The History: This is my story and I’m sticking to it… for now.
I was reading a lot of Lovecraft at the time… the mad mountains of his imaginary landscapes filled my mind… I think I enjoyed them more than intended… their darkness and ominous feeling was easily overridden with the joy of creating the image… I wish I could remember what exactly inspired me to do it with tissue paper. I believe it was following an art education project I did, in which we needed to use tissue paper to crate cameos and the appearance of aging. It’s obvious to me I was in a great mind-space at this moment, as I used bolder colours to make this composition. I feel it’s a childishly happy work.
The Technique: How I did this awesomeness!
Mainly a collage methodology, combined with a few experiments using non-traditional materials. The tissue green & fuchsia tissue papers were hand-torn and collaged onto the surface with water-downed Elmer’s glue. The colour stayed very vibrant. Before the glue was completely dry, I used watercolour paints to create the sky. My goal was to emulate The creepy and bruised look of William Blake’s illustrations. The glue mixing with the paint is what gives the halo effect over the mountains. I let it all dry, then used a dry pastels to highlight the mountains. I then painted the mountains with a matte finish varnish, drawing the white pastel down like snow and effectively blending the pure white with the now bleeding coloured tissue paper. When dry it gave extra texture and shadows to the mountains.
The Influence: Confessions of a Plagiarist, sort of…
I’d have to say Group of Seven landscapes are the strongest influencers here. I am sure this mountain range grew out of many I have seen in countless movies and imagined from reading a multitude of books… especially H. P. Lovecraft and his exquisite use of descriptions of all things ominous and looming.
It’s Like The Birds & Bees When you buy The Artist’s Stuff: Prints, Mugs, T-Shirts, Pillow, Shower Curtains, and other awesome stuff.
What inspires an artist?
“All they see” is the first and most literal answer.
For me, that is literally hundreds of gallery & museum exhibits, thousands of books, and tens of thousands of images online.
When asked where to start a book collections, I almost always recommend these art bibles: Janson’s “History of Art” OR Phaidon’s “The Art Book” Both give a nice overview with good pictures. Once you’ve discovered what you are attracted to there most, you can then dig deeper into that area.
If I had to pick only a few of my major influences, which is a very difficult task, it would be Modigliani, Picasso, Van Gogh, & Andrew Wyeth. Here are a few of the best books I recommend from them.
Here are a few others from my personal library, I return to over and over again.
If you have the time, you are free to visit my GoodReads library to see a fraction of the books I’ve read. The ones I remember, that is. Or you can visit the ever growing collection of images on my Pinterest account.
The Materials: Quick! Order this stuff right now, AND You too, can make masterpieces!
Crescent Cardboard Sheets: The Review: I’ve had leftover sheets from a variety of sources, including reused packaging materials, but the colours often get muted to the paper falls apart under the acrylic and water. So I splurged on some professional paper and got excellent colour retention and absorption.
Tissue Paper: The Review: Please stick to art supply stock, not dollar store. The colours are sturdier and don’t bleed as much under the Mod Podge or finishes.
Faber-Castell 0.31 x 1.25 in. Creative Studio Non-Toxic Square Soft Pastel Set 72: The Review: I received this kit as a gift and used it sporadically until this project. The chalks are messy and not the easiest to make fast blends, and they are also very subtle in their diversity of tones and hues. One can make very strong colours with some rubbing and the blending is improved when you get your fingers dirty. The messy part allows one to reach for that Wabi Sabi beauty of making mistakes. These were a ball to get messy with. I had to supplement the kit with some additional Black & White sticks.
Watercolour Brushes: The Review: I recommend getting a nice set of watercolour brushes for paint and inks. If possible, aim for natural hairs like sable. It hold the pigment and water better. If sable brushes are too pricey for you, then start with some bamboo handled calligraphy brushes. They are wonderfully versatile for line and broad stroke applications alike.
Liquitex Varnishes: Gloss, Satin, & Matte. The Review: Having these on hand allows you to create contrasts within your paintings. Placing a gloss next to a matt can imitate effects of depth. Play with them and see. These don’t tend to dry as slick as Varathane coats and they are a little more costly to use as diluting liquids for making hues and layers. They also dry remarkably fast on the brushes, so keep some warm water nearby to rice the brushes after each use.
Photoshop for Mac: The Review: You could use the free “ MAC Photos” program or Picassa and possibly get the same results, but Photoshop offers you the flexibility of presenting yourself as a pro photographer, like no other program. There’s a reason it’s considered the best of the best, after all. So, this allows you the possibility of selling this service to others and funding more of your creativity
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4″ Laptop:The Review: You may choose to get an iMac for the bigger screen, and I couldn’t disagree with the beauty of working with the 24” screen. I picked the laptop, because of the need to be mobile and the flexibility of multi-purposing it to use for client demos. As an alternative to the weight of this model, I would suggest the MacBook Air 13”. Most of us have become accustomed to mobile device size screens and it is much easier to carry around.
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR: The Review: My first DSLR camera was the EOS Rebel T3. This one is vastly superior to the old model. Canon has a well deserved reputation of having top rated cameras. It requires a little play time to master it, and that time will be lessened by defining a clear idea of what you want to do with it, then jumping on YouTube for the multitude of How To videos. If you want a smaller camera to carry around, try Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Digital Camera OR go small & powerful with the Canon PowerShot Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD & built in wifi.
Canon PIXMA MX492 Inkjet Printer:The Review: For me this has been the easiest to us for cleaning and cartridge replacement. It works reasonably well with recycled inks and the wireless is easy to set-up. The Canon has worked best for me on ink usage. When purchasing printers, always consider the cost of ink replacement… for the most part, this is the big difference right now in printers. For big reproduction lines it is better to outsource. For scanning, they are as good as the camera in them… this is one reason I’m a fan of Canon products. It does do a nice job on printing photos on good photo paper, and the black print is crisp and clean, provided you do regular cleanings and keep it dust free.