Exploring mixed media and collage

Idea

I am exploring mixed media with collage. The general goal is to let the paint speaks itself. All I have in mind in the beginning is color theme. For example, all blue or all red. I don’t plan where the paint will be or what shape it will form. So I choose gouache and ink as major media for this experiment.

Process

The surface is cold press watercolor paper, I add water and gouache paint within the color theme layer by layer. Let it dry between each layer. Once I feel it is enough paint on the paper, I start drawing some outline with black ink pen. Actually this should be done at last as the black ink will bleed through washi paper on top.

As to the washi paper, I have a bag full of different color and pattern. It is my personal collection since my school age. Here is a beautiful website I find out for shopping high quality Japanese paper. I will select the paper with similar color theme as the gouache painting. Then I tear it into random shapes and sizes with my hands. Yes I can use a knife or a scissor, but I just want the outline to be more organic rather than clean cut. Layout those paper pieces on previous gouache underpainting before putting on any adhesive so they can be adjusted easily.

Once I am satisfied with the paper collage I glue them down with pH neutral adhesive. Again let it dry.

Next is the fun part, ink drawing. Outline the paper pieces with gold paint, fill in the area with pattern by ink pen drawing. Here is the Zen moment. It can take some time but definitely enjoyable.

In the end, I use pastel pencils to touch up some spots. Then figure out what the painting looks like to me. And of course, sign the artwork.

Frame

I have two identical gold frames that I bought long time ago. They suit these two mixed media collage paintings. ❤

Framed “Alien cave” mixed media painting
Framed “Washi flowers” mixed media painting

Summary

I feel like I am stepping into another territory. But I enjoy the process and I like the results. The only thing I would change is drawing with black ink in the end. Next I want to try painting with coffee instead of gouache for the underpainting. However I always finish my cup of coffee before I can collect it in a separate container. Haha~

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.