Sunday, 12 September 2010

Experimenting in the Studio

I am beginning a new series. It is related to work I have been doing, but is a bit different. I have spent weeks of drawing compositional sketches, figuring out what sizes I will work in and preparing canvases. Generally getting an idea of where this work will go.
I spent several days on this drawing. I am in the midst of deciphering the method that I will use in my new paintings. Although I paint in oils, I want to bring more drawing into these works. I thought I would try an idea where the background might look a bit like watercolours.

I drew out the composition in pencil onto heavy watercolour paper. The drawing looked good. I liked the composition. All was going well. Because you can't oil paint onto paper, I thought I would use acrylic to try the painting method. I don't have a lot of skill or experience with acrylics, I only use them for backgrounds in my art journal. So when I tried to do a wash onto the drawing it was shocking. Patchy and uneven, as you can see. The drawing was ruined.

To my surprise and relief, I wasn't too upset. Even though I had spent a lot of time on the drawing and liked it, my intention was always to experiment.
Saturday the idea was to continue experimenting. Which medium might work best for this new approach? I have put out a wax medium, a gel medium and my regular underpainting medium.
I had already drawn out the canvas. I don't usually do a detailed pencil drawing before I begin painting, but this is my experiment. It is on a cheap canvas, one I wouldn't use for a painting I intended to finish.

It was an interesting experiment. The underpainting medium is supposed to be good for watercolour like approaches, but I actually found it very dry. Similar to working with turps. Toxic as well. I had to get out of the studio.

The wax medium was different. I have never tried it before. The pigment was suspended in the wax. It was the most like watercolour, all the brush marks disappeared easily and it had that watercolour glow. As this was just what I was trying for, I was surprised when it didn't feel right for these paintings.

Finally I used the gel medium. I was sure I wouldn't want this one, but tried it anyway. The gel actually accentuates the brush strokes and I want the drawing to be point of your attention. Unexpectedly I found this very effective when I used it to follow the contours of the tree. I liked the effect and see that it might be another way of drawing, but with a brush.

I have left my experiment to dry for a few days. I will return and try some drawing over the top to see how it goes on the different mediums.


Lotus said...

This looks like soooo much fun! I love experimenting! Thank you for sharing your process!

nollyposh said...

WoW! If only i had the tiniest fraction of your talent sighhhh...
Amazing you are <3

lilasvb said...

you are so inspiring, i started my first art journal a few days ago, it took me almost a year to start one! thanks to you

gypsy said...

zom, I love that you are sharing not only your final works but the behind-the-scenes stuff, the experiments, the things that don't go as you wish, the testing. Good stuff! ~ Tammy

nanakin1 said...

I agree with all of the posters. You are so generous, talented and inspiring. Thank you.

betsy cañas garmon said...

Love the direction that you're going with sharing the "back story" of your art. Thank you for sharing your paintings, pages and artistic process. You inspire!


Zom said...

Wow. Thanks so much you guys. I am very touched.

dear Vicki, how do you know that you don't?

Valerie, I think your 'outside' pages counted as art journaling. But I am happy you are still inspired :)

Tammy, it's good to get the confirmation. I wasn't sure if it would be interesting to others.

Nanakin, so good to see your open-hearted kitten, :) Thank you for the confirmation too.

Betsy, I am so glad it inspires. It is kind of a 'back story' before the story appears, haha.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I have missed you sacred sister...I hope you are rested and know how important your images and words are to me. Welcome home. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart