A few weeks ago, I followed another tutorial of Ana’s. This was an interesting one, working on something I had never done involving collages with magazine cut-outs and patterned paper napkins. Although I enjoyed the challenge of going behind my comfort zone, I was not very happy with the outcome. I then set it aside for a few days and returned to worked on it again. And it was well worth the try!
Preferring to work on backgrounds first, I chose an existing ghost print from the gelli art used in the Pink Moon paintings. That print was in my Marabu Mixed Media sketchbook, waiting to be used.
With a stencil, I incorporated some criss-cross patterns with lilac Distressed Oxide. Three figures from a magazine were then chosen for this piece which I glued on with Matte Medium and “ironed” flat with an old credit card. Once dry, the glossy surfaces of the magazine cuttings were gently sandpapered down to roughen and add some tooth so the gesso and paint can easily adhere. White gesso was then applied to create a white silhouette from which we can alter the images of the existing figures.
Ana’s tutorial called for dressing up the “mannequins” with patterned paper napkins. Alas, I hardly have any so had to rely on alternative collage sources like wrapping tissues and origami paper! One of the figures though has paper napkin on, the rest not. Can you tell which one is wearing what? Faces were then painted on with acrylic and the hair and eyes drawn with gel pens. Supposedly, that was it! I still didn’t feel satisfied with it though. Perhaps if I leave it for a few days it may grow on me?
Make it Kawaii!
One of the reasons I was unsure about this piece was that the characters were totally not me. Rather than tall thin figures with small heads and long limbs, I’m more drawn towards the chibi style, the small pudgy figures with proportionately huge heads and tiny jointless limbs! As such, this piece was not kawaii enough despite its anime qualities and bunny ears. So what to do? Add some kawaii of course! So out came the acrylic inks, pens and gouache paints as well as stamps with which I doodled flowers and more bunnies!! I of course didn’t want to lose the original figures which I had worked so hard to create. All I wanted to do was to enhance the painting further. And now we’re talking!
I’m definitely up for trying and learning new things. As this tutorial proved, you don’t know if you like it until you’ve done it. I certainly enjoyed the process and though I wasn’t happy with the outcome, I took my chances to see how I could improve it till I was indeed happy. Whilst I am glad to have tested my comfort zone, it’s always nice to return the style that suits me best and at the same time introduce the new. Next time, I may try this collage technique but customize it to my chibi style!