Sunday, August 29, 2010


Alabama Patchwork ii Collage by Ruth Zachary 
The first image shows how the figure looked after layering it over the blue background, in the luminosity mode. Note that very little color change occured in the gray scale drawing of the figure. The color in the figure drawing was achieved with acrylic paints used as watercolors matching hues in the background. Some distortion occurred in the second version because the varnish deepened the color. The image was photographed. The camera also distorts the straight borders at edges.

In the previous post a figure was layered over an abstract black and white background, with the clothed model contrasted in grayscale tones.

I keep trying these experiments with color as well as black and white, because my original vision was to integrate realistic imagery into abstract shapes and textures.The blue-toned abstraction from the “Where Visions Gather,” series was chosen to be the background for the same fashion figure used in the previous post, inspired by Natalie Chanin, an Alabama clothing designer.

The figure, in grayscale tones when tried in various modes, applied as a top layer over the blue background resulted in a primarily grayscale image in many modes, with a few areas where the colors from underneath came through the figure. (luminosity mode)

The solution for this piece was to print the figure out in gray tones and then to paint areas which were in the color palette of the blues in the abstraction. Acrylic paint was used in thinned watercolor technique. Once dry, the whole composition – background and figure could be collaged to the Masonite panel with acrylic medium. Some compositional changes were made to the background before it was complete.

The figure was thus subdued to blend with the motifs of the underlying composition.This is much different than the figure used over the bold black and white patterns of the previous illustration. Both have merits, and the artist must choose the effect wanted.

The Masonite panel was prepared with a coat of water-based Kilz on both sides, and a second coat of gesso to the smooth surface side. Usually papers are collaged to the smooth side. The paper used was Epson matte Professional paper in a medium weight. Epson inks are colorfast, but some mediums and varnishes will dissolve and deepen the colors when applied to the surface. Test the products used together to be sure how they will work.

Small areas of the design elements were briefly soaked in water and the medium was applied to the panel, carefully placing the paper on the surface. One or two coats of matte medium were applied to the finished surface of the collage.

Note to my Readers:
I have been elected as secretary of the board of my church, and have less discretionary time than I had prior to taking on that duty. I still try to produce art, to write and create or manage other projects, including yard maintenance, but I will not be able to attend my blog as often as before.

Writing and Art Images are the sole © Copyright of Ruth Zachary

No comments: