Before I started my painting for Assignment 1, I carried out some experiments with handling the paint in different ways, thinking how I might apply these techniques to my piece, but not limiting ideas to that subject alone.
Leaf – layering transparent washes, leaving white paper for the pattern of veins, and modifying it later with yellow.
Stones and starfish – I dropped very dilute yellow, blue and red paint onto wet paper, then much thicker secondaries, tilting the paper in all directions to allow the colours to rub and merge, sprinkling salt to create texture. When the paint was dry I went in with a black calligraphy pen and drew shapes and patterns suggested by the paint. The combination of thin and thicker paint gave more interest to the finished page than just one or the other would have done.
Mushroom – I painted a large oval with another oval inside it. A dark brown wash was roughly added over a paler wet wash, tilting the paper to get a mottled appearance. Keeping the rim wet, I added thick brown all over using radial strokes from the centre, which I then dabbed out with a tissue. I used the point of a credit card to create the gills.
Brick or stone wall patterns;
- top – wet in wet collage using torn scraps of magazine print; paint with a wash of sap green; when dry, add a thicker layer – the paint accumulates around the torn edges of paper, giving natural 3D effect stone shapes
- middle – Fingers used to lift out wet paint from a dilute wash of sap green. Then a darker wash added.
- Bottom – basic shapes painted with sap green; a darker colour dropped in wet in wet; when almost dry, the spaces between the stones painted with a yellow.
Tropical plants – pulled a pallete knife or corner of credit card through a blob of cream-thick paint, to create spiky leaves. Added a second shadow colur and repeated, getting subtle colour variations. Added a stem using transparent washes.
Weaving – laid down thickish paint and wiped a strip of card the rough the paint to create lighter strips like a fence (top). Staggering them (middle) looks like bricks. Pulling thin vertical lines first then horizontal strips looks like woven basket work.
Garden fence – made a small landscape using the techniques – a gate, scraping strip of card through paint; plants, pulling a blob of paint up and away with a sharp point; grass, a transparent wash of colour with salt sprinkled in.
Adjacent stripes of white, brown and blue paint straight from the tube; dragging the paint (with a cocktail stick) into the adjacent colour to give a textured, 3D effect; following the contours if the supposed object, eg a cylinder.
A basic mushroom shape painted in brown; indigo layers on top and white below; a cotton bud used to stipple the colour around, blending and grading the colours to create the form of the mushroom.
Experiments to achieve effects like my Croton leaves; washes with dry brush texture; spattering with toothbrush; yellow china graph pencil, oil pastel and coloured pencil as resists; spattering and stippling using a stencil.
Orange leaves: Oil pastel resist over transparent yellow wash base; cling film for texture; stippling on top with red.
Green leaf: yellow base wash; veins drawn in thick gouache and dried thoroughly; green transparent thicker layer painted overall on top and dried thoroughly; leaf washed under running water exposing veins, which were then modified with red stippling.
Colour trials – emerald green with process cyan, paynes grey, indigo, prussian blue – some toned with orange.