Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Biggest painting yet! Roadrunner--no Coyote.

I started a How-I-Made-This last week and here's the continuation. I think this piece is *almost* finished. (Pic by Lars Frazer)

I'll just repeat steps I already covered for those that missed it.

Step 1: Get an idea!
It started with the cartoon drawing. I was knitting on the long drive home and this idea just popped into my head so I jotted it down. I knew I'd lose it otherwise.

Step 2+3: Gesso some paper and start working on the background.
I started with a huge piece of printmaking paper--36"x48"--and slathered on a layer of gesso. After it dried I added a wash of phthalo blue. It's a boring pic, I know, but it's the starting point.

Step 4: Start gluing down papers. 
I used a heavy gel medium for the thicker papers and some liquid medium for the thin rice and tissue papers. I have several boxes of papers sorted by color, and you can see one open and exploded here. 

Step 5: Apply weight to flatten glued papers before it fully dries. 

I used some trash bags between the artwork and heavy books, then placed a heavy tray of lead type on top. It would have worked.... BUT... there were gaps between the stacks of books. I had some wrinkles right in those spots. Keep scrolling and you'll see how I fixed this. 

Step 6: Add Roadrunner using pencil and acrylic paint. 

Step 7: Make the pencil juicy by brushing liquid matte medium on top and basically turning it into paint.

Step 6: Add some fishies.  I choose fish that are from West Texas. It goes along with the narrative I wrote for the piece, which I'll jot down in a bit. I just use a mechanical pencil. HB lead, so nothing particularly special. (Same stuff as a No. 2)

Step 7: I didn't want the fish to get all smudgy, so I sprayed fixative on top. 

Step 8: I added some paint to blend the papers into more of a background since I wanted the RR to really shine. (You can see how wrinkled up the bottom area is. Sigh.) I wanted the fish to be Easter Eggs of a sort. Just some eye candy should your eye wander. I added some charcoal pencil marks in there too, and this is where I think I'm not quite done--I think more pencil/charcoal marks would be fun.

Step 9: Attempt to flatten. I used a wet rag and dampened the back of the work and reapplied weight! Instead of books I used some pieces of drywall. I had to dampen/dry in shifts (24 hrs for each) since the drywall wasn't large enough to cover the entire area that needed flattening. 

I think it worked pretty well! Here it is again with the narrative in the caption. 

This is the largest I have ever worked! I was inspired to do this piece after our recent trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park. I was enamored by the colors of this desert landscape. Did you know that part of Texas used to be covered by an ocean? Yep. For a period of at least 200 million years, ending some 300 million years ago in the Paleozoic Era.  Note the fish at the bottom of the piece honoring this history. What are the vertical lines at the bottom? Scaffolding. Acrylic, graphite, and charcoal  on gessoed paper. 

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