Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" (Draft 2)

(image 1)
(image 2)

The quote associated with this piece is Psalm 139: 14. You will see it in the final. Today you are viewing the second draft which has two layers as shown above. Artists who have not had experience in layering are amazed at how many layers can be involved in a piece. And that is why I am posting each layer so that you can see what each layer looks like. So often, an artist will get discouraged when everything doesn't look finished in the first layer. Don't despair. You simply need to keep going.

In the second layer (actually it's the third since I posted the first two layers yesterday.), I decided to add color. It's a burnt sienna color, but you will not find burnt sienna in Speedball Printing Ink unless you special order it. Just squeeze out a 1/2 tsp (app) of orange....add a touch of blue...and then add white a bit at a time until you have the value you want.  Mix it thoroughly on your printing plate with a palette knife before brayering.  Burnt Sienna is simply a "grayed down" orange.

Of course, I printed this color some time ago and had it stored in one of my gallon size baggies.  And that is the best strategy.  Printing the rice papers and designing the piece need to be separate events.  My design decision was to emphasize the horizontal bands in the lower half of the piece and add a bit of it in the top portion to create an echo. One edge of the rice papers has a straight cut and the other side was torn. I also flipped them...with the torn edge up in some places and the straight edge up in others. This creates more interesting edges and shapes throughout the piece.

After I cut and laid them where I wanted...I began to adhere each one to the support. I then lifted up an edge on each one and deconstructed by pulling the print up. This technique left a residue of the paper while revealing some of the previous layer. It creates a very integrated and ethereal look.  I also dipped by "gloved" finger into water and smudged a bit of the color around.  (Even though I sprayed it once,  thicker areas may still lift and so you will see the staining of some of the surrounding areas with that color.  I then dried all of that with a hair dryer and sprayed with Krylon Spray Acrylic Coating and dried it again. (Spray outside)  After all of that, I took a photo and that is what you see in (image 1).

My next move was to bring some more dark values in the bottom portion and add to the complexity by introducing a pattern (created with a commercial texture stamp and stamped into the ink after brayering on the printing plate.) Again I wanted to emphasize and reinforce the horizontal bands in the bottom half of the piece.

You can see that the straight edge and torn edge helped to create an interesting interplay with what was already there. I also added some plain rice paper strips to conceal and tone down some of the middle values created by the text in the first layer. I again dried the piece thoroughly....sprayed with acrylic coating and took a photo. That is what you see in (image 2)

You will notice that I've been very careful not to conceal the dynamic shapes in the upper half of the piece...while creating a very textured and woven look in the bottom half. And that's what you will want to do when designing your piece. Choose carefully the parts that you want to preserve and leave them alone.

This piece will now have all day to dry before adding additional elements. And that is the ideal way to create mixed media. It insures that each phase is "bone dry" before going to the next step. It also gives you a chance to pray about the next step and study the image. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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