Good morning and welcome to FRIDAY MORNING LAB.
This week's unit is part of Chapter One - BUILDING THE FOUNDATION.
The best way to start adding more interest to your collage work is to build layers. Be patient and it will pay off. In the lab you are given may options of ways to lay down some basic gesso foundations. Hopefully you've done your homework and have experimented and gotten some good results. Today we will highlight one of my most often used gesso techniques. STAMPING with gesso is probably my absolute favorite.
I don't stop at the foundation. Stamping with gesso during the collage process is in the top ten tools of my personal visual tool box! The piece above, Time Line, is a good example of this. The board started with a troweled gesso surface then was layered with old blue ledger paper (with glorious handwriting), then a glazed surface of Golden's Glazing Medium mixed with Golden's Transparent Yellow Oxide. A layer or 6 of acrylic washes and ink washes then used some old wooden print type to add the numbers with gesso. MORE washes of acrylic paint and ink. Added nature printed fabric from the personal stash, a few more layers of washes and then some of the Dervian Liquid Graphite (blue- re-wettable) and some handwritten text about how much of a spec the human race is on the time line of the earth's history (currently working on a series and this is one of the pieces), finished off with several thin coats of beeswax mixed with Demar Resin.
So, as you can see, the gesso foundation is just the beginning. The key is to not get caught up in the foundation and worry about it being perfect. Move quickly, most of what you do will not be seen in detail but the effects will be none the less intriguing.
Choose your weapons.....
Prepare your work surface....
Example 1 - basic shape with lots of negative space
Using a tool such as a palette knife or sponge to apply the gesso to your text for stamping yields neater (as in not messy) results. If you want the text to be clear, use thin (not runny) gesso. If you want it to be slightly obscured (and a little less obvious) use thinner gesso, almost runny and spread it out on a work surface and load the text block by patting it into the gesso then press HARD when printing to "smush" the gesso. Even try sliding it around a bit for interesting results.
These methods work and should be applied to ANYTHING you print with.
This is a GREAT use of those unmounted sheets of text that you've purchased and never cut apart and mounted because it can feel so daunting.....One of my most reached for "stamps" is my unmounted collection of text.
Example 4 - Screening with gesso (using sequin waste and a credit card)
Note: Red Ochre Gesso over black.....LOVE THIS STUFF! The RO is so very warm as a base and shows through even the coolest blues and greens and warms them right up. Can be very interesting!!
Example 5 - Troweling Gesso
This method can be used with thin or thickened gesso (black was used to make it easier to see) and will create an amazing variety of results depending upon consistency and how many layers. This example was 5 layers of gesso, allowing the layers to dry between applications.
Now this is when you go and scavenge through your tools, kitchen, junk drawer and just about every other place in your home, office, environment, EVERY WHERE and stamp with gesso. White is fine...you don't need to run out and buy black or RO or anything fancy. What ever you have. If you have mat board to work on that's great, or cardboard, wood, what ever is handy for a substrate. We're going to continue using these as we work through the chapter so you want something sturdy if at all possible.
Post if you have questions or comments....better to post than email because you may ask something that someone else will benefit from and after all, that's what this is about....sharing. DO however, email photos of your favorite results so I can post them. Each LAB will have a photo album. Please let me know if you do not want your name to show with the photo.
One final look at this week's lab results: