Tag Archives: The Mixed Technique

A Piece of Me, #12. The mixed technique over collage. 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in

A Piece of Me #12, the mixed technique

I’ve finally reached the last in this series of panels using the mixed technique. This last one, like the one previous to it, was a landscape composition containing elements of background, middle ground and foreground. In this case, the foreground and middle ground were figurative elements: the foreground was a quarter slice of my face; the middle ground contained a number of figures, four distinct ones and miscellaneous body-parts of two others. (Geez, this sounds like a post-mortem.)

A Piece of Me #12, egg tempera over india ink on collaged substrate.

A Piece of Me #12, egg tempera over india ink on collaged substrate.

A Piece of Me, #12. The mixed technique over collage. 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in

A Piece of Me, #12. The mixed technique over collage. 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in

So I was interested to render these elements carefully in terms of hue and value. For example, the lady in the centre of the middle-ground had on a very pink shirt in the original photograph. I toned it down because I didn’t want it to attract too much attention. However since I’m strongly lit, wearing a black shirt with an oatmeal coloured coat I wasn’t too worried about the foreground. Only the challenge to render it well. In the end I’m pretty pleased with the result and of course, the underpainting, underdrawing and collage all play a formative role.

Full description of the whole project here.

A Piece of Me #02, the mixed technique. 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #02, the mixed technique

After a long, partially self-imposed, partially corona-virus imposed hiatus (no, I was not sick, just stuck for awhile on Gilligan’s Island) – I have finally been able to return to the drawing board in my Bruges studio. Hooray!!!

This then, is one of the last panels executed in the mixed technique. The composition for this and the final one (still yet to come) are both challenging and interesting at the same time. They contain elements of a traditional landscape layout, that is, foreground, middle-ground and background. For me, as a painter, that primarily means I want to control both my chromatic and value contrasts: the foreground can contain the warmest hues and the strongest values; while the middle ground less so and the background even less.

A Piece of Me #02, the mixed technique. 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #02, the mixed technique. 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

Actually, I rendered each of these elements separately, then balanced then up at the end. The man with the cap in the foreground came last. The figure in the centre (I call him Joe Biden), was  a quick fix, following the architectural background, which also happened relatively quickly (due to the work up of my previous layers). My interest has always been in having each panel function on its own as well as having the capacity to integrate itself into the finally completed whole. Due to their landscape elements these panels should be able to do both rather well? So, of course, I’m looking forward to putting it all together at the end!

Unfortunately, I do not have photographs of earlier work up versions of this panel. I guess I was too excited to get back to work so I forgot to do that. My apologies, I’ll try to rectify that in the future. Full description of the whole project here.

 

A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #27, the mixed technique

A piece of me #27, the egg tempera underpainting.

A piece of me #27, the egg tempera underpainting.

A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

This panel represented a few challenges mostly due to the very dark shadow of the man’s gray/black pants leg. It’s a strong element, front-and-center, commanding attention. So I wanted to represent it accurately, but also I wanted to depict enough other dark accents surrounding it to encourage the circulation of light (or lack thereof). The ring and the shadow of my linen coat work rather well for that. But is it enough? The shadow is strong and also uniform. So I still may try to introduce some scumbled detail into those deepest leg-shadows after this level dries.

However, that is or will be complicated by another, technical complication. After I had started laying in some very dark gray pigment into the medium/glaze (in the pants leg), I found that the paint dried almost immediately (!) – too quickly to manipulate. In painter’s parlance this is called “sinking in”. This happens when the ground is too absorbent. In this case, I think the absorbency was caused by the combination of the linen fabric that I had glued onto the HDF panel as part of my substrate preparation as well as the siccative nature of the particular pigment (Payne’s Gray) that I had used in that area. “Sinking in” is remedied by a localized treatment of retouch varnish, which I applied before reworking that area yesterday. Though improved, when this area thoroughly dries I still may try to supply more balancing nuance (the scumble mentioned above). However, I am not dissatisfied with the result. I think the treatment of the linen jacket, the tile work upper left, the plaster wall lower left as well as the ringed fingers are delicious. So these are the comments of the-always-critical-chef.

BTW: sorry for the glare – that’s only in the photograph – not the image.

Full description of the whole project here.

A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #52, the mixed technique

A piece of me #52, egg tempera over collage

A piece of me #52, egg tempera over collage

A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

One of the most interesting aspects of this particular collaged panel was my pants cuff. It projects a few millimeters from the rest of the composition (!). Really. During the oil level, I found that balancing the warm whites of my pants, socks and the plastered wall with my skin tone was all made possible by the value adjustments inherent to the composition (and the judicious use of a warm-gray pigment from the tube). BTW: I prefer my grays warm and I don’t mix them on the palette. It’s too difficult to consistently achieve an elusive neutrality (which may not exist anyway). Full description of the whole project here.

A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #37, the mixed technique

A piece of me #37, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #37, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

Just finished this one yesterday. I was trying to create enough difference between my off-white linen pants and my oatmeal colored linen jacket. As you can see in the underpainting on the right there was little differentiation between the two. An additional challenge occurred with my knuckles upper left. I had done the underpainting (again, see right) in terra verte (green) so turning that into living flesh always presents its own challenge. All in all I was very pleased with the way the panel turned out, especially with my linen jacket. Very touchy-feely. That’s the aim. Full description of the whole project here.

A piece of me #42, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #42, the mixed technique

Fifth in the mixed technique series of the larger mixed media project. An abstract wall composition with a fan shaped shadow on the right side. When I prepared this with pastiglia I sculpted it using a painting knife, as I imagined how a plaster wall might feel. The shadow was not sculpted to look or feel differently because after all, its just a shadow.

A piece of me #42, egg tempera underpainting

A piece of me #42, egg tempera underpainting

A piece of me #42, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #42, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

On the right the egg tempera underpainting. On the left the final after one working session in oil.

A Piece of Me #57, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #57, the mixed technique

A Piece of Me #57, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #57, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #57, egg tempera on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #57, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

Here is the second of the mixed technique series (see the category description on the right for a full explanation of the technique). Like #47 before it, this one is another abstract design principally of the tile flooring in front of the great mosque at Casablanca. You can read about the concept behind the whole project here.

To the right you can view the egg tempera underpainting before its layer of oil. To the left the completed panel afterwards. Once again, the increase in saturation and depth seems to happen almost automatically – due to the difference in medium. Additionally, what’s interesting to me, is that I had completed the underpainting a few months back, imagining it to be a final piece (and not just the groundwork for further manipulations in paint). That is, I thought I was creating a finished panel for the egg tempera series – and at the time I was pretty happy with the result. I think the composition lends itself to that satisfaction, but still after I discovered the error, I was curious about how much the oil level could or would enhance the piece. I think it does. What do you think?