Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Process of the Spirit paintings

I've been thinking that it might be interesting to track the process of putting together one of my Spirit paintings.  I usually start with the background colors.  In these next few pieces, I have already poured the backgrounds with acrylic pour paint techniques.  I add texture by spritzing a little water on the surface after I've poured some color on.  By doing this, I get both the poured paint look as well as a hint of the watercolor "rainy window" look that I love so much.  Here are a couple different background pieces.  We will see how they develop over the next few days.  I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do.

1st piece:

This is a larger format than usual, 16"x20".  I love the rich colors and the feeling of looking through to the brighter lighter colors beyond.  I am not sure where this piece will lead me, but I can't wait to see where the journey will take me.

2nd piece:

This is the background for a piece entitled "Spirit of the Harvest Moon".  It is 11"x14".  The harvest moon is one of the special pleasures of the fall season.  It has fascinated me, delighted me, and brought out the magic of the season for me since I was a child.  The more I looked at this background, the more this seemed the perfect base for showing the spirit of this moon.

This is the preliminary sketch for the harvest moon and the figure that will represent its spirit.  I am pleased with the basic form but still pondering a few things.  One of the things I love about these Spirit paintings is how fun, playful and free the base paintings are, and how the details.....the actual spirit.....evolves over the next few days.  The process is as much fun as pouring the paint with abandon!  This is Tuesday's entry, Nov. 19, 2013.  Check back in a few days and take the journey of this process with me.

Today is Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.  I used acrylic washes in white and orange, separately, to fill in the moon.  I used a silver metallic sharpie for the hair and then went over it with white gel pen.  I outlined the figure in white gel pen.  Then I took a little water and bit of white acrylic paint on my fingertip to rub in the skirt and create the motion of the bottom of the skirt.  

Next I added the stamp pad ink squares.  I used the bottom of an Ebony pencil dipped in yellow ochre acrylic for the cots at each corner of the square.  White gel pen made the tiny white dotted outlines on two sides of the squares.  I also used the white gel pen to outline the darker paint under the wash of the moon.  I have more to do, but once again need to sit back and look at it for awhile. 

After a couple hours of looking at this and being frustrated with how it looked, I decided to go ahead and add some more layers.  I added white colored pencil to the figure to create a dress.  I didn't think it stood out quite enough, so I added white gel pen over the colored pencil.  I also touched up the skin of her face with a light coating of off white pastel to tone the face down slightly.  I added dark burnt sienna swirls to the edge and bottom of the dress to add some contrast and bring that color to the bottom of the composition.  Then I went in around the moon to add a glow and some contrast.  I started with yellow ochre colored pencil and brought the straight lines out from the moon extending far into the composition and edges of the page.  On top of that I added some of the burnt sienna for contrast around the moon, and then for more contrast added a dark green in very short lines.  Now I will let it sit until tomorrow morning.  I think it is close to being completed, but we will see how it looks in the morning!

February 24, 2014:  After almost three MONTHS, I have finally completed this painting.  I was never satisfied with the "dress", so today I finally went back in and changed that portion of the painting.  I am pleased with the way it looks now.  It is much more in line with the "Spirit" image I had when I started the painting.  I hope you like this version and that you feel the joy and power of this Spirit.

3rd piece:

This next piece has several layers on it already.  To begin with, I scraped splattered acrylic paint across the whole page in yellows, orange and red.  There was a big puddle of paint on the table top, so I took a print of that puddle over the scraped paint.  After that dried I took bubble wrap and printed it in dark blue acrylic.  I added torn paper from my Mother's music notebook and added stamp pad ink in blue and red, then glued the paper to the painted background in three places.  I took the dark red and orange acrylic and smudged with my finger around the edges of the music paper.  Then I added orange dots with my little finger tip.  When that paint dried I added blue sharpie partial outlines to the circles, then added larger circles in blue acrylic to the whole paper.  I used the end of a cardboard roller for the smaller circles, the bottom of a plastic cup for the medium circles, and the top of the cup for the large circles.  I then took the edge of an old plastic card  and dipped it in the red paint to make the "straight" lines, not worrying if they weren't exactly straight.  I really like the way the music paper  and small orange circles work in this design.  I could think of several things to do with the design just as it is, but decided to go ahead and add more textures to see what happens.  As you can see, there are already many, many layers to this painting.

The next step was to add yellow paint to the top of the paper and spritz water under it and allow the paint to drip in the "rainy window" design down the page.  I then outlined some of the drips and textures in red sharpie marker.

I really liked the music paper with the orange small circles so I emphasized this area by adding varied lines in blue sharpie around the blue circle.  The complimentary colors of blue and orange really make this area pop.  I added the dropped petals at the bottom to emphasize the small area of textured paint.  The blue ink seemed a little stark so I softened it by adding white ink using a gel pen.  I drew right over the blue lines around the circle and then added some white ink to the petals.

I liked the white gel ink so I added a series of small white ink dots to outline the inner circle and petals.

To bring out the paint texture of the one petal, I softened the other petals with the ink from a small stamp ink pad.  At this point, I will stop and set the painting up where I can see it for a few days before deciding if it is completed or needs a little more tweaking.

Today, Wednesday, November 20, 2013, I have decided that this piece is completed.  I have titled it "Spirit of the Womb".  I hope you enjoyed watching this piece grow to completion.  May your spirit be filled with joy!