Darn, I'm stumped

Gossip, Greed, Envy, Bigotry (Mixed Media) - ©R.Koleilat, 2007
I promised myself that I wouldn't post anything that's unfinished - but I'm stumped with this. Oh, well, I could always pretend this is a demonstration of some technique in progress... yeah, that's the ticket...
Anyway, I'm still trying to play around with image transfers using an acrylic medium. I started with the image transfer on a small canvas panel (4"x5"), then started experimenting with various tools.
I used my battery-operated eraser (love that one, I've had it since university) to take away further layers of paper and leaving only the faintest outline of the image. Unfortunately, I did this after I had covered the body in black, resulting in very uneven layers to wok over.
Because of the textured surface, laying in a wash didn't really work (background mostly), so I tried markers instead (black body, hair, contour, face and accent highlights).
Still, I needed to find something more interesting, texture-wise: the canvas is pre-primed, and some of the marker ink will just sit there.
I used a little bit of acrylic paint (mostly the flesh tones), but I get frustrated with acrylic on such a small surface. So out came the oil pastels. And here we are - I did all I could with this concept, and it's turning out to be just that: a concept that didn't translate very well. Heeelllppp!
Suggestions? Please?


Bobbie said...

Rima, how about adding some real texture? Like some sand or fabric? I also thought the black might be a little too much and was wondering what a bleach pen might do to it? I think you have a great start and look forward to seeing what you come up with. I am off work for one whole week and so want to do something in the way of artwork, not connected to the computer except to scan it.

Frances said...

I like the concept and the image in its general focus, but I can see it's not what you wanted. I think Bobby is right, there is a lot of black compared to how much background there is. Does that make sense? At the same time I like the bodies blended in that way because it is enigmatic, whether it is a four-headed individual or four separate individuals. Maybe the image is large for the canvas? In other words maybe you need a larger canvas to play with? Perhaps you could scale it up from this and then have the curlicues in more textured acrylic paint, nice and chunky and meaty and then do something meaty with the background so the ladies look even more wraith like? How do you feel about applying fabric and stuff?

Rima said...

Yes, the canvas is way too small for this particular image. the scale is all wrong. I chose facility over planning ahead - how uncharacteristic of me, haha!

There is too much black, and I have nowhere to go with the rest of it. The bottom part should have been at least 3 times as long in order to add a lot more detail and make it interesting.

A bleach pen will not work, because it won't affect the marker ink. I could try an extender but at this point, I think I should scrap it and start over. Now that I have a "draft", I can elaborate on a different surface and with more consistant tools. Back to the familiar and comfortable for me on this one.

Adding texture with something like fabric - hmmm, I'm really bad at this, adding actual layers to things. This is why I am so much more comfortable with thin mediums like pencils, washes and digital manipulation!

Neda said...

Rima, I LOVE the black. It gives a very strong statement. I also think you captured the figures very well, especially the movement of each, they do seem animated. Love the way you treated the faces too.

It is always hard to mix media, whether you work small or large. Sometimes, just the fact of picking one medium over the other makes a big difference. Let m explain: you need to decide one THE main medium to be your guiding choice. In this case, the black marker is it. And that's fine. Choosing acrylics (and I will come back in a second on this) is also great because acrylics lend themselves to a variety of manipulations, provided you use the right kind of acrylics and tools. Having said that, I think that you were a little bit intimidated by acrylics and you opted to use oil pastels as your secondary medium. Now, that's a tougher choice: there is the exquisitely strong black (texture, form, layout) which dominates and then at the end of the choice spectrum, there is the oil pastels which lend a faint, almost washed out look. My advice: try to go back to acrylics for the background. Use a shocking pink or yellow to translate the very playful imagery you have. The personifications are strong characters and you need to emphasize that.

Now, in terms of design, I know you had fun playing with the lower part but it either needs to be taken all the way or reduced as an afterthought. I'd go for the former. You can "fill in" the curves with acrylics or even with cut out pieces of paper. If you choose the latter, you might get a sort of a mosaic-art deco look to it.
Same comments as for the hair..

It is a great idea and DON'T TOSS IT!!! Give it time and if you feel like you're not inspired, shelve it for a day nd them re-visit it.

Also, you may just ignore all the above, and just jump into whatever suits your fancy. Have fun and don't stress out!

Julie said...

Suggestions? PLease- it's great as it is! I would love to have been able to see the original image.. How about some text? Or maybe Neda can share som eof the collage steps with you...just start adding some stuff- go wild!

Bobbie said...

Neda, you are right, you are so obviously right. Why is it you can see so clearly and I cannot? I can see exactly what you describe. Not fix it, but enhance it!

Frances said...

Yes Neda - my heroine

Sweet Irene said...

I see what you are trying to do and I understand what Bobbie and Frances suggest, but I have no suggestions myself, being such a complete nincompoop when it comes to art. I just know how to appreciate it, not how to make it. I see there is too much black and not enough texture, but how to solve that problem? I like the way you did the hair and I like their pretty little faces. I like the idea of adding fabric and maybe sand.Maybe you need to use this technique first on some abstract paintings with lots of colors in them?

dianeclancy said...

Hi Rima,

My comments would be along the line of Neda .. I like the black - I think it is effective.

What draws my eye is the black and also the faces and hair - the rest disappears for me.

I think the curves of the hair and bottom need to be echoed more. I would take some of the hair thing ... is that the oil pastel? And work it into the curves at the bottom.

I think I might add some subtle black curves into the hair to integrate it more. and activate the soft background with more curves - including subtle (SUBTLE) black lines ...

I like it - I just think it needs to be pulled together. the subtle lines can echo the lines of her shoulder - that kind of subtle.

Then I think it is pulled together into one painting instead of a couple.

~ Diane Clancy

Debi said...

How stinkin' fun! Except I guess you aren't having fun any more now that you are stumped.

I love the composition of this piece. I love the way the black joins them in an integral way, yet their hair and body attitudes suggest individuals, sisters, muses, archetypes perhaps.

Too bad you've run out of room on the canvas. I'd say the bottom part is begging for something. They seem to be protecting it, whatever it is. I don't know what, though! (A baby's cradle? Books?)

Rima, I'm so glad to see this! I always love seeing your artwork. I know you are busy, so it would be too mean to say I would love more. But darn it, I would love more!

Joy Logan said...

BOOBIES these ladies need boobies silllllllyyyy!

Rima said...

Oh, no, no, no, Joy - didn't you read the title? They GOSSIP about other people's boobies!!!

Andi said...

Hi Rima, Child and I don't know a lot about art, but we do know what we love. And we love this piece just the way it is!