Waiting for Custom by Soraya French
Paint texture with mixed media by Soraya French
Soraya French - Posted on 12 Aug 2008
DEMONSTRATION: Hillside Village
Painting with mixed media is by no means a new concept. However, today the sheer abundance and variety of art materials available makes today’s artists very lucky indeed.
The transition from watercolours to mixed media was a great turning point for me; to be no longer at the mercy of a transparent and unforgiving medium brought an immense sense of freedom.
Every painting medium in its pure form has its own special qualities but inevitably there are some good and bad points. For example, where the transparency of colour does not leave any room for rectifying mistakes, the opaque media bring covering power. The transparent passages reflect light, whereas the powdery surface of pastels absorb it. This difference in texture and light absorption makes quite a visual feast — washes of translucent colour recede and the heavier textures advance and create depth and recession in the painting. When working in pure watercolour you can only suggest visual texture, unless you rely on acrylic-based products, but in a mixed-media painting the texture can be quite visible and tactile. The benefits of combining the materials are immense and the surprise element never far away.
Mixed media is a broad term and covers a wide spectrum of methods and techniques. Basically, any medium that makes a mark, creates an interesting texture and is compatible with other media can be suitable for this style of work. Personally I tend to keep to the fast-drying, water-based media, with the exception of oil pastels. The addition of collage can also bring a different dimension to the painting. There is no special formula or sequence for using different media, so it is a matter of experimenting and finding a way that works best for you. However, it is important not to lose sight of the type of media that can be brought together in one piece of work without compromising its longevity. If you intend to sell your artwork you must make sure that it will stand the test of time.
I applied texture paste and modelling paste to the board and shaped it with a palette knife to represent the houses. I then added texture by pressing bubble wrap and some glass beadsto one or two of the house exteriors. I then added a light wash of marine blue and raw sienna and let the washes of colour run into each other. Notice how the washes of colour sit heavily on the edges made by the texture paste and define it
I strengthened some of the washes of colours on the houses with ink and used some green and red oil pastels on others to add definition. With a little painting into the negative shapes I defined some of the rooftops. I then applied thicker acrylic colour in vivid light red and orange to some of the houses. With my short flat size 2 brush and very strong marine blue I suggested a few windows to add a bit of interest
Hillside Village, mixed media, 16X16in. (40.5X40.5cm).
I used a strong mixture of Prussian blue and marine blue to anchor the houses to the hilltop and then created some reflections in the lake. I added a few houses to the background, keeping them quite faint without adding texture, to give the illusion of recession in the painting