Submerge, mixed media painting

Submerge is a mixed media painting on 100% archival paper that is acid free.  I prefer working on hotpress 300lb paper and I always stretch my paper before I begin work.  I also staple my paper to my board.  The reason I use staples is because I hate the tape residue left on my board from using water tape and tape does not always hold.  Believe or not, I am not using a staple gun to staple into my board, but a table top stapler that opens flat.  I remove the staples when I am finished with a flat head screwdriver.  Your board will last for years.  I have boards that are over 30 years old with repeated stapling.  I also use both sides of my boards.

I started this piece by stretching my paper and painting the bulk of my paper with a colored gesso (that I created).  It is a teal hued gesso which I painted on smooth.  At the bottom left you can see my model photo that I am working from.
I drew her onto the surface with a 2h pencil and then I begin my next stage of work.  You might notice that there are some lighter dots in the teal gesso.  I did that by just splashing water onto my teal gesso before it drier completely.  I did not want the spots all over, just in the lower portion.

As I have explained before, I love gesso in work because it allows me to work over it with many different materials.  And knowing your materials is key.  I added some black gesso to her hair, but it could have been black permanent marker.  I did a light white wash of white gesso just stating where I wanted the back of her garment.  possibly even her neck.  From there I can move to watercolor or prismacolor pencils.  The gesso allows the pencil to have a tooth to grab onto and blend beautifully.
View her neck as getting complete and her shoulder as just having a first base level.

Hair I really love to suggest, but don't make it too stringy with lines, but remember to think in mass and linear area, highs and lows.  Also make sure to pull in your negative space color to create harmony between your subject and the negative space.

Think outside of the box.  Just because my model is in a bathtub sitting,  How else can I view her successfully?

Also where do I want my focus.  I decided to allow the figure to become a linear as it moved down.  This wasn't the illusion of going deeper into the water, but more about technique.

even the arms and drapery are losing their detail as they move down.
Some viewers always want a concrete answer to a story for the work.  I want excitement and an emotional exploring of "Self" whether it is my own or what I have gleaned from my model.  Our frailties, our questioning, moving into new life directions which may seem away from our grasp.

Look at the arms allowing more of the negative space playing the role of a pencil in my hand.

I am now close to complete and deciding if I have given enough to the leg.

I always emphasize carry-through.  You see the leg as linear, now above her hair you will also see linear :)

Now complete and ready for sale and exhibition.
Details of this piece below:

Enjoy, Nancy

Keep you signature close but not screaming.


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