PAINTING 2: Mixed Media
Part 1 – Physical and Visual Texture
Creating Visual Texture using Dark and Light Tones
I found it easier, rather than pinning textures to a board, to lay them on a board on the floor. I wanted to include some hard round objects, i.e. stones to contrast with the other rather soft items. Having de-cluttered in my move last year I don’t have a garage full of bits and bobs although I have been trying to build up a collection of things I thought might be useful, which I keep in boxes in my studio.
Rather than use white cartridge paper, I felt it would be good to use a toned pastel paper in a deep plum. I have used this before and find it is good for black and white as it contrasts with both. My picture is approximately A3. The soft pencil did not show up much so I pretty well stuck to charcoal a bit of pastel and white chalk. I enjoyed the exercise as it made me think about tone in terms of texture, rather than merely form. The placement of the items was purely random but it still ended up with a satisfying (for me anyway) composition.
The initials, top right, were practice signatures on the back of a cardboard box, and is reminiscent of the use of lettering and name initials as used by Antoni Tapies, as well as effectively being a signature for the piece of work. There’s a crumpled Sainsbury bag top left and various other things including string, fun foam leftover, canvas stretcher pegs, dried flowers, sacking, bubble wrap, clear cellophane, towelling, oasis foam, crumpled paper and a couple of lids. I have often found in the past when setting up a still life, it is best done without too much manipulation, otherwise it tends to look contrived. I hope this composition has remained spontaneous and interesting.
I think I am learning when to stop without involving myself in too much detail and overwork. The exercise required a number of overlaid textures and I believe this is what I have achieved without becoming too cluttered. I quite liked the face which is lurking with the wonky teeth and Poirot moustache !