Category Archives: color

WIPs with drips

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I got started working big again, this time with drip backgrounds like I'd started at the Abstract in VT workshop with Jane in 2015. One of these actually IS a Big Fat Art piece from that workshop and the other two are painting to music loosening up pieces for this summer's workshop. All are on cheap drawing paper. What I've learned from working on these so far is that I want to do more big pieces, and I want to get more texture. Ergo, I'm going to start some on heavyweight Stonehenge printmaking paper and 20×24 canvas. Time to start thinking about winter projects!

BFA piece. Who knows what's under all that…going for a sort of street art-graffiti look here

These three started as a series riffing off the first one. The plan was to use a similar color scheme over the drip backgrounds.

This one is going to get a lot of that turquoise covered with black…

I don't know exactly where this one is going, but I love the top!

 

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It goes this way

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I've started a few canvases as test pieces for a canvas I'm going to do for a friend. I wanted to play with colors and work with modeling paste and graphite…and not think too much. I started two fresh canvases and two that already have paint on them, all four 16 x 20.

I'm playing with sunset colors, the beach, the ocean…

 

 

And adding lines with graphite and then using them as structure for the composition…

 

At this point, I was looking at the piece from different angles,standing back, turning it around and thought 'oh, it goes this way'.

 

And it was practically done.

A lesson in the value of looking at your work from all distances, directions, and angles!

 

More color collages

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Here are three collages for a lesson in Jane Davies' color online class. The first is the monochrome:

I used green blue and blue in this, as well as black and white, and the partly hidden letters are blue neutralized with orange. Mostly paint with a bit of cut paper and some doodling with watercolor crayon.

Here's an analogous piece:

This started with a green blue background and then a green and yellow green island appeared. All paint. I think I'll add some even lighter tints to the 'island' although this isn't as dark in real life as it appears.

And here's a complementary collage. I had a hard time finishing this one. The pinkish circles were bright red violet to start but that seemed too intense (even for me) so I knocked them back and now…they need something. Texture? Fine detail? So this is probably NOT finished!

 

Back in color

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Yes, I've been MIA, but there has been action behind the scenes, as I'm enrolled in Jane Davies' Unlocking the Secrets of Color class. Fun! Here are the pieces I did for the latest lesson. I love Jane's classes; I always learn something, which is more important to me than I thought it would be when it came to art.

My favorite first, kind of like dessert first πŸ˜‰

 

Those were the complementary pieces. Here are a couple of the monochromatics:

 

 

I started an analogous piece, but like I said in my workshop blog post, it's due for an extreme makeover!

 

Blue pages

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A bit busy, but that's okay. I'm less timid lately so my pages are less sparse. More like the rest of my life…

I tried a different way of blending the collage papers into the background (right) but I'm not fond of it. I still prefer shading with graphite pencil. Not sure why blues and greens don't give me the same kick as reds and oranges. It's summer, after all, even in Vermont. I'm just digging the warm colors and that's that.

 

More stencil and fabric fun

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Moose said that as long as I was cutting up his muslin (see previous post) I should try some gesso experiments. I've used gesso as a resist on all kinds of paper but never on fabric and it seems like less effort than batik. πŸ™‚ I'm also still working on that wonderful blending of orange, green and purple that I like to call 'octarine' (a la Terry Pratchett). All of this is in aid of a future project that gets more massive the longer I plan. I should stop planning and just do it, but this experimentation really is part of it. Really. Really!

Anyway, I started by tinting plain, rather thick white gesso with a little Naples Yellow Golden fluid acrylic because I didn't want stark contrast and I wasn't sure how much it would be stained by the sprays. Turns out I could have used more tint, but it's okay. Then I used a palette knife to scrape it through a couple of stencils and 'freehand' onto the muslin. My gesso is thick enough and the layer I scraped on was thin enough that I didn't have any problems with seeping under the stencils or pooling and sticking to my work surface, but I did this on waxed paper just in case.

 

I let the gesso dry completely and wet the fabric with a mister until it was wet but not soaked. I used dye sprays, orange Colorwash and crushed grape and dirty martini Dylusions. Yes, I know Dylusions aren't meant for fabric, but they're what I had in the colors I wanted. I'm not going to wear this or wash it.

The purple stained the gesso most, then the orange, and the green almost not at all. I let this dry completely and decided the purple wasn't dark enough. There were also some pink and blue places that, although cool, were not what I wanted.
 
 

So here the final product.

As cool as this is, I think I may like the back better! The gesso didn't permeate the fabric completely so the contrast isn't as great but the texture is still there.

Another shot of the back. The gesso makes a slight relief here:

There's some nice blending in here. Not as nice as on watercolor paper, but nice enough. I think I might try it on linen if I can find some. That's for another day, however. Seems we get one nice day out of this holiday weekend, and I'm going out to enjoy what's left of it!

 

More Gelli fabrics

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I started these last weekend and gradually got them finished. Had I known the weather this weekend would be so lousy, I would have just waited and finished them this weekend.

These are just bleached and unbleached muslin. For this experiment, I wanted to see if wetting the fabric made a difference, and my canvas doesn't absorb water well (it's actually a canvas drop cloth so that makes sense). I wanted to use the secondary colors, and there's a a fine line between getting a great blending of those colors and getting, well, baby-poop brown.

So I tried dry, spot wetting with a mister, and soaking and wringing. You can tell which is which on the samples by the amount of wrinkling. Once again, I started with a layer of acrylic and fabric medium at 1:1 but subsequent layers are just paint. I used two shades of each color on each layer. There's less blending than I expected even with the soaked fabric.

Here's a spot-wet (love this Balzer Designs stencil! i have both sizes; this is the 12 x 12) and below is a three-layer spot-wet piece:

Here are some of the soaked pieces:

 

The pieces I started with orange have a solid layer of paint:fabric medium.

 

 

I like these but I'm probably going to have to use dyes on the fabric first to get the level of blending I want, then maybe one layer of paint stenciled on top. The forecast is for rain for the rest of the long weekend, so that's next!

 

Fearless into the future

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Here’s my entry for the Fall Fearless and Flychallenge. This looked like some fun inspiration and I was ready to get into some warm colors. I had a challenge for myself to use more red this year and this helped as a reminder. I made a useful discovery, too: graphite doesn’t stick to India ink. πŸ˜‰

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Starting now

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Starting a new art journal. I decided to try the Strathmore hardcover watercolor journal as a change from the spiral bound Visual journals I’ve been using. We’ll see how it stands up to all the sprays I use. This is a page where I used gesso and acrylic paint as the first layer, scratched through it, and then sprayed over it with dark blue and black. I journaled a bit with a paint pen then sprayed through a Crafters Workshop stencil. The leaves were cut out of acrylic-painted paper I made ages ago.

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