Creating Art without an Undo Button

I see that I’ve gotten spoiled by computers. Now I am working on a ‘real’ painting, and I find myself frantically wondering, ‘Where’s the undo button?’

In my Mixed Media Painting class, my first image transfer didn’t exactly go as planned. And if we learn from our our mistakes, I have learned a lot.

  • I tried to ‘stain’ my wood panel using rags and transparent colours in order to let the wood grain show through. But the rags I brought deposited burgundy ‘pills’ all over my panel when I tried to rub the colours on (oops).
  • Images needed to be ‘high contrast’, and most of the ones I brought had tons of gray in them which doesn’t transfer well (oops). The top half of this photo of graffiti on weathered wood was one of the only truly high-contrast photos I had brought to the first class; the image on the bottom half was too dark. (More about images suitable for transfers).

    the inspiration, two different graffiti pieces

    the inspiration, two different graffiti pieces, one positive, one negative

  • Have a paper towel handy to wipe off excess gel gunk instead of getting it all over the back of the image you are trying to transfer. I, of course, managed to get gel medium everywhere (oops), then let it dry completely before I tried to roll the first layer of paper off (oops). As a result the transfer is completely broken up with lots of whitish paper left on the board that is impossible to remove. Jeanne suggested a glaze of the ochre  to blend the patchy white into the background.

    wood grain image transfer showing off all my mistakes

    wood grain image transfer showing off all my mistakes

  • Work small; the bigger panels, along with a mass of supplies, are hell to try and cart back and forth to class!

    wood grain image

    wood grain image after staining and transfer

At this point I really hate this piece! Where’s the undo button?





Our super instructor’s site: On her site she has her work and offers lots of different workshops and courses.

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