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Collage Lab – Washes

This was an interesting and messy challenge for me.  I really like almost all of the samples that I did, except one which totally sucked so I tossed it.  Really.  It was bad.

I wanted to get some really evident texture on my pieces, so I started with textured wallpaper and gessoed it up real good like in our first Lab.  I did find that some of the washes didn’t want to really stick too well, but it ended up being okay (sort of) because it made the texture even more evident.

This example was done with a watered acrylic over the gesso base.  I added slightly watered down ink for the top, which worked nicely as far as getting some good strong color.


I’m working with colors I don’t usually use, so every time I see this one I do a double-take 🙂  Light acrylic wash over gessoed base, with a heavier acrylic wash on part of the top.  I like how the color is so saturated.


I really like this one a lot.  The layer over the gesso is a light acrylic, and the second is the same paint, just a bit thicker.  I sprayed a really light coat of some Radiant Rain, which is an opalescent spray with an acrylic base that comes in every color in the rainbow.  The colors remind me of watermelon. It is really pretty in the sunlight.


I used inks that I mixed with water and some Radiant Rain.  I did several  coats hoping that the color would build up.  I like the way it turned out 🙂


This one is my absolute favorite.  I love how the color settled in the grooves of the substrate.  Cool!  I used a light ink background with an acrylic paint wash over it.  I did the Radiant Rain thing on this one, too.  It absolutely shimmers in the light.  I love the opalescence.   This effect would be an awesome sky, don’t you think?

Fun exercise.  Where’s my Lab coat???

Collage Lab – Diffusing Images

This swap was a hard one for me.  While I understand that the idea behind the lab exercises is to get familiar with the method, I have a really hard time letting anything go that I don’t “like”.  Stupid, but it’s ingrained in me, I guess.  I essentially did this lab twice, and I probably would have tried again if I had time, but time had come and gone.  Bleh.

I tried both black and white images and colored images.  I wasn’t happy with any of them.  Lightly sanding the colored pics made the image mottled, I guess because of the nubby texture of the watercolor paper, even though I adhered my images to the smooth side.  Don’t know what was up with that.

The black and white images were scanned and printed, and then after they were glued to the WC paper I sealed them with Krylon Fixative spray.  It wasn’t enough to keep the ink from dissolving into the gesso, though.  Those turned out to be a muddy sort of mess.

I probably spent WAY too much time finding pictures.  Yes, I know, it’s an EXERCISE… but, well, you know.

Here are some of the duds from the first attempt:

Foggy San FranciscoYes, the Golden Gate Bridge does get foggy, but I have never seen the fog “chunky” before.

This was pretty chunky, too, with added areas where the picture got mushy and just disintegrated.

The sanding made too many areas where the picture wore off.  I even used the flat side of the watercolor paper, but it still did it.

Okay, here are the GOOD ones (I think)

I like this one okay, but it was a real mess to do.  The ink from the copy made the gesso grey, and pretty soon everything was grey.  After I printed and mounted it, I fixed the image with some Krylon Workable Fixative, but it obviously wasn’t enough.

This one is more mottled.  I like it okay, too.  The first one looks like a rainstorm.

I really wanted this one to turn out, but it looks kind of messy for all the same reasons as the “Treehouse” in the rainstorm.  Ink bled, mixed with gesso, and just added even more grey to a grey day.  Lol.  Like her day doesn’t look bad enough, huh?  Laying down in front of a train??

Oooh… the Terra Cotta Warriors!  I like the way this one turned out, too.  It looks like something that might have been discovered right along with them.  A portrait or maybe a photo for a driver’s license.  Lol

I loved the bleak look of this landscape, and after sanding it and gesso-ing it up, it almost looks other worldly.  Love that tree.

This is my favorite.  I love the picture, and the diffusion makes her even more mysterious.  Maybe it’s the red Burka.

At least now I have some idea of how to get different effects with watered-down gesso.  Something new for my messy art.