I enjoy trying new techniques, and the painting group at L'Atalier here in Janesville is a great place to learn them, and get ideas. This week Marilyn demonstrated a technique that looked like fun. Here are the steps as I wrote them down:
1. Get yourself a piece of Yupo, that synthetic paper that is actually plastic. I like the stuff because it's fairly inexpensive, and if I don't like what I paint I can clean it off and start over. I also like how intense the colors are, since the pigment doesn't soak in, as it does with regular paper.
2. Decide on a design and paint it on the Yupo loosely with yellow paint (light, easy to paint over or lift). She had lots of sunflower pictures as references, but most of mine disappeared when I lost my hard rive a while back. I did take some new photos, but this design was actually borrowed from something I clipped from a calendar.
3. Use white gesso and loosely apply it wherever you think you want texture. Let it dry. This means you might need to do something else - some laundry maybe, or a quick game of Bejeweled Blitz. How about a chapter of Tale of Two Cities?
4. Paint your design using a watercolor mixture that is heavy on pigment and light on water. The consistency should be creamy.
5. When that dries, get out the black gesso and something with which to apply it. Marilyn used both bamboo skewers and a palette knife. The idea is to make gestural marks, not simply outline the flowers.
Hers looked better. I do like the boldness of this approach, but I obviously need some experience with the technique. The biggest reason this painting is headed to oblivion is that I had too much moisture in the black gesso, and even 24 hours later the surface is tacky to the touch. I probably just had too much gesso anyway. It was fun, but I don't see myself painting in this style very often. I did like the texture of the white gesso under the petals and foliage, and especially in the poppy seed pods (you didn't know these were poppies, did you?). So, I may give it another go later on.
I hate to waste paper.