Thursday, March 11, 2021

Exploration 8 -- One Way to Use Abstract Composition Background Masks

"Crazy-papers," as I call them, start life as pages from old picture calendars or old magazines or old books.  They develop slowly, as I use them to wipe off my brush after finishing my painting projects.  Not just my brush, but also my palate paper.  

This way of using leftover acrylic paints is a "green" practice; it means less acrylic paint goes down the drain or into the wastebasket.

One of the reasons I like using "crazy-papers" as backgrounds is that some of them start life printed with text, and as today's post will show, this text can subtly peek out at viewers even after an artwork has been fully developed.  This layering adds drama to art.

One way to use my four new Abstract Composition Backbones Masks (s864, s865, s866 and s877) is this:  

(1.) Lay out a collection of crazy-papers that measure at least 9" x 11".  

Using crazy-papers as bases to build upon, lay down one of these masks on each sheet of this whimsical paper.  Directly below, I've covered crazy-paper with Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 1.

(2.) Start taming the crazy-paper chaos with daubed-on heavy-body acrylic paint.  Or soft crayons.  Or color pencils.  Or spray.  Or any combination thereof.  In the example below, I've squeezed heavy-body acrylic paint onto palette paper.  Nearby is a sponge dauber, the applicator I'll use in the next step.

(3.) With these media, use two or more border areas of a mask's imprint to guide you in extending the 6" x 6" size into a structure that's longer and wider.  

Note in the photo below:  Before using the sponge-tipped dauber to apply heavy-body paint thru Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 1 s864, I have added 2 strips of green masking tape -- one is a vertical line extending vertically upward, nearly reaching the top of the paper; the other is extending vertically downward, nearly reaching the bottom of the paper.  Notice that these tape-lines are extending from border areas of the mask. 

The taped-off areas will remain clean of daubed-on paint, when the mask has been lifted.  They will be guidelines for extending the size of the image, to stretch it from 6" x 6" to nearly 8" x 10."

Another example is below -- Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 2 s865, placed onto a sheet of crazy-paper, has been visually extended with the use of green masking tape.

Below:  Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 3 s866 is shown during the same stage of progress.  Again, masking tape lines are creating guidelines for an image larger than the original 6" x 6" print.

In the next photo, you can see that Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 3 s866 has been lifted off its background paper.  And if you look closely, you'll notice that some of the paper's original text is peeking thru.

(3.) Bring the piece into partial organization or complete organization.  You are create a world of your own that has visual logic and structure, with a little or a lot of "chaos" to set a spark!


Above:  The original print made with Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 1 s864 has been extended using guidelines provided by masking tape, as well as additional linework made with Sharpie markers.  I also used markers in increase the contrast in the focal point area, placing very dark values next to near-white values.  (A soon-upcoming post will discuss values in depth.)

Below:  Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 2 s865 was the basis for this finished abstract.  After the mask had been lifted, I did a light spattering with yellow paint.  With the same yellow, I added linework.  And I used a Gelato crayon to darken areas around the original print.


Above:  Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 3 s866, now finished, retains the paper's original text that peeks thru layers of paint.

Again, I've added linework, both to heighten contrast in the focal area and to elongate the image. With a Gelato crayon, I've darkened selected areas.

Below:  This artwork created with  Abstract Composition Backbones Mask 4 s867 started its journey in the same way, but after lifting the mask from its background paper, I veered in a new direction, completing the piece with linework and collage....


Abstract Composition Backbones Masks 1, 2, 3 and 4 look like this --






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