Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chasing jelly

Yes, I'm still on my quest to conquer the elusive jellyfish, or at least a decent painting of one.

I started with a loose study in watercolour a few days and have now advanced onto a mixed media piece.  This is a 15" x 30" canvas panel that I gessoed then put scrunched up tissue over, with more gesso embedding it further.   Once dry, I started adding washes of watercolour.  I liked how the rough surface would catch the pigment and intensify it in pockets.

I threw in a little oil paint on tentacles last night but wasn't really happy with that so tonight I formed more texture over it with modeling paste.  I love that paste, its like making mud pies, such fun to use with a flexible palette knife.

So here is its current state, waiting to dry and have more colour added.  Where will it go from here?  I really don't know.  The painting will guide me I'm sure.  Does anyone else feel that what you paint sort of pushes you in different directions?  I wanted to move to a looser style and this is definitely loose!

Did I show you the jelly fish self portrait photo I took a couple of weeks ago?  I went to Salmon Cove and there were a number of jellyfish washed up on the sand.  I tried to save some, but they'd been out of the water too long and just kept washing back in.  The colours in them were beautiful - gold and purple I believe they are lion's mane jellyfish. When I uploaded my images, I found this one - a self portrait in a jellyfish.


Dianne said...

I love the illusive quality you achieved on the tentacles! I thought you had done it with a palette knife, I didn't realize you'd used paste to get that 3D quality. The original watercolor you had posted was very good in the feeling of the subject too, but you might try the palette knife with white over dark blues for the body as well? Some how the way the tentacles are a bit fragmented really gives them the translucent feeling you get when you see one in the water. Believe me I've seen far too many in the water with me, it's a wonder I can still appreciate them.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

This is exciting, like a painting equivelent of your gyotaku in the markmaking and broken colour. I can see a series of panels of these hanging side by side.

Jeanette said...

Dianne, thanks for your comments and ideas. This piece is in progress and there will be more layers of paint, paste, heaven knows what yet!

I need to look at some reference material now to develop the head of the beast and get the light correct. The contrasts between darker blues and white are the way to go.

I'm not too keen on having them in the water near me, even if the ones here are fairly innocuous in terms of stinging ability.

Lisa, thank you. It is exhilarating to do a piece without thinking too much, just letting it flow. I'm considering a fish painting in a similar way and will prep another canvas this weekend as it takes time to dry.

suzanneberry said...

i'm in love with your treatment of the tentacles! perfect!

Irina said...

Painting is so full of freedom and movement. Brava, Jeanette.

Jennifer Rose said...

def. looser :) really nice textures to it too