I recently did a tutorial on overpainting photographs. One of the keys to this art form was to build up layers of paint between layers of polyurethane thus creating a 3 dimensional surface to the photo. The prototype had 13 layers of polyurethane and proved to be a very successful experiment.
|Overpainting Experimental Piece|
One of my earlier experimental works was with wax which was applied using a soldering iron and then spread with a hair dryer to create intense color variations. I first used this technique on flat surfaces and eventually adapted it to sculptural work.
|Wax Work on Flat Surface|
|Wax Work on Sculpture|
Now we come to the current experimental piece. My intention is to take the wax work concept and couple it with the dimensional aspects of the overpainting piece. Using a piece of driftwood, I am going to use wax to cover the driftwood in gradual layers. multicolor wax first, polyurethane second, then repeat the process over and over again to create a "depth" to the sculpture. If the piece works the way I hope it does, over time it will begin to look like the color sinks back into the driftwood rather than resting just on the surface. Its an illusion of the eye primarily.
I have to be honest that this one may fail utterly. Until I get working on it I can't really be sure what the end result will be.
As all my experimental tutorials go, from this point on I will show and discuss the process photo by photo in hopes that it will assist other artists and teach something new. So please follow along. This experiment will take approximately a week to complete and I will update at each step in the process. So check back often.
Step #1 Choosing the Wood
I chose this piece of wood because I felt it already had a natural depth to it in the curvature of the wood. Plus I'd already prepped the wood last week using a black appliance epoxy to seal the wood against breakage. Its a heavy piece. It is 19" x 9" x 6". But its solid and should serve well for this purpose.
Step #2 Mounting
The most important step is mounting the wood on a tile base. This gives the piece stability and a working platform. This piece of wood is an odd shape. So after mounting it in natural clay, I've added two more smaller pieces to give the piece a better symmetry. I've locked them to each other to create one cohesive piece. You can see in the images the process of claying in each component and then the final image of the piece completely black based and solid on its base.