Busy with my people’s project, I just wanted to do something different. Something completely free and unrestrained. Taking large formats of paper and canvas, I put down the brushes and used only my hands and rolled towel paper. even though it feels a bit like first grade finger painting, there is a liberating feeling that results from “playful” and experimenting occasions like these.
1.Tilleul tree in gouache on paper. For the first tree, I shaped the thick trunk with a large brush and for the leaves, added gouache pigment with my fingers, sometimes very wet so the color runs and sometimes I dotted only dry splotches. Not a very significant result, but it did loosen me up, like all these free, expressive exercises always do. this one really looks like a first grader “picture”!
1…tilleul tree in gouache on paper, 65x50cm…
2. Prune tree in oil on canvas. For the second tree, I used a large canvas, primed it with a layer of thin gesso, “shaped” the tree trunks and branches with modelling paste and painting knifes, and finished off with a last coat of thinned gesso. After leaving it to dry overnight, I built up the tree trunk with layers of oil pigment, using a rag to wipe and build up up the layers. The leaves were all added with crumpled toweling paper and lastly spatters of oil pigment with a large brush.
2…prune tree in oil on linen, 92x73cm…
3. Apple tree in charcoal: Again on large format and loose application of pressed charcoal, I only made marks and got in there with the fingers to suggest the folage loosely.
3…apple tree in charcoal on paper, 65x50cml…
To do excercises like this:
- Use large sheets of paper or canvas or cartons. Off cuts from boxes can work as well
- Wear old clothes.
- Work where you have enough room/space…even outside on the lawn, or go to the park.
- Choose something around you like large shrubs, trees, flowerbeds.
- Use only big tools…big brushes, pieces of rag, knifes, twigs, and of course, hands(You can treat them afterwards with some good creams!)
- Work on the WHOLE paper, even if you run off the page.
- Stand back, up often and look at your creation from a distance. Don’t consider right or wrong or any painting rules.
- Consider only marks, color, texture, shapes.
- When finished with one, put it aside and immediately start another…with another bush another scene.. don’t go back to a previous painting, rather start another one.
- Don’t think, just do.
4 thoughts on “Free expression on large format.”
You had me googling Papyrus.. all these techniques sound interesting and look wonderful..the Gesso..and building up.. love the textures..My friend has large tools and papers..I will show her this..
I am a mini tool person still..
Very nice Ronelle!
Ronelle, you have surely started something here! You could progress to larger canvasses, and cover all of it. This grows into beautiful mosaics. I do not do anything like this, but I remember something called Sea Ocean Project. It was done in Odessa and other large harbours. 5 Artists painted abstracts of the harbour by night on large 2mx3m canvas. The event attracted crowds and sponsors too and invitations to other countries! (one can Google it)
Make me want to give all this a try this week! Thanks for the suggestions and tips! xx~~
I love the close-up of the first one! What a wonderful exercise. I get too ‘tight’ when it comes to painting and need to loosen up too.