Sunday, January 15, 2017
If you look at the bottom of the painting in the last post you will see that the lower rabbit is cut off mid way down the body. That's because when I did the original drawing I intended that that would be the bottom of the piece, but when I arranged things on the board I didn't like the rabbits being quite so low down, so I glued them on with a gap of about 3" at the bottom. Now I have to do something with that gap.
I had three thoughts - I could put a band of something across the bottom, or I could finish the bottom of the rabbit, or I could put something in front of him. I decided to finish the bottom of the rabbit. I thought I was done! But I put it up beside the TV to study it and immediately decided that the lower left was just too empty.
More rabbits! I thought I'd need two more. But I began with just this one with her back to use and looking back over her shoulder. Once I put her in place, I was happy with the composition. So now on to finish the piece.
By the way, this photo shows the difference between the drawing to the graphite and colored pencil stage (lower left rabbit) and the drawings with light washes of acrylic over them (all the other rabbits).
Friday, January 13, 2017
The photo quality is pretty bad, but hopefully you get the idea. I painted the background - antique white at the bottom a few light blues and light blue-greens in the middle, and soft white at the top. I used opaque acrylics and roughly blended the colors together.
After that I began the collage. For the collage papers, I made several sheets of tissue paper. I used stencils that I made with my Cricut machine and designs of blossoming almond branches and falling petals. I stenciled the white tissue paper with gesso, then painted over it with watercolor. The watercolor doesn't stick very well to the gesso, so the stenciled parts remain light. For some of the pieces with falling petals, I mixed a bit of red into the gesso then used blue watercolor over it. I really enjoyed this part! By the way, I used Liquitex mat gel medium to adhere the tissue paper.
For the petals around and below the rabbits, I cut shapes from scraps of this tissue paper and glued them on with mat gel medium.
I've also cut pieces of 1/4" thick hardboard to back the upper rabbits and adhered the drawings to them. The corner pieces are just taped in place for the photo.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I also wanted two rabbits for the top of the piece. Once I had those drawn, I could decide how big the overall piece would be and construct the cradled board. The large piece is 1/4" thick hardboard and the edges are 3/4" pine. These boards are pretty easy to construct and, for large boards like this one, well worth making as they are expensive to buy.
I sprayed the board with primer, then applied the main group of rabbits with Liquitex matte gel medium. The top rabbits are just taped on for the photo. Later I'll cut corner pieces from more 1/4" thick hardboard and attach them to those corners. But I want to finish the background - at least at the upper part of the piece - before I add the corner pieces.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
I'm starting a new piece. I'm inspired by a memory from several years ago when I was visiting my parents in Arizona. They had a small cluster of almond trees in their back yard. The trees were full of blooms - the air was full of falling petals, and the ground was pink with almond petal "snow." A group of cottontails were feasting on the petals.
So this will be another piece in which I will experiment with using drawing in a collage.
Here's the drawing of the rabbits. I used HB, 2B, and 4B mechanical pencil. then lightly added bits of color with Derwent Drawing Pencils. I have a nice set of 24 pencils in natural, muted colors.