Friday, May 13, 2011

Mr. Seahorse

This is the result of a failed experiment. But yes, I like it. I see some possibilities for it.

Gouache & white pastel pencil on gampi, sandwiched between 4 sheets of gampi glued together with GAC 500. So there are 5 layers of gampi all together. Shot on a window.

In my previous experiment, I played with using Chinese mulberry paper to paint/draw on, and then attaching it to a gouache/acrylic surface. The mulberry paper is thin, but only slightly transparent (as you can see in this entry; it was also really easy to handle, and it dampened very easily and evenly.

So today, I tried doing the same thing with a gampi paper that is known as 'Japanese silk tissue.' It's not silk, it's a gampi fiber made into a super thin, fairly transparent paper. it's often used in conservation work.

So first, I made 2 sets of 2 swatches, one of the Koh-i-noor watercolor pencils and another of the gouache (I didn't bother with the pastel pencils this time). Attached it to a gouache/acrylic scrap using the spritz & dust method using wheat paste. For the most part, it's really hard to see where the swatches even are! And it was very difficult to dampen the paper evenly; the paper was also harder to handle after dampening. And with the paper unevenly dampened, it's not uniformly transparent throughout. It's pretty much impossible to see the Koh-i-noor swatch (on the left).

While the swatches were drying, I also started the seahorse with gouache. The paper puckered and stayed puckered. I started with a very watered down black+brown pigment and finished it with a white pastel for highlights. This is shot attached to newsprint.

At this point, looking at the swatches drying, I decided to not bother collaging the seahorse onto another drawing/painting. Instead, I decided to sandwich it between more layers of gampi, and the result is the top image.

I can definitely see some possibilities for this, maybe in a book, or in a sculptural work.


Sundry said...

I love it. I fiddle around with drawing, etc. and recently set a goal of working on anything I start until I feel it is complete, even if it's not what I thought I wanted at the outset. It's really helped my perspective on my sketches. I love that you kept going on this. It's lovely.

fingerstothebone said...

Hi Sundry,

Yes, always finishing something is definitely something that I do. It's one of the things I learned in a drawing class a long time ago, and I've always done that since. Regardless of how hopeless it seems (and this one was NOT hopeless), I always eventually finish it. I have things that I've worked on for 10+ years, on and off, until it finally 'becomes' something. In most cases, it has no resemblance to what it was. I keep a separate pile of these and pull them out and work on them periodically.

emily said...

is it Chinese dragon??

fingerstothebone said...

I guess it does look a little dragon like, but no, it's a seahorse.