Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cowskull - mixed media collage

18x12 mixed watermedia collage on matboard, begun yesterday and finished today.  I will post the steps below to show how this one was set up; it is based on an ink sketch and follows no photo reference.  I used pages from an old western paperback novel, colored tissue wrap, toilet bowl covers, and paper napkins.  All were adhered with matte medium and some areas manually removed for texture. Some of the novel's text talks about a ranch, an old bull, and cowboys which I've let show through the acrylic glazes.

My original idea sketched out on 6x6 sketchbook, Pigma Micron 01 pen, about 20 minutes.
A vertical matboard scrap serves as the support for this unplanned collage; here you can see the torn pages, papers, and possibilities. Some areas are left blank.  Now I'm going with the flow of the southwest theme despite collage papers design and/or colors.  Next the skull will be drawn.

Drawing outline with fine line Micron pen loosely over the rough surface which I've decided should be or could be a rug or blanket behind the skull.

This view shows middle area and top painted with Liquitex artists acrylic and Derivan Matisse background acrylic ground paints.  The skull itself has white gouache and titanium white acrylic thinly applied to allow some collage to show, but not all.  Eye sockets are a mixed black of midnight blue/quinacridone burnt orange watercolors.  At this stage, I have no clue how the painting will evolve or if it is headed for the trash bin. 

Here in step 4 the background is now blocked in with Matisse colors to mimic the hues of southwestern lands:  Clays, raw umbers, ochres, siennas, etc.  Next I will add color to the blanket or rug sections, edges, and fringe trim trying not to get too symmetrical or predictable that you can now see in the finished and final image first post.  I took the Micron pen again and added a few circular shapes for ball fringe and here and there to emphasize areas.  Hope you all like it!

All images Copyright 2013 Kay Smith.


Pat said...

Fascinating process - love the outcome

Mari Jose Molina said...

Very interesting process, thanks for sharing it!