As those of you who visit often might recall, I am doing a year long workshop based on Mary Todd Beam’s book Celebrate Your Creative Self. I am tad bit behind the group but was catching up by doing a painting using sand in gesso.
I agree with Todd Beam in that the one thing that always annoyed me about painting was the lack of texture. You can add some texture with brush strokes and such but no real relief or three dimensional-ness to the painting. This is not true when you add sand – or other products – to either your gesso or your paint directly.
The first thing I did – after mixing sand into my gesso – was to put some artist’s tape on the canvas as I wanted some border to where I was doing this. I, then layered in the sand/gesso mixture.
Once I did this step, I then mixed a little green acrylic from my tube with the left over gesso and sand to start the leafing of the tree. Back a few weeks ago, I talked about how everything was suddenly green and still have this thought in my mind. Overnight, I let the canvas sit and dry.
I could not find a color that I wanted to paint over the gesso/sand. I wanted a brown. I tried stippling on Adirondack ink in Espresso. I do not have a brown acrylic paint. I decided to take the Espresso re-inker – yes, it is a dye ink – and add it to gesso and paint over the gesso/sand.
I, then, used the acrylic green that I had added to the leftover gesso/sand the night before without any additives to make the grass and the remaining tree leaves.
I took a turquoise acrylic and added both a pearlescent tint and then a red and plain paint to make the varying sky colors. Where I wanted clouds or white, I painted with just the pearlescent tint.