Sunday, March 24, 2013

Layered Elements

Some of my most recent works.  There are 3 more in this series, similar, but with reversed color schemes.  I am experimenting with a lesson plan.  Mixed media is intriguing to me these days, and I seem to continue to think as if I were an art teacher.  Guess I am.  My classroom is just a bit different from the traditional.
Anyway..... These pieces (6 in all, so far) are 10"h x 8"w.  On Arches watercolor board.  I am setting up the lesson as a series of steps, so anyone can do this.  With emphasis on the Elements of Art (always the teacher...) and layering of various media and techniques. So - give it a try!

Layer 1 - lay down 2-3 colors in acrylic paint. With brush, or roller, or scrape it with an old credit card. The colors should be in the same family and put down in color blocks.  Think Mark Rothko.

Layer 2 - cut out a simple shape or two from white paper, and collage it down. Consider your placement.

Layer 3 - create a very simple stamp with self-adhesive foam, cut out and attached to a piece of cardboard.  (I used the heavy board saved from the backs of pads of watercolor paper.) Bold pattern. Creating a stamp/printing plate forces you to think of positive/negative space. Then print it in black, preferably over a bit of the white shape, to emphasize the contrast between black and white.

Layer 4 - use black paint with simple stencils to create more pattern.  Letters or numbers, reminiscent of Jasper Johns. Again, carefully consider placement.  Balance.  Focal area.

Layer 5 - draw in areas of calligraphic line, scribble, using black or white pen, to create more texture.

Layer 6 - paint in selected areas with the complementary color.This should be non-dominant.  Your background is dominant.  This could also be warm colors vs. cool colors.

Layer 7 - paint acrylic glaze in areas for shading, value contrast.  I use paper towels pretty extensively to dab at the thin glazes, allowing color below to show through, creating depth.

Layer 8 - splatter thinned acrylic paint, creating texture, and helping to unify the surface.  I love splatter!

Layer 9 - spray a bright spritz of color in areas to intensify the color and add even more interest.

Layer 10 - Sign it.  Make color copies to play with.  Maybe make another one.  Or do 3 at a time.

Have fun!  This project allows you to play with several media, all while thinking (or NOT thinking!) of the elements of design.  Line, shape, form, color, value, texture, space.  See what happens.  It's only paper and paint.  You can risk it. 

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