We know that lots of elements go into making artworks that "zing." One of these is what I call "interesting detail." My goal in line-making, shape-forming and other approaches is to end up with something that captures the interest of my eye. As I move forward on a project I keep asking myself questions.
"Is this line too plain and simple? Would an interruption here and there give it more spark?
"Is this color as interesting as it might be? Or does it need a 'blush' of its complementary color for a touch of visual spice?"
And here's the thing: The time that I start asking these questions is at the very start -- because beauty in the background will enhance whatever develops later in the foreground.
It's fun coming up with interesting background papers for every print made using masks and/or stencils!
In playing with my just-released 9" x 12" Fire Cherries Mask, one background idea that popped into my head was something with "a hint of vintage."
My scissors came out and started whacking into the pages of an outdated set of encyclopedias. I zeroed in on botanically-themed drawings and texts.
I arranged my cutouts onto a sturdy background ...
... and, after gluing them in place, I added a wash of water-diluted raw umber acrylic paint....
...with the results you see above.
Next -- as the photo below shows --
-- I waited for the newly stained collage to dry, then used masking tape to secure Fire Cherries Mask over it.
With the traditional pouncing method and a puffy cosmetic sponge, I went to work with raw umber acrylic paint, straight from the tube (shown above at far right.)
What you see directly above is what I saw as I lifted off the mask. The dominant color appears nearly black in this photo but in reality it's a simple raw umber brown.
I'm preparing a near-future post to further illustrate some of the near-magical gifts possible when we take advantage of beauty in the background.
What interesting backgrounds can you think up?
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