Spotted Flowers

Apologies for my absence these past few days.  Been busy with Christmas and the days following, and before we knew it, time just flew by!  I’ve finally been able to get back on my feet again painting but need to find more time to work consistently.  Today, I’d like to share a painting I did for my Friday afternoon art classes.  I started it in July but was “interrupted” by a couple of the Nihonga Japanese watercolour painting workshops as well as holidays.  This painting is inspired by the works of Yayoi Kusama who is famous for her abstract work with all the spots and dots.   I in fact went to her museum last year when I was last in Japan, which I had blogged about.  Impressed by it all, I decided to make my own version…

Background Colours

This piece was done on some huge paper and is hence more effective with this sort of painting.  Rather than “copy” other people’s work, I prefer to create from the top of my head and hence firstly penciled in my design in my own style.  Then I painted in the background with acrylic paint mixed with some gloss medium.

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Stencil Work

Kusama’s work involves quite a lot of “dots” and “spots” which makes her unique.  For that, she uses silk screen printing, which I, of course, have no experience or knowledge, let alone the equipment.  One day I’d like to try it!   But for now, I thought I’d substitute it with alternative methods.  One of them was stenciling.  Once the base paint was dry, I set my stencils on top and began carefully pressing some paint with a hard short brush.  It was the first time for me to do this and I was not sure if it would work.  As the stencils were smaller for the large areas, I had to move them around which meant making sure the areas were dry to prevent smudging.  And to my surprise (and patience) it worked rather well!

I did the same for the flowers themselves.  Same method.  Paint base colour first, let dry, and stencil away.  For some areas, though, I thought I’d try something different and add some bubble wrap imprints.   Below, you will see that the the lighter pinks were stencilled in with a darker pink, whiles the darker pinks simply had the imprints using a lighter pink.  I guess I wanted to add some variety!

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Masking Fluid

Another method used was masking fluid!  First I painted the area in yellow, waited till it dried then randomly applied some masking fluid.  Orange paint was then added on top once the fluid was dry.  In turn, once that paint was dry, it was time to peel the mask off!  To be honest, I was not sure how it would turn out as I’ve never used masking fluid on acrylic paint before (just on watercolour).  Wow I must say I’m quite impressed how it all turned out!

Adding Texture

To add some texture in the centres of the flowers, I spread a bit of modelling paste with  a small thin spatula then applied some purple on top using my finger.

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The Whole Picture

And here it all is!  I’ll definitely be framing this piece.  Had so much fun again with this painting, especially exploring and improvising different ways to create all the patterns.  I love the challenge of trying new things like this!  What helped was using a large surface like the huge paper.  For future paintings, I’ll definitely be integrating such methods as they worked very well here, perhaps with canvas next time.  And I adore the works of  Yayoi Kusama.  Can’t wait!

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