Tapestry (how to)

Typically a huge white canvas can be very daunting and quite intimidating for most people.  This was my first painting that was of any significant size (6 ft. x 4 ft.). I found that it was very hard to start, however after I dove in it got much easier to finish. This was an assignment for one of my current studios. It had to be large ( at least 6 ft. in the largest dimension) and it had to incorporate some kind of botanical pattern inspired by the campus greenhouse.

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These were the drawings that I initially had done. Each contains a different concept for my tapestry.

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I began with taking my un-stretched canvas and taping it to the floor so that I could evenly apply white gesso. Although it is hard to see, I then drew a very light pencil outline of one of the succulents I decided to use.

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I then drew in the other succulent. Again, very lightly so it would not show through the paint. I then made sure everything was lined up and ready to go.

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Next I applied gouache as an under layer (the green/brown and the red/purple) while using acrylic paint to add the more pinkish/purple tone to the ends of each section and slightly up the sides.

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Succulent one is done. Now it is time to start on the second succulent in the opposite corner.

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Here is a quick look at what my method was, an orderly mess or gouache, acrylic paint and water. I used different brushes for each of the colors so that I could control how they were blended on the surface. I also used separate brushes for the gouache and the acrylic.

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The second succulent is now (almost) finished. Unfortunately I ran out of paint, so that will be added later.

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Even though I ran out of paint for the top succulent, I decided that it would be okay to move on to the back ground. I got an old milk jug and cut it to make a disposable “bowl” for my paint. I mixed black Golden brand acrylic with some cheap black latex based acrylic and added some acrylic glazing liquid. This mixture gave a satiny, shiny, almost silky like texture to the piece.

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Finally, here is the finished product! 🙂

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