When I'm not working my day job (for a landscaper), you can usually find me in one of two places: Outside or in the studio. Small wonders that organic materials always wheedle their way into my work....not sure I would know how to create a piece without either their presence or influence.
Let's begin by gathering a few basic materials. The phone book is the storage (one of many) cabinet for my dried materials. Easy method and I'm lucky to live in a place where they are free and easy to obtain AND small in size. There are options if you want to try using dried leaves and flowers for those of you who enjoy instant gratification. Lee Valley Hardware sells a microwave press which I personally find invaluable, especially when I'm in a mood to work with something and don't want to wait for it to dry, which takes weeks in a phone book.
Lay out your composition (in general) on your substrate (in this case a preprimed canvas panel).
Slide the material to the side trying to keep it "together" as much as possible and generously coat the surface of your substrate with Matte Medium.
Carefully lay down your organic matter...FRAGILE is a key word...dried plant material breaks easily.
Again, coat with Matte Medium. NOTE: Notice that some of the leaves are right side up and some are upside down. You will obtain different effects with either side. Before you work on your final piece, play with your plant material to know which side gives you the best (or most desired) results. Most often it is the underside with the most veining, but once in awhile you get a leaf or petal that will surprise you.
Let the Matte Medium dry and then give the piece a light coat of gesso.
Let gesso dry, then give the piece it's first coat of acrylic paint. Use a dark color. In this case, olive green was chosen.
Using a dry brush method, (pick up very little paint on your brush and wipe most of it off before applying to your surface). A dryer paint works better than a wetter paint. If you paint is thin and watery let it dry up on the palette a bit before using.)
The idea behind dry brushing is to just hit the high spots to highlight them and make them stand out.
Next an application of two colors of Pan Pastels (those of you who missed a previous mention...these are one of my favorite things to play with!!!). The pastel is used to deepen and shadow the olive background and to make the foliage "pop". A crimson edge was also applied to add contrast and interest.
The final step... I wrote Mary Oliver's "A BOOK OF TIME" on a piece of neutral colored tissue and adhered it to the piece with Matte Medium.
Another look at the finished piece!!
While I was working on this piece I got inspired to try something else...here is a sneak preview. Will show you the results when it's done.
Okay....off with you. Go play with plants, or sand, dirt, just about anything you can think of with an organic nature.
SIDE NOTE: I received ONE set of ATCs so far and are they beautiful...They will be posted later this week along with the Buddha winner. Please remember to send me your ATCs!!!!