Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pouring in progress

acrylic ink, watercolour 22 x 30

Today a snowstorm was in progress. I dislike late spring snowstorms as they tend to hold more moisture and have more snow associated with them. This one has hung around all day and is now turning to rain. Nasty, messy.

However, being confined to the house provides me with an opportunity to play around with some new techniques. I had done a study for barbed wire previously and decided it could make a good subject for a watercolour pour.

Don't do this at home kids. At least not the full sized sheet. My studio is now multicoloured and so am I. I have learned that full sized sheets means outdoors in warmer weather or in a bathtub! Water and colour tend to go everywhere despite precautions of plastic and paper towels. (Aren't they pretty now?)

However, despite the drawbacks of mess the process was fun. I used a full size sheet of Arches watercolour paper that I taped to a large drawing board then sprayed it gently. I drew the outline of the string of barbed wire, then blocked it in with masking fluid. I find that stuff very toxic and it made my eyes uncomfortable for about 30 minutes after using it.

I mixed a cup for each of three primary colours and used acrylic ink, diluted with water. Once the paper held just a sheen, I then started pouring going from light to dark. I tipped the drawing board to let the ink flow and run back into its cup (or that was the plan). It simply ran onto the floor and the plastic and me instead with about three drops into the cup.

Of course I was impatient and didn't wait long enough between layers so its a bit muddy in places. I wanted the impression of a soft focus field behind the barbed wire so added more red. I then sprinkled some sea salt over the wet ink for a mottled effect.

Once the layers dried and I brushed off the loose salt, I rubbed off the layer of masking fluid to reveal the wire again. It looks so start against the coloured background now and I have to decide next steps

I could mask off a lot of the background and do another pour on to the barbed wire or I could simply use watercolours to create the wire and not disturb the background. This is where I need some advice from the experts out there. Whch is the best way to go from here?

I will add more layers of colour to the background to brighten it as it got a little too mixed in the first enthusiastic round of colour throwing. I should have started with a smaller piece initially to try this and will do another later to try for a better background. The snow made me do it!


Anonymous said...

If this was mine, at this point... I would decide if the background was finished. I love how rusty it has become. I don't think I would push it much more, because you run the risk of losing all the individual color notes, but that you will have to decide. As IRL it might need something I am not seeing. Then being a realist, I would just knock that wire out of the studio. Paint it in such a way that it lifts right off of the page, I want to feel the barb.

~Gina Cuff said...

Can't wait to see the finished piece Jeanette! Yesterday was a good day to spend in the studio.

~Gina :)

Jeanette said...

Robin, I'm going to take a risk here. I'm leaving the background as it is and have masked some of it around the wire, then I'll try a controlled pour to see if I can get some rich darks to make the wire stand out. Wish me luck!

I cocooned all yesterday Gina, I hope you did too.

Anonymous said...

How cool is this?!?!?!?
Between this and the last fish, you seem like you've been stretchiing all different degrees of tight/loose, so I hope your muse is inspired.
Taking risks is such a good way to fuel up.

Billie Crain said...

aren't pours a holy mess?! imagine doing them on a 40"x40" sheet like Nick Simmons? still he controls them well. guess it takes lots of practice. what kind of masking fluid are you using? i'm using W/N and there's no fumes at all and boy, if there were i'd be feeling the effects. i'll be interested to see how this one goes, Jeanette. it IS possible to make the barbed wire much more realistic with the poured bg and have the piece remain cohesive. whichever way you go i have faith it'll be a winner.:)

Jennifer Rose said...

I'm lazy :p I'd leave the wire as is. I like the empty space it makes. Failing that I would try to make the wire as realistic as I could.

I agree with Robin, adding more colour to the background and you risk losing the colours that are there.

"JeanneG" said...

Nice work but way too messy for me to try.

Lindsay said...

Wow! What a wonderful way to play. I'm always interested in the subject matter of artists and your have a really interesting, lively way of painting such a grim piece of wire. Makes for a really rich image.

Your messy pours remind me of my joy in mud play!