Is it May yet? Not that I want the days to pass by that quickly, but I am scheduled to teach a workshop in Victoria (well, Colwood actually) in May. It's a two day acrylic mixed media painting workshop, akin to the weekend workshop I taught here in Edmonton at the Paint Spot back in December.
This is not a beginner painting class. This is a class for participants who are familiar with painting with acrylic. You don't have to be familiar with acrylic mediums, or collage or anything like that. I won't be addressing painting technique so much as how to augment your existing painting practice with the addition of brightly colored patterned papers, textured and tinted tissue papers, and acrylic ink. I'll lead you through my painting process when I tackle a landscape. We'll be breaking up the painting process into more specified layers like so:
1. base tone, outline and first paper layer
I like to tone my canvases with Golden Liquid Acrylic in Red Oxide. It makes the lighter colors pop, and I like how it peeks through the darker colors. I then use Golden Liquid Acrylic in Carbon Black to draw my outline onto the red base. Next, I decide where I want the patterned papers to go. I like to put these down first to emphasize color or texture of a certain area in the painting.
2. color blocking
This is the actual painting step. Now that the subject matter has been drawn onto the canvas, I add color to the entire thing, carefully painting around the patterned paper pieces I laid down in the first step.
3. tissue layer and self-leveling gel application
This is a quick, easy and very interesting way to add subtle texture or interest to larger areas of negative space in your painting (like the sky, a road, the side of a building, a giant shrubbery or green space, etc.) Since the tissues are quite transparent, especially once a gel medium is applied to them to essentially paste them to the canvas, you can create some quiet or really bold effects, depending on the color of the tissue and the paint color behind it. You can cover a large area in tissue or cut-to-fit into smaller areas, drawing the eye to those spots and making them 'pop' a bit more in the viewer's eye. Once the tissue is on and the gel medium used to adhere it to the canvas is dry, we coat the entire piece in a thin layer of self-leveling gel. This smooths out the overall surface of the painting for drawing on details with ink. This is especially important if you plan on drawing some details on top of the tissue paper. The fibrous nature of the paper will cause the ink to bleed unless it's coated, making your line more unpredictable.
4. inking in final details
Now that the gel is dry, this is when I like to draw in details I didn't feel like painting in, or were perhaps too delicate for me to paint in. I also like to add spatter to my paintings, to add color or shadow to an area or help break up a really flat space. If there are power lines in my reference photo, I usually use ink to draw them in at the end. The ink lines are very delicate and thin, but surprisingly eye-catching.
If this sounds like something you might be interested, you can visit the Coast Collective website to register* and obtain the supply list. If this is not your jam, but you know of someone who would be interested, please direct them to this post!
*Please note we'll be completing one 16x16 inch landscape painting. It mistakenly says we will be completing an urbanscape as well. Sadly no, but if there is a good turnout for this workshop, there might be a reprise!