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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Frog & Dragonfly on Gesso







I came up with this concept on the fly(no pun intended)and decided to use a few colors I've been itchin' to try...Daniel Smith's Tiger's Eye Genuine and Undersea Green. I added Prussian blue, Quin. gold and Warm Sepia to the mix. I was going for a sunlit swampy/stagnant pond atmosphere. I discovered it's important to choose your watercolors wisely when working on gesso. I had an awful time with the paint lifting on this one when I tried to apply successive glazes, even when the previous layer was completely dry. I could probably take a wet rag and wipe this entire painting off right down to the white gesso. I knew both of the DS colors were very non-staining and the sepia and Tiger's Eye were easily liftable(is that a word?)so I shouldn't be surprised. I'll know next time to plan very well prior to painting when using these colors and make sure it's one pass only with the brush.
I included a few closeups of selected areas to highlight what I consider little 'gems' in the painting. The textural component of the gesso catches and traps the paint in such a way as to create fascinating, almost abstract passages that I absolutely love.

10 comments:

Costescu said...

oh, oh, oh I LOVE the texture!

Billie Crain said...

Isn't that cool! The actual painting didn't turn out well because of the lifting problem but the bits of texture are little paintings in themselves.

Mary said...

Oh wow it looks like you are heading in the direction of Mixed Media. I love this Billie and I am impressed with the success you have at using materials you don't usually use. Keep it up!

Billie Crain said...

Yup Mary, I'm headed down that road slowly but surely. I'm still feeling my way, though. I may get out my fluid acrylics for the next gesso painting.

Stacy said...

Billie, it seems your Spring cleaning really got your creative juices flowing. Out with the dust and dirt, in with new ideas. I'll try to remember that for the next time I want to avoid cleaning. :D

Billie Crain said...

You're right, Stacy.:) The biggest mess was my studio space. I know it's been said "don't trust an artist with a clean studio" but mine was getting way out of hand. Cleaning and organizing my creative space cleared my head and my muse decided to move back in.;)

Jeanette said...

I have to agree with what's already been said that the texture really works on this. The colours are intriquing too and do give the aquatic, swampy feel to this.

Its so good to see the range of techniques that can be achieved. Your work is always inspiring.

Billie Crain said...

Thanks for taking time out to comment, Jeanette.:) I know you're swamped yourself right now. I've decided to keep fooling around with this painting and see what happens. I hope to learn more about this technique in the process.

Anita said...

Billie - these are fabulous. I love the effects you are getting. And this one is magical!

Billie Crain said...

Thanks, Anita.:) I've always been fascinated with swamps and ponds. It must go back to my days as a kid when I'd go with my family to the deer hunting camp. I'd play for hours in the woods near the pond. I loved all the moss and mysterious nooks and crannies formed by old tree roots and such. Magical is the perfect word.