......To continue (providing Blogger allows me to....grrrrr), I left off talking about the wonderful texture that just *happened* through how the gesso dried and I had to provide a close up. It almost looked like the lunar surface---I was tempted to *save* the canvas at this point ans paint another for the piece....but I got past that when I figured how many days it would take for the gesso to dry and I would lose enthusiasm. (sigh) I really suspect there was just a little hesitation, once again, about screwing it up.
So I grabbed a couple of familiar neutral yellows that can be manipulated easily and trew in a background:
....and more shading , and then laid a few of the leaves onto the canvas to check for proper contrast. I knew even at this point that this was not going to be a high contrast piece like some of my work and I was going to have to be diligent with detail and the intensity of the few colors used. Below is a grainy close up of the area---trying to shoot photos when you can barely see is always fun. I am glad this is not for a book.......
And yes, I sorted through the box of leaves and picked ones of similar size and shape to balance out the wreath around the central area. (would you expect anything less....ummm......anal???)
As I was working on the piece, more news of the oil spill in the Gulf was coming in and I could not help but think about it, with the soft blues and then the dark mucky browns I had chosen. While my intent was to pick colors that emulate the water logged silt that supports New Orleans, I just kept thinking back to the oil and water. So I further darkened the browns. Colorwise, it worked. No one would know why, and that was fine. With every stroke, all I could think of was oil infiltrating the swampy land.
Anyway, I was at a point where I had to tint the paperclay fleurs and you may be saying *WHY* did she pick that horrible magenta???
Because, whenever you put gold on, you want a warm or cool color underneath. It affects the final color of the gold......as you can see below.
I used a soft black on the outter edges and Golden fluid acrylic for the gold in the pressed image. They were bright. VERY BRIGHT. I knew with what I wanted to do with the color further on in the piece that these needed toning down, so the handy-dandy crackle medium came out and they all got a good bath with it.
WHEW! That was a lot of work and words! In reality, it was several days too. I do not hurry this process. I like having time to think about how pieces will play in the overall piece.
One thing I find in a lot of today's art is the idea of instant gratification, which in some cases is fine.
But letting yourself be completely immersed in a piece of art as you make it slowly has benefits too. You learn much along the way. You learn to plan ahead. You have to hang onto the original vision while being flexible enough to change things as need be.
Now I need a nap and you all need either a huge cup of coffee or a box of No-Doze.....
I'm all for the coffee myself! ;-)