Showing posts with label demonstration - abstract collage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label demonstration - abstract collage. Show all posts

4 Feb 2006

Demonstration - Abstract II


My concept for this piece was the enjoyment and pleasure to be found in playing music. I spent a long time choosing and arranging my pieces for the collage portions. I wanted to use the image of a previous painting of mine - 'Etude'. This was a Conte drawing and I decided to make a colour copy of the image on cartridge paper so that I could use part/all of it here. The other pieces were just bits torn from newspapers, magazines and one very old piece of sheet music.

I spent a long while arranging and re-arranging different pieces on my canvas and looking at the results of each arrangement in the mirror. Once I had finalised my choices I applied the pieces with modelling compound and also added some texture to the canvas.


My 'inner vision' for colours in this piece were red-golds and dark green ..... and maybe other colours in small amounts later. I always find deciding colours and colour mixing to be one of the most difficult parts in the process, and often change my mind at a later stage! I always mix up my colour first, never on the canvas, but this tends to slow things down and is probably not always good for spontaneity.


I tried three different colours for the background and didn't like any of them .... so frustrating! finally I mixed this green-black shade which I felt looked right. At this stage I felt content to keep the colours pretty much as they were and not introduce any more new ones, but maybe later....


I decided that the images were not integrated enough and were too 'real'. So ... nothing ventured, nothing gained ... out with the palette knife and a touch of obliteration using a lighter colour! I also added lighter passages to each side and the top, linking the main mass to the edges of the canvas.


Next I applied layers of thin glazes, keeping mainly to orange/reds and blue/greens. I also went over the green background with a mixture of Cadmium Red and Red Gold, applying thick paint with pieces of kitchen roll using a dabbing motion. As a result the background acquired the look of antique leather.


I continued with glazing all areas except the dark background, adding in Alizarin and Red Gold to some passages. I always take short breaks away from a piece I am working on and then look at it in the mirror to check progress! Eventually I know that I can usefully do no more.

I am pleased with the finished piece and feel that it came together very well.

Life can be delicious (22" x 28')

Acrylic collage on canvas

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8 Dec 2005

Painting an Abstract: "Not fade away"

This is going to be an acrylic painting using collage on canvas 16" x 12" ... a first for me. Trying out something new is exciting .... but it's probably always wise to read the instructions first! As I know very little about using collage this is real 'learning-as-you-go'. I have a vague idea of how I want the finished painting to look but am expecting to develop my idea further along the way.


I start off by playing around with some photographs on my PC. These are of two canvases that I'd started of nudes, with only the underpaintings completed. I print out several similar images of these, four to an A4 page, and cut them out.

I am actually working on one of the two original nude canvases and have obliterated the original painting with two coats of gesso. I spend quite a long while arranging and re-arranging my paper images on to the canvas in front of a mirror until I find an arrangement that I like. I fix them to the canvas using acrylic medium. When this has dried I seal over with a coat of thin varnish.

What I have learned from doing this? - photo-copy paper does NOT stick to canvas easily and it tends to bubble up. Note to self .... need to use a more adsorbent paper in future collage work.


Now comes the fun part (although its a bit scary too!). I try out applying different colours and wait for them to dry. Then I add textures using Acrylic Modelling Compound and gesso, followed by a glaze using acrylic paint diluted heavily with Clear Painting Medium. In spite of being sealed over with matt varnish the paper is still tending to bubble. Also I am finding it difficult to eradicate the straight edges of the paper cut-outs.

What I have learned from doing this? I should have TORN the edges of the paper collage pieces not CUT them .... they would have been easier to blend in!


I coninue laying down glazes of thin paint in varying tones, deliberately 'losing' some edges and shapes while emphasizing others. Then its time to paint in the side margins and add some hightlights and the central motifs.

It is absorbing work, and it's difficult to know when to stop, but finally I am satisfied that the painting says all that I want it to say.

And here is an image of the finished painting ...

'Not fade away' Acrylic on canvas 16 x 12 (2006)

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