DEMONSTRATION: BEER BEACH
For my large paintings, I work on sheets of acrylic-primed MDF (medium-density fibreboard). Naturally, the large scale offers greater scope for a variety of freely expressed techniques, as demonstrated here. The first problem I had was to identify the house more prominently, as in reality it was well hidden by the trees. So I had to move it slightly in relation to its context.
I made a location drawing and took some photographs
I used a variety of materials for the collage, including tissue paper, gold wrapping paper, newspaper, pieces torn and cut from magazines, and even part of a monoprint. You will see that the shapes roughly correspond to the main elements of the original drawing. For example, the red shape indicates the client’s house, the brown areas on the left show the harbour wall, and the tissue shapes are the tree line. All the time I was trying to balance colour and texture, plain against print
Next, using a lino-printing roller and some titanium white acrylic paint, I added random areas of light and texture. When these had dried, I sprayed the whole surface with water and applied the two basic colours – cadmium yellow medium (tube acrylic paint) and black Daler- Rowney FW acrylic ink – with a large brush, allowing them to blend, drip and run. Then, the surface was sprayed again, to encourage more drips and runs and I began to draw in the main outlines, using the edge of a piece of card dipped in black FW acrylic ink.
After assessing the development thus far, I focused more clearly on the main elements of the painting, working with collage and acrylic paint to add some substance to the main shapes.
I continued with the process, also enhancing the sense of depth and perspective. I introduced brilliant blue acrylic colour and bright blue collage to heighten the overall impact and, where necessary, I started to draw and define shapes and textures
Beer Beach, mixed media on MDF, 35x48in (91.5x122cm). I worked on the detail, mainly using black and white acrylic inks and drawing with a dip pen. I added the lobster pots and the post in the foreground, the masts and numbers to boats, and more detail to the house on the hill. I toned down some of the foreground colour and refined and unified the colour in other areas. I varnished the painting with copolymer emulsion and framed in the same style as an oil painting, without glass.
This extract is taken from Collage, Colour and Texture in Painting by Mike Bernard, and Robin Capon published by Anova, ISBN 1675456678777. The Artist readers can obtain copies from Painters’ books (after the book launch)
at the special price of £14.99, saving £4 off the full price of £18.99. Telephone 0844 880 5853 between 9am and 5pm. Please quote 201608 when ordering. Or click here
for the website. Mike’s book will be launched at the Marine House art gallery at Fore Street, Beer, Devon EX12 3EF on May 22, 2010; there will also be a small exhibition of new work. telephone: 01297 625257, www.marinehouseatbeer.co.uk
Mike is also having a solo exhibition at Broadway Modern, 10 The Green, Broadway, Worcestershire, R12 7AA, from June 12 to 27, 2010. Telephone: 1386 858436;
, where signed copies of the book will also be available.