Monday, 14 October 2013

Trees : experimental

This week at AVA we had a chance to experiment instead of subject-specific painting! The brief was to produce an image in a wet medium without using any of the traditional tools to apply the paint. A brush could be used to mix the paints and a pencil could be used for an initial drawing if required. After that it was a case of looking around to find ways of putting paint on paper. This could include finger painting, sponges, dropper washing, twigs, paper or printing with odd shaped objects.

It seems that the members must have liked the idea as there was a good turn out, and some interesting work was produced.

I opted to paint a simple landscape without any preliminary drawing, and as it was going to be a hit or miss affair, I chose to use up some paper that I would not mind spoiling or abandoning. I used a piece of Hahnemuhle 'Cornwall' 450g paper. this paper is very white and has a very distinct hessian-like grid to it.

I did regret the paper to start with as it was very poor at taking the initial washes and it was at this point that I regretted most the lack of a big brush!

Not to be daunted, I mixed up some indigo wash which I dropped into the LH bottom corner using a plastic dropper, and blew the resultant puddle across the paper using a straw. This created a reasonable series of twig like shapes across the page, which instantly suggested a row of trees.
The rest of the painting was produced by adding pigment using a stick of Forsythia which had been sharpened in a large pencil sharpener, and a piece of diagonally trimmed bamboo. Areas of paint which needed a more wash-like finish were added with a cotton bud dipped in paint.

I am really pleased with the effects created in the painting, helped by the texture of the paper. I wish I had made the grasses to the right of the path less turquoise by adding magenta to the mix to pick up the same colours as the LH tree, but apart from that, as a brushless painting, I think it works ok. And as usual, doing this sort of experimental work is great fun!


  1. It certainly works well. You've produced an interesting and arresting piece. Lovely.

    1. Thanks Mike. It certainly made me question traditional methods. Glad you like it.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Peter. Not sure if I know how to do sort of just happened!