Part 2, Project 2, Exercise 3 mixed media

After some very helpful feedback from my tutor who, in essence, said to just get on and experiment [apologies if I’ve made an interpretation of convenience there!], this is an A3 piece, gesso prepped, and then layered up with pastels and oil crayons. I’ve also dribbled and dabbed inks onto the red vase in homage to the pattern it has across the front.

I’m very fond of what gesso does to a surface as there are so many surprises that I can capitalise on with the subsequent layers. Some of them can be a little inconvenient – that patch to the bottom left of the red vase I’d have preferred to be more vertical than horizontal as I’d found a very minimalistic line at the base of each of the objects, and that gets thrown out rather by those trapped horizontal marks. Planning required. Who knew.


Another quality I like is how the surface has the feel of an old stucco wall with bits falling off: that kind of classy French farmhouse decay people sometimes try to replicate in their more modern homes. That base line should be straighter though, or the vase a smidge higher on the page.

So what was I aiming for? Well, having been advised to explore the objects rather than try to make a picture, I went ahead and made a picture. What can I say? – I’m a story teller; there’s no image without a tale and no tale without an image. Still, a major triumph is that the red vase is pretty much the right shape and in the right proportions this time so perhaps some subliminal exploration got me while I wasn’t paying attention.

I need to make some more sketchbook images – smaller, maybe more detailed, different objects, different media – so I’ll be adding to this post for a little while. I had some good advice about my carrot drawings so I should maybe revisit those with another carrot. The new ones are organic [i.e. mucky] so the colours will be a bit different!

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