Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Custom Frame

Whenever I can, I like to avoid actual frames and make the painting frame itself.  Here I'm creating a "custon frame" on a piece of 1/4" thick hardboard.  I began by spraying the entire board with white primer from the hardware store.

Next I applied my first layer of collage.  I want this frame to be neutral in color, so I chose several papers from my stash that are neutral - including the very light green from an old Sunset Western Garden book because I  know the central subject will be a landscape, and green will go with that.

Before, I have always avoided the straight edges of my papers, but this time I used them along the edges and in the corners of the board.  I'm tearing my papers, and laying them down in fairly large chunks.  I just pick somewhere to begin and go from there, using Liquitex Mat gel medium as my adhesive.  I also put the medium over the paper.  My only guideline in this layer is that I generally want the bottom part to be darker than the top.

Then I used a ruler to make a light pencil mark 5" in from all the edges and applied a layer of white gesso within the center area, but being a bit fuzzy on the edges.

Then I put a wash of white gesso over the collage, thinner in some places, and thicker in others.  I also added another layer of gesso in the center part.

Now on to the next layer of collage.  I'm using smaller pieces here.  I want lots of richness in the texture.

Next, another wash of gesso, and a third layer of gesso in the center.

Now to tone the whole frame area with a wash of Raw Sienna.  I'm using Golden fluid acrylics.  I darkened a few places with a bit of Light Burnt Umber wash.

For the final step, I added a third layer of collage using tissue paper that I had stenciled with a leaf design using the white gesso.  I made the stencils from my own drawings using my Cricut machine.

Here's a detail.  You can see that in a very few places in the bottom part of the frame, I left a few small areas uncovered with the tissue - the darker pieces, like the dart shape coming in from the left at the bottom of the photo.

Now on to the main painting - hope I don't ruin this frame!

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