Friday, July 8, 2016

Working in the Sketchbook!

Sketchbook background  study
Currently I am working on some textural studies and background ideas in my sketchbook.  Shown are a couple of page samples. My daughter worked alongside me in her sketchbook. We both had lots of fun! Great bonding activity for creative moms and dads.

To make the sketchbook surface durable, I apply several layers of acrylic matte medium and then two more layers of gesso to both sides of each page. This creates a nice, yet sturdy, surface to work on.  I then add texture using collage and more gesso, medium etc. Acrylics are used to add color and interest. 

Next week, I am doing some figure drawing from a live model while teaching at the Hartford Art School MFA program, so I thought I'd create some interesting backgrounds to put the models in!

For more techniques and examples of my journals and sketchbooks, check out this article on CreateMixedMedia.

Sketchbook background study 

More of my sketchbook work is featured in a book called Sketchbook Confidential 2 (North Light Books). Check out my figure study (center one in red, yellow and blue) on the cover!

You can also see some great sketchbooks created by other artists in an online class I taught. See them HERE

The classes start Jan 9 and runs to Feb. 17, 2017 for 6 weeks to 8 weeks online. Each week, Monday through Friday, there are informative, educational and inspirational posts to the class blog and I am present in the classroom every day during the work week!

If you are feeling creatively blocked or stagnant, I highly encourage the daily practice of working in mixed-media sketchbooks and journals. When you allow yourself to play with paint and drawing materials or write freeform in a journal, you open the door for insight to enter, breathing new life into your work and process! 

In my book Art Revolution, I provide an inside look into the work and minds of 21 of today’s leading mixed-media artists. Many of them use sketchbooks and journals as a way to spark ideation. In the in-depth profile on mixed-media guru Barron Storey, I reveal the artist’s unique ability to make a dramatic sensory connection with the world. By exploring graphic language and the cutting-edge work developed in his amazing journals, I unfold the artist’s ability to take chances and push boundaries. The signature work created in the journal format documents the artist’s ability to translate visual perception into graphic form. “The journals are not areas where ideas are developed but instead are daily records of experience, real or imagined. It’s a great big stew, uniting the body, mind and senses,” shares Storey. “For me, it’s important not to think first and draw after. I like to keep in the domain of the magic that happens when you’re thinking, seeing and drawing all at the same time.” 

Art Revolution is a highly visual, thought-provoking book packed with exciting profiles of leading artists and illustrators, showcasing their stellar, multi-media work. In addition, exciting splash spreads featuring demonstrations and behind-the-scene looks at the groundbreaking artists at work reveal signature processes and techniques. The book also provides insight into the historical influences behind contemporary thinking and approaches, investigating the origins of alternative, unconventional picture making throughout the decades. 

If you are new to mixed media or need to expand your repertoire, I have some fun techniques for you to try. Using collage, texture and mixed-media processes, I adorn my journals, sketchbooks and altered books as a visually stimulating way to jumpstart my creativity. Many of these techniques are demonstrated in my latest mixed-media book called Experimental Painting if you are interested in learning more. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Work in Process!

Working with fluid mixed-media painting techniques! 

Work in process on very textured surface
using collage, gesso,
paste and crackle paste
I am currently working on a series of mixed-media paintings for my visual novel. Here are some works in process!

The piece to the right features many mixed-media painting techniques. I am working wet into wet and using various unconventional tools to manipulate the paint and media. Having lots of fun in the process! 

In the figurative piece below, I am working on a highly textured working surface. Using various collage techniques, I employed handmade and textured paper to the surface. On top of that I used painting techniques such as dripping and drybrushing using mostly gesso.

Once that was fully dry, I utilized molding paste and crackle paste in unique combinations. Lots of layering was done on the surface of this panel!

The mixed-media painting called Through the Labyrinth features vine and tree-like structures that are intertwined within the blue glow of the labyrinth. It is a transitional moment from the flow and movement of water to a twisted place within the imagination. I manipulated the acrylic media as f I was drawing into the wet surface to create the fluid marks.

The piece below is called The Warrior. It features many mixed-media painting techniques. Bas-relief and gold-infused details abound, working in tandem with the more painted areas of the figure. The entire collar and lower bodice are created using a series of custom textures that were built up in multiple layers using molding paste.

The registration of relief elements is tight and critical to maintaining the overall symmetry of the piece... very little room for error! It is also quite a challenge to maintain the illusion of depth that is created by painting when areas of bas-relief thread throughout the piece. You don't ever want a three-dimensional effect to cancel out a two-dimensional one. Check out just some of the details on my recent Figure of the Imagination blog post.

A new mixed-media piece called Through the Labyrinth
The Warrior 24" x 12" x 2" acrylic, oil, collage,
bas-relief and assemblage on masonite
and board with wooden construct

For more intriguing mixed-media and bas-relief techniques, check out my book Experimental Painting. I also have several workshops coming up online. They start in January 2017 so mark your calendars.

If you love mixed-media, mythology and painting the figure, you will enjoy my upcoming online workshop Experimental Painting: The Mythical Realm. I will be showing insights into the making of The Warrior piece in that workshop! So stay tuned! I also have two other classes. Fantastical Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Environments in Mixed Media and Mixed Media Masterclass

The classes start Jan 9 and runs to Feb. 17, 2017 for 6 weeks to 8 weeks online. Each week, Monday through Friday, there are informative, educational and inspirational posts to the class blog and I am present in the classroom every day during the work week!

For a two-day workshop in New York City, check out my mixed-media workshop at the Art Students League called EXPERIMENTAL PAINTING: Inspirational Approaches in Mixed Media

September 10 to 11, 2016

Weekend Intensive Workshop, Limited to 12 Students

See work created in my Art Student League Workshop.

Sign up for my mailing list to find out about more upcoming workshops, books and videos!