I want to share my newest painted paper painting. Koala Chillin on a Branch :)
This piece is a commission brought in by a relative who happens to have a wall of my art in his apartment. He shows it off to his visitors... and has now decided he wants me to make a ton of art and then he will sell if for me for a commission. Only 5% he says...which of course is a extremely fair deal! However...do I really want to do art for money? To be at the mercy of a client? I am sure I am not the only person here who struggles with combining art and money. Whenever I am doing a requested piece...I have a hard time finding motivation t6 get in the studio. My muse runs for the hills as I start blankly at the substrate. I wonder if any of my ideas are good enough. I second guess every mark I make. It is so stressful! It does work better if I have a piece I already completed and someone wishes to buy it...but even then I sweat over what price to ask. I have no formula to calculate a monetary value for something that came from my heart and soul. Am I alone in this? I doubt it. In fact when a couple of my artist friends visited last weekend to do some collaborative mixed media art..we discussed this issue. Of course.none of us came up with the perfect answers for how to fix the problem. We did have a TON OF FUN doing art though. We each started with a blank canvas and then rotated canvases each layer we put on. Here are the resulting pieces. I got to keep the one with the flowers :)
Well..I suppose I better quit going on and on and start the step out of my project :) I imagine that is what everyone comes here for! This time I started with a standard gesso coated white 12" X 12" canvas. I sketched on it using a graphite pencil. I was asked if I use a photo when I draw. Yes. I usually can't produce something like a koala out of my imagination, so I look for a few photos on the Internet and use them to look at as I sketch.
Next comes the underpainting. Why do I do this step? Many reasons. I like to try out colors as I paint. Also, if I were to miss a spot as I am doing the collage step...it won't show up as a white spot. This is real issue in my last couple pieces as I have been using gelli printed deli paper which is by nature translucent. In addition, having the colors and shading there on the canvas helps with placement as I put the paper over it.
So, as I am painting my underpainting, I also paint or print the papers I plan to use for the collage step later. This time I used my 5" X 7" Gelli plate and some stencils to create textured papers. This has a huge benefit of using up extra paint I may have left on my palette after my painting is done. That is the main reason I do my paper painting/printing after each later of painting.
Once I am all finished with the under painting and the printing of my papers, then comes the collage part. I cover every inch of the canvas in painted papers...even the edges. I tear or cut papers depending on the need. I layer them to create rough shading, highlights...and textures. I attach it all with matte gel medium. It is a involved process and I usually become totally engrossed to the exclusion of everything else until it is finished. or someone interrupts me
For this piece I added an additional layer of shading using a water soluble pencil stabilo pencil and blending with a waterbrush. That is what gives it a more illustration feel. I hope my client likes my piece.... of course I am nervous as usual about selling it! I hope all of you like it anyway :) Leave me a comment and I will be sure to respond!