aside, grab another piece, and try another color or another technique. With this piece I used mostly vertical brush strokes, and varied the value of the color. I didn't cover all the paper and left some white showing. With other pieces in this series, I stenciled using plastic mesh, stamped with bubble wrap, and painted random lines and shapes. I try to push myself out of my comfort zone and use colors and techniques that I normally don't use.

Stay tuned to see how this piece evolves.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Studio Time

Despite the sheer exhaustion from teaching elementary art, the busyness that springtime entails, and constantly trying to promote the retreat. I have managed to make it into the studio a few times over the last few weeks. Besides working in my journal, I've managed to begin a series of small 4x6 inch layered, mixed media pieces. I enjoy the small size because I can work on several at the same time often following the same basic process but experimenting all the while. Some pieces will grow into finished work, and others will stall and stagnate, but it is all part of the process. I'll reveal more as they develop.