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Part 5 Techniques and presentation ideas for immediate exhibition

Part 5 Techniques and presentation ideas for immediate exhibition

Techniques and presentation ideas for immediate exhibition - Part 5


Basically, you can paint or draw on any surface but if you choose acid-free materials then you can sell your work with confidence and if you keep it, know you can pass it on to loved ones.

I want you to try to realise that the most important thing to do is to keep working and keep producing. At first, try to do a piece of work in one sitting. Do it in a private space so that you are not distracted or interrupted, or worse still, somebody looks around the door and makes a negative or unhelpful comment!
You MUST believe in yourself and there is no such thing as a bad work as it is all a valid part of your journey. Other people are good at making comments, but no good at having a go themselves.

Many people find it hard to make a start because they find drawing difficult, they also find it daunting to connect drawing with painting. Lines disappear beneath the paint and if the painting goes badly you may feel that you have lost a drawing and a painting. I want you to think about a finished framed piece of art right from the start!

It is a good idea to find an interesting frame or perhaps a simple classical drawing frame in natural wood. The 'reverse Gothic' moulding always looks good.
Make sure that the frame is big enough to take your work and a large mount around it. Small mounts look pinched, a generous mount will enhance your work.
Even a work that is A4 in size can have a mount that is 4inches top and sides, 4.5 inches at the bottom. Always make the mount larger at the bottom as otherwise it is optically compressed and will look smaller. Cut your mount to fit the frame, and now you are ready to make an incredible work of art to go in it.

For mount cutting you need a piece of hardboard or card to cut on, if you can buy a heavy straight edge (3-4 feet long) it is safer when cutting. Stick some medium glass paper on the under side of the straight edge to prevent it slipping.
You can draw the overall size of the mount by making measurements on the edge of the card. You can make the measurements for the cut-out center in the same way.
If you have a large 45 degree set square then that will help you to get all the sides
square and at right angles.

To mark out the inside mount, use a 2b or 3b pencil, this way you will be able to remove the line with a kneadable putty rubber. Cut out your mount using the straight edge and a 'Swan Morton' scalpel with a new, sharp blade, keep your fingers above the cutting point. When you become skillful you will be able to run the blade down the line at a 45 degree angle, stop just short of the corners and finish these by hand, keeping the blade at the same angle and sawing to the corner to get a clean finish. If you want to be posh, run a bone burnisher down the mounts edge to compress the fibers (keeping the mount flat on the surface).

If you have been reading these art tutorials, you will by now have collected lots of different kinds of paper. An easy way to draw out the inside size of the mount onto the paper is to place the mount on the paper, then draw around it on the inside.

If you stretch your paper, you can apply all sorts of media with plenty of water, and the paper will always return to being as taut as a drum!

How to stretch paper

1. Submerge your paper under water in a clean sink, bath, or photographic tray and leave to completely soak through. Then remove the paper and lay it on to a clean lint-free towel placed on a table or board. Lay another towel on the top and gently smooth down with your hands. This will remove excess water. Put the paper on to a drawing board (not a bendable board) and put a strip of wetted gum strip around all four edges. If you hold a damp sponge in your hand, you can run the gum-strip through your fingers to evenly wet the gummed side.  Leave the paper to dry, placing the board horizontally on a table (never try to speed up drying against a radiator).
Zacron-tip, run your finger nail down the edge of the paper through the gum strip to make a seal!

Later, I will tell you how to lay a water colour wash in order to change the colour of your white paper and to control the tint for some magical effects.
Firstly, some more about making a start!

Never be precious about your paper or paints as they are there to be used.
An artist who has run out of materials is my kind of artist (although I have more materials and equipment than a large art shop!)

Remember you started by making lots of marks and to learn to enjoy them for there own sake?  Now I want you to completely relax and paint shapes that you like using the colours that you like all over the area until the whole area is full.  You can paint over the border lines (mark where these are at the edge of the paper so you can draw them back when you have finished).

Here are some tips that might help -

Keep your colours clean and uncontaminated with other colours.
Allow the first colours to dry before applying the next.
Create new colours and tints by overlaying one colour on another.
Use simple direct paint strokes, then remove the brush to keep a clean look.
Never over-brush or the result will look muddy and tired.
Constantly change your water and have about ten jars of fresh water lined up!
Have plenty of clean cotton cloth or tissue on hand to wipe your brushes.
Some of your shapes can be interrupted by the edge to imply the idea that the composition continues.

Here are some suggested themes and ways to work.

Draw each shape with a brush using the same colour that you will use to paint the shape.
Draw each shape with a colour that contrasts with the shape (your interpretation).
Fill each large shape with either similar shapes, contrasting shapes or flat colour.
Fill each shape with small or minute marks to give a 'pointillist' effect.
If you glaze over with another colour you have to be quick and direct to avoid picking up the colour underneath. (this is a skillful process that requires practice).

1. Make an abstract work. (shapes colours and textures for their own sake).

2. Make a work loosely based on a theme (do not worry about realism, perspective,
or making your work imitate 'the real world'.

The Circus. Pantomime. Dream. Zoo. Wedding. Bathroom.
Battle. Costume Ball, Pet Cemetery, Masks, add your own themes to the list -

Your last task to complete this stage is to work on your art continually until it is completed, don't mess about with it, maintain a mental flow and sense of continuity. This requires mental discipline even when you are being playfull. You can learn to work in a sublimated or semi-conscious state (more about this in another tutorial.

A professional tip for fixing your work behind the mount.

The professional way to fix a work in the mount is to stick paper tabs at the back of the work, protruding at the top (only) you then stick more tabs to these that are then glued to the base card beneath the mount.  Your work then hangs downward behind the cut out mount and is able to expand and contract without causing waves in the surface.

You can buy acid free mounting tape  from a framing suppliers.

Whatever it looks like, go all the way ------------now you have really started!

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