Sunday, February 14, 2010

Letters Home: Backgrounds

This is a hybrid piece: part digital, part acrylic. I call it, "Letters Home". I painted the background today and then did some digital tweaking tonight. Here is the original background on watercolor paper:

You can see I added some digital brushes and a few other elements and only used a portion of the background for the digital piece.

Monica Zuniga is teaching an incredible mixed media workshop on creating backgrounds. This is my first one from the workshop. It's got so many layers I lost count. The two figures and the post marks are stencils applied with Gesso. It took them almost a day to dry; I applied a very thick layer for those. Then the painting began.

This is on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. I don't really like the cold press for drawing portraits but it's pretty good for collage and painting backgrounds. So now I'll have some use for the little stash I've built up! ;)

I started the base layer with watercolors. I am not a big fan of watercolors because I usually like more bold color. But I wanted to try the exercise like Monica taught. Once the original layer was down I could see the attraction to working with watercolors. It took a while for me to get the hang of it. I actually threw this away after the first couple of layers. I just didn't like where it was going. But I persevered and kept at it.

This is a full sheet out of the pad. For most of the exercises I will be using an old atlas and altering those pages as I go. But I wanted to try my first lesson on a big sheet of paper just to play with the paints, collage, etc.

What I am really liking is the fact that every background I create will be scanned and used in my digital art, too. Her workshop will be a year long event so there should be lots of new techniques to learn and a lot of fun along the way.

1 comment:

Shelle said...

this is very pretty but you lose me with all the different techniques and effects...i have no idea what all these things are...i've only just started in digital. very effective...it looks like a journal page.