Friday, February 11, 2011

Little houses go mixed media

It's good to be feeling better again and to be in the studio getting my hands dirty. I have been playing every night this week so far and I love that I am back in this regular rythm again after all that coughing and non sleeping of last week. It seems the more art I do, the more art I want to do. Does that make any sense?

In a previous post I showed you some drawings I did in the midwinter journal of little houses in a row on a wavy line. Making these drawings is such fun that I just had to do one in my heart journal as well. This journal is about twice as big, so it was good to try out different dimensions even if the technique itself is still the same.

The houses are drawn with a pitt artist pen (love my pitt pens!), the top and bottom half were then colored in with watercolor and after that I colored the houses and smaller elements with felt tip pens. These drawings are so simple but they just make me happy, both in making them and in looking at them afterwards.

My challenge to myself this week was to bring these little houses to a next level and try them in mixed media. Would these things work on a bigger scale and be suitable maybe even for canvas someday? To try this out I got out my fabulous Canson heavyweight acrylic paper that's 400 g/m2 (190 lbs) and measures 32x41 cm (12.5 x 16 inches) and went for a larger scale working with acrylic paints, decorative papers and lots of gel medium. And here's how it turned out:

I started out with a lot of torn scrapbook paper and collaged the background with it. After that I sort of dabbed on some gesso here and there with a paper towel and when that was dry I went over the whole thing with several colors of transparent acrylics, dividing the piece in a top and bottom half. You can still see the background through the paint, but also in spots there is extra structure because of the gesso. That in itself already looked really cool.

After that I started cutting the elements of the houses, the stars and the circles, pasting them down as I went along with gel medium. I didn't measure anything and I didn't plan it out. When all was put down I put another coat of medium across the entire piece. When that was dry I got a permanent marker and started outlining all the details. 

I must say I am quite pleased with the result and maybe it will lead to some little houses on actual canvas. There still seems to be a whole world of variation on this theme to be explored.  Let's see what happens ;-)