Exercise: Preparing a textured ground
using torn pieces of heavyweight paper, pieces of corrugated card, some absorbent tissue paper and copious quantities of PVA glue I created a collage on a large piece of cardboard. I had in my mind the idea of painting a jungle and I was working on the premise that the different texture of papers would provide a structural basis for the trees. Once dry i coated the whole lot with gesso and then used acrylic paint to create my scene. This was entirely imagined but I allowed the forms to emerge from the idea of having at least one large buttress rooted tree trunk in the foreground and a dense undergrowth receding into the background. Jungles are dark places so I used the recesses in the paper to be the highlights. I added some light falling on the buttress roots and a tall plant to the left, bringing out a yellowy green colour. [NOTE: The yellow all but disappeared when the painting was dry! You can still see it in bright light]
I like the effect of the paper collage, but the corrugated card was too crude (at least for here). Having said that I did like the piece on the bottom left. It created a 3D effect of foliage. The large piece on the top right was supposed to do the same as a swathe of tree foliage. However the layering of the corrugations hasn’t come out as much and thus it doesn’t work so well.
Exercise: Mixing materials into paint
I didn’t make a proper painting for this section. After the exercise above I felt that using these techniques were not where I was at at the moment. However I can see the merit of having references to the types of effects you can achieve so I made the following textured ground sample sheet, incorporating from top left anticlockwise: feathers, sand, glitter, acrylic impasto paste, and pumice bits. I mixed all except the impasto medium with black acrylic paint before painting on the sheet. The impasto medium I applied directly. Once dry I dry-brushed a bit of orange acrylic over each part to bring out the raised edges and reveal the pattern.
Whilst I am still not enamoured with these techniques overall I am interested in the effect that you get when you bring out the grain using a highlight such as the orange here. I don’t have a specific use in mind for this but I shall put the whole sheet in my sketchbook for reference.