It’s the middle of September and although the temperatures were lowering a bit for some time, the past few days it soared to above 20 degrees. T-shirt weather! At the same time I’ve been following art books again to get more ideas and master new techniques. I’m not looking to imitate other artists but it’s more for my own practice and self-study whilst at the same time I develop my own style, even adding variations as I go along to suit me.
And it’s so nice to be able to use bright jewel colours again! A few weeks ago I wanted to see how one of the Dylusions mica ink spray would look on black paper. It’s virtually invisible on white paper, even over inks and paints as a final glaze, but on black paper, wow! I would’ve added layers on top or develop a painting with it but the paper is not thick enough so thought it would be best to use it as collage material.
I used only half the paper and drew a cat on scrap paper before tracing it and carefully cutting out the shape. The unused half of course can be used in future. While I used the cut-out cat shape for today’s painting, I will also be saving the “frame” for another project. No wasting!
Next on my substrate, a Canson 300 gsm Mixed Media paper, I scraped some paint on the corners using an old credit card, as per book instructions. The acrylic paints are by Dylusions which give adequate spread and opacity as well as vibrancy. For the top right corner I used Bubblegum Pink and the top left Mushy Peas. Then I was to place a stencil on top. Apparently I was supposed to take a damp cloth and wipe away some of the paint in the stencil holes to give a reverse effect but I forgot to dampen the cloth and also left it too late as the paint dried up. So I just messed around a bit and rubbed in a smudge of Mushy Peas on the Bubblegum Pink, and vice versa. Cool effect so far!
Then I was to scrape some yellow paint under the Bubblegum Pink and keep smudging out the colour on the stencil. Then do the same using grey paint in three different places as white in two. Still without success. At this point, I decided to do my own thing and rather than rub the colours out, I smudged the colours on the stencil instead!
But I wanted to fill in the white bits on the bottom half as I thought it looked empty. So I took the initiative again to spray some blue ink, again with Dylusions products (Periwinkle Blue and London Blue).
But still not satisfied, I painted in some india ink for the first time in orange shades. And scraped some grey paint again in two places on the bottom right and finally getting the knack of rubbing the paint off with a damp cloth! Gotta keep that in mind for the future…
Happy with the background, I proceeded with the collages. The first part was the black cat silhouette I had created earlier. And now for the next step, I made a separate collage using bits from a newsletter in, for added flair, Japanese language. They were randomly glued on using gel medium on cheap pastel-purpose paper. Once dried, I cut out some circles freehand, again using just a portion of this “sub-collage” with the rest able to be used in future.
And I glued them all on the stenciled painting. The whiskers and the outlines of the newsletter collages were drawn in using black india ink because it’s permanent and won’t smudge when gel medium is applied during gluing. I could’ve added finishing touches like details on the cat or designs in the circles but I didn’t want to make the painting too confusing so left as it was.
The painting was, as said earlier, inspired from a page in an art book on mixed media (see below). Of course it’s going to end up looking different as we all have our own style. This painting by mixed media artist Dina Wakley is more mature and sophisticated, whilst mine is more rounded and full of kawaii elements. Fun to be able to emulate just to experience how the original artist went about it. And even funner to develop your own style and add variations in techniques. Furthermore, what doesn’t work out as intended is actually an opportunity!