Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TUTORIAL - Painted Photo Collages

In this shot I'm just showing some photos I'm assembling for a large collage. It will have a lot of photos of this family with a nature theme as a gift for the grandparents.

In this shot I've got a basic layout taped down and then the first coat of acrylic. I mix my own. I use Golden acrylics and it is about 50/50 mix of soft gloss gel and matte medium. This will get three coats. Must dry between coats and then left to dry one extra day after all the coats are on . (I don't know how that one section of text got up there-That isn't how I typed it)

Now switching to some different photos because they are clearer, easier to see and snap these demonstration photos of. Now I'm pouring water over the coated photos which I have in a little tub because I have no running water or sink in my studio. They usually have soaked long enough after 15-20 min.

In this shot I have started the long, tedious process of scratching and rubbing the paper off of the back. If the paper starts to dry out too much I mist with a water bottle. You can't get the paper off if it's too dry.

Here you can see the pile of paper on the left. And this isn't all of the paper. It's a much bigger pile but I forgot and threw the first pile away. When you are just about finished, rub the paper side some more. Use your fingers or a wadded paper towel that is damp. The surface you paint on will be smoother if you get as much paper off as possible.

I'm holding the piece up to the light so you can see how transparent it is. Now it feels like a thick piece of rubbery plastic. And you are ready to glue to your canvas.

It seems to work best for me if I coat the canvas first then the back side (paper side) of the photo. I usually don't have to rush unless it's a large canvas. It is a lot easier to work on a canvas panel rather then a stretched canvas.

Here you see me lifting the rubber photo to get some air bubbles out as I'm using the brayer.

A brayer or rolling pin will insure good contact and no air bubbles. Now let it dry for a day or so.

In this shot you may be able to see the baby is on a kitchen counter. There is stuff in the view and a window to the right, etc. Now start covering everything in the background. And I think I don't need to go into the stuff about planning and choosing background colors etc. Artists usually think of these things on their own.

I've got the background all covered with what I would call a neutral, no, a cool gray color. I left the top of his head (it was cut off in the photo) so when I paint his hair, it should be a smooth surface and maybe the painted hair will have a little glow.

In this shot you can see I've added more of the yellow balls, and I applied a section of cobalt blue to the background and then swirled a comb through it. Doing the background swirl in sections is easier because the acrylic won't dry out before you get the comb through it.
Here you can see the comb thing on the left (it is a cake decorating tool). The background swirl is finished. To the right of my paint brush are yellow ducks I cut from rice paper to go along the right edge.

Here I'm applying the yellow ducks with golden matte gel. I finished the touches on his hair and the yellow balls. Sorry for the glare, I'm not much of a photographer. I have an epson scanner that I use for anything I'm going to show on the web. If the work is too big for my scanner I take it to Photo USA and they scan or photograph it and put it on a disc. Life is so much easier with a scanner. I would be spending hours trying to fix my photos. Anyway, I wasn't real happy with this little photo painting so I want to do it over. I'm going to experiment with some new paper I found at Dick Blick. Next post I'll show you some more finished pieces.

Happy Trails.

1 comment:

Barbara LuCore said...

Sue, Do you tape the photos down on the surface face up or down? When you put the gloss gel and matte medium over the photos, do you put it over the back of the photos or over the photo fronts? I really like this technique. I just want to be clear that I understand it before I would ever try it.

Thanks! Your art is beautiful!