Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Enumerative Painting Process

I made this new painting rather quickly. Part of that was because I was really excited about the process, but the other part was because my show was quickly approaching and I wanted to get ONE MORE piece done :)

This piece is called "Enumerative", which relates to the concept of counting and calculating and tracking numerically.

The subject is a city parking meter. The cool thing about working with this is that it has neat little additions to work with - stickers that people have placed on the post, brand logos for Visa/Mastercard, and a Starbucks cup sitting on top (I really like adding these little pieces of urban trash or "remnants").

The process of this piece is what's most exciting for me. I slightly altered how I create these works. Often I work from photographs (some sourced online, some shot myself) and then I prepare the panel drawing first. In this instance, I altered that starting point. I did a small sketch of the image I wanted to work from with simple pen. The way I sketch is quite loose and pretty representative, although I usually have a minor level of play with the line work.

After I sketched it, I projected that sketch large onto the prepared wood panel. This is interesting, because there are lots of subtle lines that go unnoticed and are part of the subconscious process of drawing. When they are projected, however, they are larger, more prominent, and can be worked into the new image in a more interesting way!

The line quality changes at such a large scale. It becomes very organic, and I trace over a lot of them (some I omit too) and they become very different. They become large structure components and the way that the image re-builds itself is quite layered, organic, surreal and distorted. It still maintains a particular level of representation too, however.

What I find, when I compare the ink drawing (before I paint over top of it) to previous ones, is that this one is more exciting visually. It has these cool components that only became a part of the work via the particular process I chose to produce the work.

When it's time to paint the rest of the work, I approached it the same as my other works. I paint in different ways - some broad, single brush marks to start and establish cool shapes and colour areas. Upon drying, I will dump liquid paint in pools on various parts of the work, and let it dry flat (with a heater underneath) so that the pooling creates a different visual look then brushmarks.

I stencil heavy acrylic paint through perforated paper to create the dotted, half-tone effect that is present in most of my works.

I then render certain areas with a higher degree of shadow and highlights. I really enjoy painting lighter areas with transparent white - lots of painters only use white as thick top-layers, although I really enjoy what happens when I fill areas in with white that is see-through and has visible brushmarks.

I usually finish my works with some light drops of colour over certain light areas to break up the highlights. This gives another layer and cool look to the piece..sometimes I will blot it dry with a towel when it is semi-dry, which leaves a cool "ring" effect.

My final step is to re-ink a lot of the black areas, which have become a bit matted from the paint over top of them. This step is favourable and fun because its senseless linework that is often completed with the company of a fine bottle of wobbly-pop.

I sign, document, varnish and wire my pieces at the end.

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