Friday, October 11, 2013

Making the Mati

And, the mati saga continues...

I decided not to think too hard about those glasses I mentioned on the last post- my dad taught me it was always best to just squint your eyes and get the big picture, and get on with things. So I'm not sweating the details. The technique of painting on synthetic surface, as I mentioned earlier,  not only allows being loose, but actually encourages it. Now I'm not saying that my way is the only way, but it works for me to be loose and get out the 'spirit' of what I'm doing first, and then going back in for whatever detail I want. And this particular medium is just allowing me to do that, no questions asked. It is just so sweet...

So on I went. Decided to go with an 11x14 biggish size, and used tube watercolors this time to allow some deeper, thicker paint and layering. I don't have fancy stuff, just the Van Gogh brand and on my palette I put white, cobalt ultramarine blue, ultramarine deep, black, and added viridian to mix in a bit with the cobalt and white to get that super - pure sky aqua color in the 'iris' of the eyes.

 So a bit on the differences and similarities as I see them between painting with watercolors on paper and on synthetic surface:

The similarities:
1. you can get all kinds of awesome effects using water and manipulating the thickness of the paint vs. the water.
2. best to work light to dark
3. If you mix one color on top of another they will run together if wet.
4. um...

The differences:
1. You can pull up any and all 'mistakes' or things you don't like later, so there is no need for masking, or being freakishly OCD about things.
2. It's particularly slippery, and the drying time / blotting up time is quite a bit longer, which can be good or bad. On the one hand, the effects can be pretty cool, and you can manipulate for a lot longer. On the other hand, it may take a while to let one layer dry before you can put another layer on top.
3. Regarding 2 above, it is pretty cool to be able to literally lay a layer on top, like acrylic.

So  what I did here for this doodle painting was to start lightly with the outlines of my eyes. I used a seriously watered-down cobalt blue.  Next I went in with the light blue "irises" - they had to dry completely before I could put those little dark dots in the middle without running. Next step was to darken the outside of the eyes with the deep ultramarine color.

You'll notice I was not worried about perfection. The above painting took about 10 minutes. As I said, I knew I could always rework it later, and it's best to be free.

Later I went in with some of the deep ultramarine (which is the color that surrounds the eyes) mixed with black to show shadows, and I pulled up the dark blue by simply using a damp clean brush to get the highlights, thus achieving the 'glassy' quality -  You can see how much fun it is in this video- :)

I did rework it later, and in doing so just literally let some 'eyes' run together and create a background so I could get the shape of the cluster of eyes the way I wanted it. The goopy mess was worked beyond what you see here, but I did let it dry on its own a lot to allow the look of running water. I wanted it to look like the eyes were crying in the rain. Then I started splattering a bit of water on the eyes themselves to get some runny qualities around the edges.

It got a bit too messy even for me, so I went back and pulled up some of the runs in the center of the eyes.
All you have to do is wet it down with a brush or a paper towel and simply blot it up. You can see the eye on the lower left - that used to have an 'iris' and 'pupil' per se and I just blotted it to pure white.

Now I'm in the process of working on going in to the piece with a bit more detail in the center areas to give the illusion of a glassy reality in the center part. Thickening the dark areas, pulling up paint to show the translucence of the glass... I plan to let it just kind of 'blur out' as it gets toward the outside.

Oh and by the way- remember how I was talking about weird coincidences last time? Well I was dumping out a basket so I could use it to prop up a lamp and work on this. It was full of everything from hair-styling paraphenalia I never use anymore to photos I had turned over and memories I couldn't bear to give up. Waaaaay at the bottom I found this:

 Some charm that fell off of something I don't even remember....God is either a comedian, or just really really good. Because he gave me the spirit to paint that day.


Come out and see me THIS SUNDAY, October 13th at the "Fashion Square Art Fair" , 11 am to 6 pm. at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall. - I have been so blessed to be invited by Boone Fowler and Brian Barnett to participate in this exciting event. See the link below for more details on the event and I hope to see some of you there!

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