Flourishes: part 2

As my Bushtime workshops proceed, I feel the need to expand on a few details from the previous post.

The classes are going nicely although I underestimated the amount of preparation the cutouts need to bring them to a level of advancement that allows the patrons the chance to finish them in the two hours I've been given....

These are the preparatory steps for the cutouts before the class begins.

  • Marking out the ply

  • Cutting the shapes two at a time with a jigsaw

  • Sanding the edges

  • Black paint to the edges and back with a small roller

  • White primer to the front faces

  • Thin wash of yellow ochre over the white with a cloth (paint thinned with water plus Acrylic Gloss Medium to aid adhesion)

  • Development of lines and shapes in yellow ochre/red washes applied by brush over the first wash

  • Black linework to define the edges and tidy up any messy bits.

The other part of the preparation is the paints. For these workshops, I'm using Vipond's Artist Mural colour

Specifically, a limited palette of Yellow Ochre (for the underpainting), Bright Yellow, Bright Red, Light Blue and Violet, plus White and Black, but for those wanting to do this at home, any acrylic brand should be ok. The shots shown here are from a dollar store and would be fine.. (same goes for the brushes pictured).

The other limit with the paints is to mix them with white to keep them quite light in tone. This will allow the solid black line to dominate the overall effect of the finished piece and tie it all together. Those initial colours are blended with white to create opaque tints. These tints are then mixed together to create a wide selection of intermediate colours in separate tubs.

The Black is NOT mixed into any of the colours in this particular formula, but could if a much more sombre, muted or noir effect was desired.

The opaque tint colours are layered over the warm yellow ochre/red underpainting in passes of brushwork that breaks up the composition into smaller and smaller sections of shapes, patterns, lines and textures, and introduces the cool blues, greens and purples to balance the reds and yellows.

It's all just glorified doodling and colouring in for most participants but the end result tends to work out very successfully because of these limiting factors. and it really is very potent art therapy because it is just pure expression without any pressure.

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