I’m “upcycling” old, unfinished watercolour paintings by using the beautiful D’Arches paper as underpaintings for my current acrylic & mixed media work.
To begin, I coated some of the old painting with white gesso, then I used it as a place to lay excess paint while working on another piece (you can see the other piece propped up in the background). This gave me some strong shapes to work from…
I drew large free-form arcs in pencil, then began to define more shapes.
In this series I’m working on a few different pieces at a time, as I explore juxtaposing colour bars to depict moving colour.
I created textures by scraping some of the wet paint with the end of a large nail.
I added some opaque colours: a warm off-white (“titan buff”), a black-ish purple that I mixed, Naples yellow and Stainless Steel (these are all Golden brand acrylic paints):
The final piece is below…
I think I might have taken it too far, but I was having a really good time painting and sometimes you just need to go for it… Looking back I think I prefer the looseness and sense of freedom when it was only partly finished.
What the heck – it’s only paint on paper and there’s plenty of that.
Mixed Media: 11.25″ x 15″
Acrylics (including Stainless Steel acrylic paint) and graphite on D’Arches watercolour paper.
© deb davies thorkelson
“apollo – noun: a large butterfly which has creamy-white wings marked with black and red spots, found chiefly on the mountains of mainland Europe”.
This photo of the Parnassius apollo butterfly is by Matt Rowlings:
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