The Process~ Healing Waters

Since the very beginning of me starting this blog and site I’ve been posting the “The Process” over time and complications from life and lack of time do to travel I haven’t been able to stay up on providing you some examples of what my creative process is like.
Today even though I’ve a number of things on my mind and a number of things in my physical life to attend to I’d very much like to share the start and completion of Healing Waters with you. So as we begin, here are the main implements used in the creation of this piece.
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I’m pretty simple in the tools I use most of the time. Here you’ll see a basic utility brush that’s about 25 years old, two of my palette knives, two rubber spatulas made by Catalyst some sandpaper a spray bottle and dish of warm, clean water. Oh and my painters rag and a metal scraper most commonly used in the sculpting arts.

In the below photo series is unfortunately a few steps into the process as this post was a bit of an after thought but I can explain everything up to this point. Let’s take a look at first paint.

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Here what we are seeing is actually three different layers of completely dried texture sessions. This piece is being painted on a canvas instead of a panel as I’m hoping to pickup some of the underlying texture naturally found in the fibers of the canvas itself.
The first layer was simply applied by using a large utility brush to generously coat the entire piece with a mixture of very fine plaster of Paris and professional grade extra heavy gesso. After this application was air dried for around 72 hrs a secondary wave like pattern was applied using a palette knife and Catalyst spatula. This second layer being considerably more thick was allowed to dry for 72 hours as well but with the aid of a drying fan. One of the tricks in this process is to not speed dry the piece because if one rushes it to much you’ll end up with uncontrolled cracking, now on a similar vein you can force crack specific areas by intentionally speed drying selected portions of the canvas. After the secondary layer was completely dry I began sanding down areas I felt had to much texture or not the intended texture I desired. Keeping in mind I knew I was going to apply a third layer of texture before first paint ever happened. When intentionally using texture as way of controlling the paint, please understand that a great deal of applied control goes into the application process. Not only are you creating a feeling or vibe within the texture your giving the paint specific wells in which it will settle within the depth of the texture.
The third layer of texture was applied by using a very small palette knife and the afore mentioned gesso/plaster mixture. Giving special consideration to the length and depth of the veins. I find for my shaky hands a smaller more precise tool is better for this process. After some drying time “overnight” w/fan the texturing is complete. This morning using a brush and rubber spatula the yellow was applied. When applying the paint I use water to thin it in certain areas of the canvas to help the process of creating depth.

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Here you see the second color application using the same process. One thing I haven’t covered is treating acrylics and ink washes like watercolors but I think that’s for another segment and or possibly when I start doing video tutorials.
Thanks for joining me today on what will be the first of three or four “The Process” posts for Healing Waters

Much love and light
Benjamin
2014.
“A life in progress”

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13 thoughts on “The Process~ Healing Waters

  1. This is very cool. I have been curious as to how you do what you do – how did you come into this technique? I love the textures and of course the colors – the textures are so unique.

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    • Thank you, I’ve actually been using and perfecting this technique since the late 80’s lots of trial and error 🙂 but these days I’ve a pretty good relationship with the paint, mediums and grounds that I’m using. I started some 25+ years ago as a oil painter and find now I like the immediacy of open acrylics and alkaloid inks.

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