Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December Virtual Sketch Date

paper collage, 5.5 x 11 inches

Here is my interpretation of December's Virtual Sketch Date challenge (http://virtualsketchdate.blogspot.com/). Being a Midwesterner, I am well acquainted with those days in winter when the world presents itself in shades of gray and brown, when the snowy earth and the dishwater sky seem indistinguishable. The reference photo was evocative of familiar winter scenes. I decided to try this one as a paper collage.
I had been saving scraps of paper by color in envelopes, so my colors were ready to go. I used a scrap of leftover 140 lb. watercolor as the base, coated on both sides with matte gel medium to keep the paper from buckling. I wanted something in a landscape orientation, with the buildings off to one side, instead of having the center of interest in the middle. So I played with a simplified sketch on tracing paper, then transferred my plan to the prepared watercolor paper. After that it was a matter of laying down layers of paper, and attaching the bits with gel medium, working from back to front in layers.

For a day or two I thought this would be the finished version. I liked the simplified shapes and quiet quality. But as I looked at it I became dissatisfied with the central shapes. The corn stubble in the foreground was more interesting than the cluster of buildings, perhaps because of its layering and complexity. So I went back and added layer to the buildings and trees. That was an improvement.

Here's my work in progress. I keep the scraps of paper in the value I want out, and the others put away just to help me keep focused on one thing at a time. I find having a container of water handy. When I get stuck, or need to tear paper, I can keep my brush in the water, preventing the gel medium from destroying the brush bristles.
When I finally decided I was finished and the gel had dried, I put the collage under a stack of books to flatten it. Thanks to the Virtual Sketch Date folks for posting the reference photo. Check there on Saturday to see how other people interpreted the snowy scene. I will be busy all day Saturday, so decided to post when I had adequate time.

21 comments:

Margaret Ann said...

What a great capture! I love the graphic feel to this...love that sky! :)

Ann said...

I love this! It has an elegance with the way you used value and texture that is very appealing. Thanks for showing the process too. I usually get lost trying to do a collage so this was good to see.

Judybec said...

Nice paper collage!! Thanks for showing the work in progress too-- I love to see the steps leading up to a masterpiece!

Debbie said...

Wow. This is neat. This is the first time I did Virtual Sketch and it is so great to see how you interpreted it. Very nice

Sharon said...

The texture, values, composition in this are wonderful, Sherry. Really excellent work!

Terrie said...

THis is really good and talent on this.

BMoon said...

Very very very cool! Love the graphicy feel and the newspaper fields in foreground, really neat.

The Happy Painter said...

Yes, I love this. The colors, the textures. You make me want to give collage a try, too!

Timeless River said...

Lovely painting..You sure put a lot of planning and thought into it..and it came out beautiful

Stacy said...

I really like your collage! So glad I clicked on it to see the detail.

Kathleen said...

I think I commented at some point on this on your flickr page maybe? but will comment again because I love this collage

Sydney Harper said...

I really like this! The sky especially caught my eye. I love seeing the different approaches people use for the VSD. Thanks for showing your process too!

christine said...

This is a wonderful collage! And your perseverance is so commendable. Thank you for sharing your process with us. Great job!

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

This is beautiful and creative. Collage gives texture and depth.

Jennifer Rose said...

This looks great :D What a interesting way to participate :D Really cool to see all the different textures you acieved.

laura said...

Just gorgeous--I love how you have emphasized or maximized the design qualities of the reference. The horizontality of your composition is very pleasing and calm.

Regina Calton Burchett said...

Until I looked at the larger version, I would not have thought it was a collage - very creative and thoughtfully done! Also, your step by step review is great.

Jan Pope said...

How interesting. I'm always amazed at those folks you can do collages that don't look like first grade art projects. Thanks for showing how to work a collage. I might just have to try this out.

Andy said...

This is great, it works really well. As others have said, the sky is a winner. Very orginal.

leslie said...

I believe this to be my favorite interpretation of the reference photo out of all of them.
Fabulous!

ego2005 said...

Amazing! This collage is really artistic and I like the way you performed!

Congratulations and happy holidays!