If you are a regular follower here at Art Elements you know that we have been doing a “Keep Our Sanity” challenge among our members here for quite a few months. It’s not mandatory to join in, just something fun to stay focused on the creative process & maintain our sanity! I view it as a way to stretch my imagination and try out new techniques. Or in this most recent challenge it was a chance for me to get back to something I used to do WAY before I started beading-mixed media paintings.
The challenge-Prehistoric Art. My inspiration-cave paintings of Lascaux (above painting) Here’s my process:
Then I used my absolute favorite paint color-quinacridone nickel azo gold (above)to make a wash of paint and smear it around the edges of the fabric and even sponge some color here and there on the gesso. Once that dried, I tore a piece of cream colored tissue paper, crumpled it then glued it down with some gel medium over the gessoed area,lightly smoothing it out. (below) I didn’t want to flatten it too much I wanted creases and wrinkles in there to create texture. Then I lightly covered the tissue paper with gel medium. It tore in areas but no worries it created more texture!
I didn’t want to copy the inspiration painting exactly so I added my own version of mark making in the center of the piece. I have a supply of paper towels that I have ‘painted, dyed & rusted’. Which means when I am painting or dyeing fabrics or rusting fabrics, I keep paper towels nearby to soak up spills, wipe my hands (I use my fingers a lot when I paint) and I have wrapped paper towels in with fabric and rusty objects to dye them.I keep all the ‘used’ paper towels to recycle for other projects.
Paper towels are great for adding an extra layer of texture in a project. After all, they are a fibrous paper. I have tried many brands but my fave is VIVA. They resemble fabric more so than the other brands and they are smooth rather than have a pebbly texture or design.
Next, I painted some fusible webbing with ink(below). You can use acrylic ink or alcohol ink, regular acrylic paint or fabric paint. The fusible webbing creates more texture due to the nature of the adhesive. Just paint the webbing, let dry and peel off the painted webbing and tear into various size strips to fuse down on your painting….
For the actual drawings on the cave wall I used my General’s Sketch & Wash pencil (below). These are great little sketching pencils because they act like watercolor pencils.
After I got my designs sketched I went back with more of the quinacridone nickel azo gold to smear a little more in areas that needed it, as well as used the pencil/wet paintbrush to add more shadows in areas.
Once I was satisfied with the overall look I decided it needed to be mounted on a canvas. I had a canvas already painted that I didn’t like so I tried it on that. The background was dark but too distracting as it was a mottled/sponged background. So I decided to check my stash of rusty fabrics. I found a piece of rust dyed linen which has a nice aged texture/finish to glue to the painted canvas. I spread some fabric glue over the canvas then ironed the fabric onto the canvas. Voila! The iron helps seal/set the glue almost instantly.
Then I used a small amount of fabric glue around the edges of the ‘cave painting’ and covered the ‘cave painting’ with parchment paper before lightly ironing to set the glue. I decided to add a bit more insurance by using a wooden bead and waxed linen thread to secure each corner of the piece onto the canvas.
So that was my process for creating an aged, textured cave painting. Hope you are inspired to play around with some of these techniques. It’s fun to mix it up and try new things!