Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Experimental Painting Workshop

With my current penchant for experimenting, over the weekend of October 20th and 21st, 2012, I joined eight other participants to learn some new methods to employ in mixed media. The lovely and articulate Ursula Reynolds of River Rock Studio (in the countryside NW of Cochrane, Alberta) came to Canmore and was our instructor.  

Notice the white gauzy stuff draped over the railing in the background; this is what gave the effect in Ursula's piece

Ursula demonstrates the cobweb resist technique

Above the artificial cob webbing (available in stores at this time of year) has been stretched over watercolour paper. With clear water (either sprayed or brushed on) she wet both making sure the webbing made contact with the paper. Then, onto the wet surface, Ursula added colour using a brush, mouth atomizer as well as dropping in some paint. To show how each responds, to the technique, Ursula used watercolours on half of the page and fluid acrylics on the other.  

It is critical to remove the webbing before the paint is completely dry to save yourself from having to spend ages plucking the spidery stuff off of the artwork!

My webbing resist technique on watercolour paper

My webbing on Yupo (plastic) paper using acrylic paint. The mauve is a pearly metallic ink

Ursula also demonstrated painting, thickly and boldly, with heavy bodied acrylics. While this was still wet she created texture by scraping, stamping and lifting paint. It was left to dry overnight. On day two she showed us about masking selected areas using painters tape, contact paper and flat objects. With all that in place and using a roller she lightly spread a thin layer of opaque paint over the open areas. And, when the tape, etc., was removed this was the result ...

Dog's Breakfast turned into You Can Make a Pig Sing!

Another of my webbing pieces rolled with opaque paint over masked areas; all acrylic on MDF panel

Above is my least favourite work. I'm unhappy with the colour I used to roll over the webbing start and I'm not sure about the shapes, especially those on the right.  Think I'll cut it down and keep only the left side.

With heavy bodied acrylic I painted the piece below. I don't know if I want to mask parts of it and roll opaque paint on it. I don't know that I want to do anything more to it at all!

Heavy bodied acrylic on canvas.  Unfortunately the camera can't pick up the texture or the metallic steel blue

Sharing a table with Dana Roman was a lot of fun!

Now, here I am at home wondering just what to do with these starts? I don't think they can be considered finished pieces. Should I hand paint something on top them and if so, what? Stick things on them? Oh, decisions, decisions!

To see the entire photo essay about the workshop please click here.


  1. This is a wonderful post, Alice - lovely to see the techniques and results, and I love your photo essay on Flickr~ many thanks for this@

    1. Thanks, Win. I always appreciate that you take the time to look and comment!

  2. I just might try this with watercolour. Perhaps some areas could be masked off first for further development after.