Saturday, March 20, 2010

A conversation with Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson: Part 8

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How does it take you to get the average creation?

My process is multistep. After finding imagery that I am inspired by, I take photos and manipulate them in Photoshop on my computer until I achieve a composition I am happy with. I might take one cow out of a group or combine her/him with another cow from a different photo, add a barn and drastically raise (or lower) the horizon line behind them. Once I get this worked out on my computer, I print a color image and this is my reference. I then sketch onto primed wood panel. After sketching I do a quick acrylic underpainting in order to work out my values and my colors. When the underpainting is dry, I then start collaging my hand-painted and hand-made papers over the top of the acrylic painting. Keep in mind that the hand-painting of the papers also takes time and I create all my own papers in advance of the collaging process. When the collage is complete, I coat it with two layers of acrylic UV protective varnish and then I do my own framing.

The time it takes in the collage process depends on how it's going, some days things are really working for me and it's coming together quickly, other days nothing is working and I end up going over the same area a few times before I am happy with it. Some subject matter is more complex than others. Some subjects I am good at and have worked out the challenges with practice, so I can really do roosters very efficiently, but dogs are more of a challenge since I have only ever done two. Peacocks take a long time because of all the eyes and detail in the tail feathers.

I guess I'd have to say, it varies!

Photo credit: "Song of Sunrise"

Click here to learn more about this rooster art mixed media painting

1 comment:

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson said...

I love all the colors in the feathers of this rooster and I'm sure you can tell that I did a lot of embellishing with that. Every single piece of paper torn and glued on this rooster was pretty time consuming, but fun! This piece is on it's way to a show at the NAVIO Artisans Collective in New Bedford, MA which opens on April 3. I will be there from 6-9pm on that night, if you live near there come out and meet me! I have 10 pieces in the show, all cows and roosters plus two dogs.

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