Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ms. Potato Head

My friend and fellow artist Catherine Alice Michaelis of May Day Press planted some potatoes. And she said that if it was true that you are what you eat, then she would be a potato. So this is the kind of potato that I think she might be:

Gouache & watercolor pencils on Chinese mulberry paper.

It's actually an Ernst Haeckel image that I've shaped into more of a potato shape. It's part of a new experiment that I'm trying. So here it is, earlier in the night, when it's mostly just sketched in with the gouache and I've just started to draw the 'blooms.'

Remember that drawing of a peony that I didn't use for the the 27th & 29th panels? I used it here. The larger drawing was a doodle I made a few weeks back in gouache.

I spritzed the back side of the peony nice and wet (it's done in koh-i-noor watercolor pencils and it did not run when I spritzed it), dusted it with dry wheatpaste powder, flipped it over and pasted it down on the larger drawing. Since the larger drawing was not dampened, it is now slightly warped. The exercise was to see if the spritzing and wheatpaste powder would work as a glue for collage on gouache painted surface when I can't or don't want to brush on the glue. This was a trick Jane Pagliarulo of Atelier Meridian taught me for chine colle, and it works really well here too!

(If I were doing this for real, this would be on a board, or I would've dampened the substrate so it wouldn't warp.)

The experiment started with this -- I made 2 sets of 3 swatches with pastel pencils, koh-i-noor watercolor pencils and gouache. I pasted 1 set onto a scrap (painted w/ gouache & acrylic) using the spritz & dust method, and compared the result to the control set. None of the mediums had problems with being spritzed on the back side, even on the thin mulberry paper. The pastel pencils did rub off easily, but the water caused no damage that I could detect.

1 comment:

Bridget B. said...

Can I just say that I love the concept of "portrait as potato"?