Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Standing Stones

Sketching design with suggested colors

Last year I wrote about the process of painting icons using the traditional methods: gessoing boards, applying gold leaf, mixing the dry pigments into egg yolk medium, oiling.  And on occasion I've posted pictures of how I've taken those methods and applied them to painting on stones.  While I enjoy painting on paper, canvas, wood, and glass, I am also repeatedly drawn back to my dear rocks, finding new ways to use them in my art.
Here's a brief description of the process I use for my standing stones:
I select stones based on their texture and shape.  People find it surprising that it takes me as long as it does to find the right stones.  But envisioning what I want to do with it helps me decide whether it's worth carrying off the beach or not. 

Gluing cotton or linen with gelatin

I have a friend who drills a hole in the bottom of the stone and inserts a threaded receptacle so I can bolt the base on.

Sanding gesso

Initial preparation includes gluing fabric to the stone and applying about 8 layers of gesso.  After letting it dry for a few days, I sand the stones, till I get them as smooth as possible.

Usually I trace the outline of the stone on paper and play with the layout of my design.  Then I sketch this drawing onto the stone itself.  Next comes the alternating layers of floats and highlights till I've got the look I want.
Instead of oiling the finished stone as I would a board, I use an acrylic varnish.  Working on the curved surfaces requires some changes in technique, and the varnish is much easier to apply in this instance.

The last step is to attach the base.

Finshed Virgin of Guadalupe Standing Stone

No comments:

Post a Comment