Years of painting with transparent watercolor, gouache, collage and acrylic have given me oodles of ways to fix a painting. Yet there still many things I haven't tried. So this post shows one way to transform a painting if the artist (me) might be willing to mess around, going from one style of art to another.
A few weeks ago I met a young woman who's looks were so stunning I asked if I could take her picture. I explained that I was an artist and might use the photo for a painting. She was flattered and gave her consent to both the photo and the potential painting.
I began the portrait with transparent watercolor. The more I painted, the more I got a Persian vibe from her features.
I spent some time looking at some fabrics from the region. Many of the patterns included a paisley design which led me to creating a new stamp for the background.
Once that was done, I was ready to work farther on the painting.
I chose a scarf to cover some of her head, some dark and light in the background. Finally I used my newly designed stamp to create a more interesting backdrop for this lovely face.
There was certainly a time that I would have patted my own back and said, "Job well done." But . . .
I wanted a different look, one that is more in keeping with the recent back and white portraits I've been painting. So I began to work on breaking away from transparent to gouache (an opaque watercolor paint).
I first put a layer of diluted gesso (a thin, white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or a combination of these substances) over the entire painting.
I still had enough of the figure to use as I moved on repainting the face in black and white (mixed to create various grays) gouache.
Once I was satisfied with the newly painted face, I layered frog tape over the entire face and scarf. Because the tape is semi-transparent, I could gently cut around the figure with an exacto knife. If one is careful, it only cuts the tape and not the paper.
With the figure protected, I could work on the background with ease. I didn't have to paint so carefully and I could make the stamp appear behind the woman. Finally I removed the tape and . . .