Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fun In The Sand

Last Saturday the WACG's general meeting was held on the beach so we all could learn to use the ocean and sand to help create our paintings. Nancy Van Buren showed us her technique.

The gist of the process is to take your watercolor paper, quarter and half sheets work best, and wet it in the waves. Then scoop some sand onto the paper and swirl it around. Then gently drain off the water and most of the sand. You should be left with a unique pattern of sand on the paper. Gently carry the paper to a dry area of the sand and lay it flat.

Then gently pour or spray weak fluid acrylic paints onto the paper and sand. You may try to save the pattern of the sand or tilt the paper to move it around some. A limited palette of 2 or 3 colors works best. Let the colors mix and mingle on the paper. When the paper is covered with color, let it dry. The sand can act as a resist, but it will let some paint through, unlike batik. You will not know the exact results until much later.

Once it is very dry, you can brush off the sand, then using a hose rinse off all of the sand. Let dry again.

Now you have a beginning of a painting. You can find images and negatively paint around them to enhance the image. You can use it as a background and add your image onto it. Since these were created with acrylics, they aren't going anywhere, you can paint over them as much as you'd like.

Don't like it, look at the back, chances are there is another image there. Still don't like it - tear it and use it for a collage. The possibilities are endless.

Here are photos of a couple that I created. I like rich colors, so I made mine more intense than most. But I am very happy with the results.

Try using the serendipity of the sand and ocean and add a new dimension to your art.

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