I've been on a homemade art retreat at my mum's place in Germany. That means: lots of time for painting, a great working space and tons of different materials, combined with good food and warm care in between the working sessions. I couldn't wait to start messing around with paint and let the creative cravings flow.
Inspired by a painting e-course I experimented with layering. It is the long-known process of painting in layers: one layer with paint on top of the other. The clue is, that even when you cover most of the first layers, it is still there, having an impact on the total painting. When you have a closer look, you can still see some of it. Layering gives paintings more structure and makes them more interesting or even mysterious.
As you might know, my earlier paintings are pretty linear, so layering is new to me. It is all about letting go, giving up control and having fun instead. Being playful and full of joy. So I decided to go for it.
While experimenting, I made a paiting and took photographs in between the different layers. I want to share the proces with you as I found it super interesting and even funny to see how the canvas evolved.
This is the final painting. It took me more than 10 layers to get there. Are you curious to see how it all started? Keep on reading.
This is the beginning! First I started dripping warm colours with fluid acrylics and a water spraybottle. This is a fun, messy way to start. I had no clue where it would lead me.
I turned the canvas around and added more drips, experimenting with stencils and stamps.
After drying, I enterd with cool colours using my brushes in all kind of ways.
Adding more blues and aquas and greens.
While the layering proces, it's all about letting go pieces I like to create what I love. Covering up to 80% of the red colour layer with more paint, only saving 3 or 4 pieces that I really, really like.
I also added 3 blue paper collage pieces with gel medium (in the end, this was a little too early in the process as I covered them up completely in the following layers :).
Adding in more white and dark blue to create contrast and more marks, using different brushes, fingers (I love to paint with my fingers directly on the canvas) and many tools. It is getting chaotic.
Turning around the canvas. Adding different greens.
This is getting very chaotic. I call it the ugly teenager phase. It doesn't fit and match anymore: no color cohesion, no harmony. I didn't like it at all and I found it a little painful to even take a picture of this phase. But heyoh, that's part of it. It is all about being patient and trusting that this will lead to something actuallly nice and beautiful.
To bring back harmony and a little peace, I added a green wash with an old cloth, covering most of the canvas. For the first time, I've been seeing imagery, reminding me of little corals underwater.
I liked the underwater theme and decided to get along with this image. Comitting to the coral reef scenery, I added in more marks and coral-like lines.
With the spraybottle I created a watery background. I also added more marks. (note: this photograph does not perfecly show the real colors). In the end I found it again a little too chaotic with too many details.
I decided to quiet it down with a sandy, stony layer and some special brain coral shapes. I searched for more inspiration and checked out some of my underwater photographs from diving in Colombia, Curacao and Brazil. To incooperate the upper water piece of the canvas, I added a big, dark coral with spraybottle.
Some final marks and little details. I added more light and sprinkled some darks and whites. I like how the scenery evolves and how it all comes together.
Then I call it: DONE!
Hugs and kisses,
On this blog I share the tiny steps it takes to realise a dream and to document the journey for myself. Maybe it is inspiring for you- I would love that and it is the reason why I share it with you.