Saturday, August 10, 2013

"Common Denominators" (draft 1)

(draft 1)

The quote has not happened yet, but the title gives me lots of options. Language and key words often provide the imagination with all kinds of images. None of us may realize just how much our eye is on the hunt for common denominators. In a way, it helps us stay counting telephone poles or automatically seeing the complementary color when looking at a particular color for a length of time.

It is quite fascinating to realize how much common denominators play a part in our lives and in our art. They are found primarily in repetitive design elements. In this piece, the repetitive element is found in the tiles. They will definitely be the focal point, but by tomorrow, this piece will be totally transformed. It will end up being a 4" x 6" which is quite small, but this is a test run for larger works.

This is an experimental piece using watercolor and gesso or bleedproof white gouache to incorporate a portion of the watercolor as the main attraction while the rest of the piece will be various intensities of the white with erratic darker lines in the background which is my very next step. I will also be knocking down the intensity of the tile work with glazing and perhaps a few aging techniques.

This first draft began with drawing in some basic outlines of the shapes of the tile with a pencil. Last night I applied masking fluid (with a dental pick....the wooden kind) to all of the white shapes you see in the tiles.

This morning, I wet the paper front and back and removed the excess water with a sponge. The yellow was then charged in with a mop brush. After that dried, I added more masking fluid over the shapes in the tiles that are yellow. Next came the Delft Blue wash over a completely wet surface. (If I had it to do over again, I would have glazed over the selected areas on dry paper.) That's why this is an experimental piece. I forgot how much the yellow would lift and mix with the blue if it was saturated with water. And that's why practice is so important. Every piece yields a bit more information about technique.

After the second layer was completely dry, I removed the masking fluid with a hard eraser designed for its removal. So today, I will experiment with the gouache and how to incorporate all of this into something cohesive and interesting. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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