Saturday, 29 January 2011

Salt and sand

I've been experimenting again.  My vision here was to create a piece of sand and sea using natural. The starfish are washed up on the shore, the water and life inches away. 

I printed a starfish and a sand dollar on a lightweight kozo papers that I had randomly torn.  Once it was dry, I added a layer of gesso to half of a piece of 200lb watercolour paper.  I left the surface of the gesso fairly rough as I wanted the texture to show through.   The gesso acted as the glue when I placed my printed kozo paper on top of it.  I patted it in place and started adding colour to it. 

Initial washes to confirm colours and follow torn paper line for water line

Following the torn line of the kozo paper, I used it as the tide line for the water and added washes of blues and turquoises, letting a little of the golds of the sand seep in.  Above the tide line, when the wash as wet, I added some salt.  This pushes pigment away from the crystals leaving lighter areas, almost like foam.  Directly below the tide line, I added fine sand.  Sand absorbs the paint but leaves a granular effect.  It doesn't push pigment away like salt does but seems to diffuse the colour.

Salt added to wet wash above water line and sand added below for texture

The starfish had random colours of sea and sand added to them in varying strengths with some sand added here and there for texture.  The sand dollars while there became too diffused in the process and aren't distinguishable as sand dollars.  I'll pretend they are half buried in sand.

Texture of gesso showing through kozo paper when watercolour is added
Detail of starfish and background colour and texture using sand

I spattered the same colours over the sand with a little extending into the tide line.  The piece is not completely dry in these images so will be a bit lighter and I'll likely add a touch of gouache to the tide line for highlights, then let it go.


Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Beautiful Jeanette! I love the textures...and of course the rich colours!

vivien said...

Lovely experiments and great explanations - it's beautiful Jeanette

I love the variety of papers and techniques you've been using

Laureline said...

This looks like lots of fun! I'm eager to see more

captsuz said...

Great process the integration of media. Did you work in the field or studio?

Jeanette said...

Thanks Ronell. I love the blues and golds together too. They seem to be my favourites at the moment for all my gyotaku work.

Vivien, experimenting is great fun and leads to new ideas and images. I'm always amazed at what can be put together and still come out looking reasonable.

Laura, I'm in my messy zone now. You should see the studio. Or perhaps not... :)

Captsuz, I'm into texture at the moment and being able to put it all in one piece is wonderful.

Most of my work is studio based. However, as I have the sea at my doorstep, it makes it very easy to go there to study waves and how they interact.

The gyotaku is too complex (for me) to do in the field. I'd have to lug a lot more equipment. I don't know how the Japanese fishermen did it so many years ago.