Tag Archives: mixed media

Mixed media seed heads 

I was at my last mixed media class today. I have decided to give them a rest, at least until the autumn. We were looking at doing first a large and then a small drawing based on an array of seed heads. I chose some dried Chinese lanterns, as I liked the warm colours. The large drawing is in pastels predominantly, with some over-working with charcoal and conte crayon. 

Then I focused on one lantern and drew it just with a very fine fineliner. I did this in a curious little sketchbook I bought in Tamil Nadu over ten years ago. Made in the Auroville ashram in Pondicherry, a place that did not impress me favourably when I visited it a couple of years later. 

The paper has a beautiful, almost basketweave texture. Made by survivors of the 2001 tsunami, allegedly. I must use it more. It is hinged at one corner, which is unusual. 

Industrial decay

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I’m doing mixed media work with Sue Rae again. Very mixed output for certain, but I quite like this, although it is just meant as a study for a larger work based on the idea of ruins in one way or another. I think this was an old blast furnace. Charcoal smeared all over a piece of soft cardboard, highlighted with chalk, a little coloured pastel and lots more charcoal. I think charcoal and decay just work together.

Neuroscience update

dsc_0547_29011559801_oI hung my paper pulp girl on the living room wall and she looked good, but really needed a frame. I decided to make one, as professional framing is slow and really expensive.

Two lengths of wood glued together gave the basic rebate. I cut the mitres on a bandsaw and they gaped terribly, so quite a bit of polyfilla needed on all corners.A trial fit looked good, with about 1/4 inch shadow gap all round. I painted about five layers of acrylic over the whole frame, looking for a suitable finish. Ended with a slightly dulled metallic bronze, which nearly matches some of the colour in the painting, but not too close as to be drab.

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Very pleased with the result. I have worked for hours on minor changes. A slight shadow under her bottom so that she is not totally lost in space. I thought there was something wrong with her head. I had painted it right up to the edge of the canvas. This looked odd, so I used white paint to re-establish the canvas, where it wasn’t covered in the coloured paper. This worked, so I went over the whole picture, painting out her body where there was a gap between sheets of paper. She looks as if she was assembled from the paper onto the canvas. She is finished, and looks fine in her glitzy frame.

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Stormy sea

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This started out as a watercolour at Mark’s class. We were exploring the use of masking fluid and multiple layers to convey distance. I liked the techniques but I thought my finished piece was very flat and dull. So I added a bit of acrylic to it. Rather a lot of acrylic in fact. There is hardly any of the original watercolour showing. I’m pleased with the colour of the rocks and the heat splash. Not so sure about the waves and clouds. I need to study waves more next time I am afloat

Further forays in mixed media

Build a sculpture out of a sheet of paper… It looked terrible and I didn’t keep it, but it was just meant as a starting point.

Draw it using lines, six times in six colours, all on top of each other.

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I actually like this approach and I;ve done it with life drawings, but first time just as an exploration of shape. Sue said she liked it, it was very dynamic. Hmmm.

Then draw it just using tone. Charcoal and chalk on grey paper seemed to answer for that.

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At least you can see form this why I didn’t keep it. It is actually quite an accurate drawing of “it”. I liked the frilly bits, they look quite frilly.

Then explore just parts of it with collage. I went for the Matisse cut out approach.

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Everyone liked the last one in teh bottom right and I have cut it out and have it pinned up in my studio. Very different from anything else I have done before, which is a sign of a good class. No idea what we are doing next week.