A Peek into the Process

I shared a canvas with you a few weeks ago as part of Dina Wakley's Blog Hop and I would like to show you a peek into the creative process of that piece.

Don't you just love seeing steps and layers of creation? I know I do! Seeing the process an artist went through is just as exciting as viewing and appreciating a finished piece. When I get the chance to wander a museum my favorite pieces are the ones with visible brushstrokes. I try to get as close as I can to see the layers and movement of the brush. My texture-lovin' heart just sings!

Paintbrushes, acrylic paint, gesso and gel medium are from Dina Wakley's Media Line from Ranger.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we. This piece did not start with a sketch. It started with a background. I know I can be a bit bossy so I was letting the canvas do the talking this time around.

My canvas is a 6x12 Heavy Duty canvas from Aaron Brothers. It has a deep profile and sturdy stretcher bars. For a first layer I went with sewing pattern tissue. Tear it up, layer it and look at those lines.

After a light coat of gesso to tone things down I picked a few colors and scrubbed on a simple pattern. I knew whatever the focal point was it would be in the center and cover most of the canvas.

Then came the moment of truth. I stared and stared at the canvas as I rotated around and around to see what would pop out at me. This is what my mind's eye and the canvas decided on.

I'm letting you know that it was not smooth sailing from then on. I dived into my paints and began to flesh out the face and I hit a wall. It was uuuuuugly. I took no picture of this and I kinda wish I did. I was frustrated and my mind's eye was throwin' a tantrum. Not good. I walked away and when I came back I took my trusty isopropyl alcohol (aka IA) and removed the face. Lucky for me the graphite pencil lines were still mostly there and I began again.

A light wash of a complementary color to block out the angle and features of the head.

My texture lovin' heart piped up and demanded more of what it loves so I grabbed my old dictionary and began tearing small pieces. Then I glued them on mosaic style to make the hair. My mind's eye began to purr.

After distressing the book pages with IA and sandpaper I developed the face. I was in the zone. Back and forth with lights and darks. Adding and removing layers. Paying attention to where I wanted the highlights and shadows to be. Wanna tip? Push your darks. Don't be afraid of the dark side. And after that, push your lights.

Her blue eyes declared that her hair must be blonde and since it would complement the background I agreed. This was a very pushy canvas.

A few more tweaks to her hair and background and we were finished!

I must admit that I just love her. 

Thanks for joining me on this mixed media adventure! I hope you'll stop by again real soon!

1 comment:

  1. I especially like that the bottom layers are still visible through the focal point. It always seems a waste to me to start with such and interesting or intricate bottom layer only to cover it completely.