This is the third draft of Psalm 100. Hopefully, you can see that I've changed the orientation by rotating so that the dark "L" shape containing the darkest colors is now at the bottom. I am completely satisfied with that decision, but still have two days worth of dealing with values and toning down the area where the lettering will be.
Today's posting represents (4) more hours of work. I have cropped the piece to an 18" by 24" size, added several more mono printed sections, some text from an old bible, and a ton of plain rice papers.
After each layer of papers, I did dry the piece with a hair dryer, spray it with acrylic coating before adding another layer. My main objective in adding some of the psalms from an old bible and especially the part in the upper center which says "The Book of Psalms" was to added mystery and completely let the viewer know that this piece is about the Psalms. I also added some black papers, some text, and plain rice papers in that area to create a focal point. I intend to fire a piece of glass the same size of that focal point. That part will be done last.
So you can clearly see that I eliminated a lot of the detail in the black mono printed papers, but still leaving enough behind for interest. The art of laying down rice papers has everything to do with overlapping and also revealing some of the edges from the previous layer. This creates a very ethereal look that also adds depth and almost an encaustic look.
I also added a bit of gestural writing with a charcoal pencil and also brushed on some charcoal powder with a small brush in the areas where I had text pages. Charcoal powder comes in a jar and is very powerful. I would strongly advise experimenting on a scrap piece of paper first. It can be difficult to remove. You could also use soft pastels in a black or dark gray.
If you look closely, you will see that there was method in my madness of where to place the mono printed rice papers. They are placed in such a way to look like they are weaving in and out of the bands of color created with the brayers. So after you have painted your color on with a brayer, you automatically have a "road map" of where to place the papers.
In retrospect, I do think that fewer bands of color and larger bands for larger pieces would be more effective, but I will withhold judgement until I've completed other pieces with these same techniques. Having larger bands and then cropping before adding papers might create a whole different dynamic.
My goal today and tomorrow morning is to tone down significantly the area circumvented by the black bands and containing the focal point. That is where the lettering will go and right now it is way too busy. I will either use rice paper or white gesso to get it all under control. I might even use some soft pastels after spraying the piece and preparing the surface for a new layer. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.