Saturday, August 18, 2012

Adelaide's Collage

Being a mom to a toddler is the most joyful and exhausting experience of my life (I'm sure being pregnant is adding to the exhaustion part...and the joyful part too:).  I still love painting a more realistic style, but when I have time to just let loose in the art room, collage seems to call me these days. Its a completely different process. When painting based on a photo, I have a very specific look that I want to achieve, and I find I have to have larger chunks of time to be super focused. I enjoy painting like this so much, but it is getting more and more challenging as I get more and more pregnant, and Rowan gets more and more active! 

Collage, on the other hand, goes something like this; how big a mess can I make? What shapes and colors are drawing me in? What does my brush want to do right now? I can create a layer quickly and then come back at anytime.

I don't have any idea if I'm collaging the 'right' way, but that's kind of part of the fun too. This is my process right now, but it continues to evolve!

The first layer (forgot to photograph it!) is just splashes of paint; I covered this one in yellows and purples and let them dry. Then I start patch-working papers, using a collage medium to stick them to the canvas. I really love mixing up the textures by ripping some, and cutting specific thing out on others (like the flowers).  I created this collage for my beautiful niece!  The maps are from my Grandpa's collection, and Seattle (where they moved right before they she was born) is something I know I want to have showing through the final layer.  

Then a couple glorious doodle and shading layers! I don't think at all about the final product at this point; I just work with the shapes that are already there that I'm loving, shading around them to make them stand out more, and using white for my doodles and stencils. 

Natalie knew she wanted balloons for Adelaide's room, so we played with sketching some compositions til we found one that would work well on the canvas (referred back to internet photos of the New Mexico Balloon fiesta, they are coming in handy:). I use chalk to sketch out the basic shapes (it wipes away clean!), and then used a thinned down acrylic paint to begin blocking them out. 

This part is SO fun! There is so much going on in the under layers, as the image takes shape, I get to decide what layers show through (like the details in the balloons) and what is going to disappear. 

Shading and detail added to each balloon, a little bit more white detailing, and a touch of glitter (love!) and this collage is done!