Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tippette #14 - Painting on Rice Paper

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).  One per day...during April...right here!

Everyone needs a break from their daily painting routine.  I know that I do.  To loosen up, I sometimes paint on rice paper which can result in a painting of its own, or I use pieces of the painted rice paper in the rare collage I might create.

Painting on Rice Paper

I use a variety of rice papers and honestly couldn't tell you the names of them right now.  I may have bought them when visiting an art shop around the country, or I may have ordered them online after reading about something new to me.  Regardless, over time I've ended up with a variety to pull from.  Here's an image that's a closeup of a collage called "The Pull of Two Moons".  This represents the top half of the painting.
Detail of "The Pull of Two Moons" (watercolor & collage) by Helen K Beacham

Close Up to show texture.
To paint something like this, you have many choices.  I might wet part of the rice paper, knowing that the paint will react differently where it's dry paper and give me some interesting variety.  Depending on the size of the paper (in this case the original size I painted onto was about 20x30...but for this painting featured today, I tore off part of the painted rice paper so it measured about 8x10...I saved the rest for a future collage).  p.s.  you can tell I tore the rice paper and didn't cut it because you can see the deckled edge around 3 sides shown in the first image.  

I prepared my puddles of color on my palette, wet part of my paper and not other parts, picked up a 2" brush and started applying color very randomly, but also with some kind of pattern that pleased me that day.  While wet, I dropped in several pennies, string, gravel, and so on.  Then I placed plastic wrap over the whole thing and weighted it down with a cardboard topped off with a bunch of books.  I left it laying flat for 2 days (a lot depends on the humidity in the air, of course), and then did the unveiling with great anticipation!  (p.s.  test a corner before you remove the plastic wrap from the whole piece.)  As you can tell, wherever my various objects were placed, there accumulated some dark passages of paint.  

I chose the section of the 20x30 that I felt would work best for my collage idea, tore it out and gelled it to a birchwood panel with acrylic medium.  I then gelled other bits and pieces into the painting until I was satisfied with the result.

I hope this gets you thinking about how you too can loosen up with rice paper paintings.  Have fun!

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