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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


Finally, here is the finished product! 🙂




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