Slowly but surely the small and the large piece are coming together. The focus is on portraying Psalm 119: 130 visually and include this verse from The Message.
The collage technique I am using is an exciting way to use color and texture in a different way. Each piece is being prepared separately which can be time consuming, but I have speeded up the process by cutting many different squares and rectangles from 140 lb. HP.
The undercoat is painted on many of them at once and left to dry. I then come back later and apply the top coat with a palette knife. If I want my marks to reveal the undercoat a great deal than I use the corner of a credit card or metal palette knife to make gestural marks in the wet paint which in turn, reveals the color underneath. If I want sharper and more subtle marks, I dry the paint first and then spray it with rubbing alcohol and brayer over and over. I can then stop and scratch into the paint with the sharp corner of a palette knife. On some of the pieces, I then sprayed with alcohol and brayered over the surface again until satisfied with the texture. All of this is then dried and sprayed with acrylic coating before placing it on the support.
In a few pieces today, I did use a stamp into the wet topcoat and also stamped half of a handcut "O" with Speedball Printing Ink after the topcoat was dry. I also plan to create a small arched doorway with a palette knife, painting wet-into-wet for one of the pieces.
This technique offers a glorious opportunity to use fragments of old paintings, try new techniques, add text and rice paper, etc. Where you see large black spaces in today's posting is the support and will eventually be totally covered with my separate pieces. Some of the pieces have been moved around, but nothing has been adhered to the support just yet.
Today, I may adhere the white toned areas since most of them have been decided upon. It is very difficult to keep everything in place when nothing is secure. Part of the experimentation process is learning what works and doesn't work as you go along. If one section of color seems satisfying, then it just makes sense to go ahead and glue that down with gel matte medium to make it easier to fit the other colors in their places.
The key to success in this type of work is having enough common denominators throughout the piece and also having specific shapes by grouping a particular color together to form a larger shape. Having specific shapes helps to ground a collage that might otherwise look like a "hodge podge". And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.