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Monday, November 12, 2007

Collage Mixed Media Portrait -an Evolution of a Painting

As a self taught "Artist" with magazines, books, and the internet at my back, please join me on this journey, the evolution of a collage painting. There are probably a million different ways to travel down this road, so if you choose, use these tips and techniques as a guide, not necessarily a map for your own "masterpiece"!

Tip number 1--work on more than one piece at a time. In this first photo you see a Christmas piece I'm working on that I took a break from while making "This Is What".
I started with a light layer of paint and gesso on 140lb watercolor paper--wiping off the paint with paper towels, spraying with water to get a misty look, and stamping with acrylic paint with foam stamps. (Be sure to immediately clean stamps as the acrylic will dry quickly).

Here you can see the stamps and the variance of color (white, turquoise, and a touch of teal).
You don't necessarily need to start with a rhyme or reason when starting a piece. In fact, I had no idea what I was going to do until the background was almost done. I prefer to start with a color combo that I like first, then let the artwork take on a life of it's own as it evolves with more layers.

I skipped a layer when photographing- the next thing I did was take a paper doily and use a darker contrasting color in a metallic sheen (luminex paint) and stencil on a "pattern" I used the entire canvas, no holes barred. If you like to incorporate and words or pictures, this is a good time to do so--although in many cases, I lay those down first-for this work, I chose to primarily focus on my colors, pattern, and focal point more so than the magazine and picture collage elements that I typically incorporate.
Sketchy out your face & hair and fill in with a base coat. I used metallic bronze for the underlaying color of my lady first, then positioned my chosen words after the outline of the face was completed.

Creating shadows is critical to achieving depth--something that I'm only now beginning to realize as I continue on this journey. I started with blending the wet paint with my finger as you might be able to see along the edge of the face to the left.

Okay so I skipped several steps here--lol--I had no intentions of sharing this initially, I only thought of it as I moved throughout the final stages. For the facial details, I again sketched with a pencil first then VERY carefully added light details, and going darker with the details only after I was satisfied with the results. the inside of the eyes and the lips were done with colored pencils, charcoal pencils, and watercolor crayon. The cheeks and other areas were shaded with pencil and my finger, which was colored with paint from the work in progress. To add more definition to her hair, I added 3 more contrasting colors going from light to dark, then adding more highlights with colored pencils and watercolor crayons.

The face needed more definition, so I outlined again with colored pencil.
I basically matted this to another background on watercolor paper to create a frame of sorts and added the final wording and touches to the hair (more definition with the pencils), highlights with the lips (with chalk and watercolor crayons).

Close up view--

Scanned piece shared in last post

Last but not least, I added more stenciling to "ground" the picture to the mat and create more color contrast which to me, adds a sort of dreamy affect to the overall picture.

So--there you have it--I hope you enjoyed Collage Painting 101 hosted by your local amateur artist!

Happy Veteren's Day--please take a moment to remember those that serve and have served our country.


Mizfixit said...

WOW!!! I think this is your best piece yet!!!! I really love it :) You must bring it to work for show and tell! Simply fabulous!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing the journey! I always wondered how you layered your pieces. :)

Paula said...

Good tutorial, Lucy! After the Christmas crafts are all done, I think I just might give this a try...