Sandrine Pelissier was a winner in The Artist’s Magazine‘s 2013 All Media Art Competition (mixed media and collage art category). She created her winning painting, Recycling Life (below), in response to thoughts about circularity—“the way everything gets recycled in nature.” The foreground of the painting is a collage landscape of newspaper obituary clippings, signifying that “we all ultimately come back to the ground.” The paper in newspapers, the artist reminds us, “is fabricated from wood pulp, which extends the metaphor of the cycle of life and death.” Read about Pelissier’s mixed media art process in the painting demo below.
Pelissier started the piece by collaging the newspaper fragments to a canvas surface, using Golden open gloss acrylic medium as a glue. Over the collage she added a layer of white acrylic diluted with water. Then she applied India ink, which mixed with the still wet acrylic to produce an array of gray tones. “After that, I spattered red ink in the land area,” she says, “and a glaze of gel medium with a bit of red ink over the foreground and distant mountains.”
Next, using brushes of various sizes, she painstakingly painted the tiny branches with India ink, a process that took about a month because she was “working on a large surface and had to avoid leaning onto the canvas.” To keep the values in the trees varied, she let some diluted white acrylic drip along the trunk and branches.
Why mixed watermedia and collage? “My painting process usually involves a number of layers, and I like to build color and texture slowly. Watermedia are well suited for this process because they dry fast and generally manifest a degree of transparency. Of course, collage itself is a form of textured layering and, in the case of Recycling Life, the collaged newspaper is suggestive of the theme.”
Mixed-Media Art Demonstration: Painting “Recycling Life” Step by Step
My painting process usually involves a number of layers, and I like to build color and texture slowly. Painting with acrylics, inks and other watermedia is well suited for this process because those media dry fast and generally manifest a degree of transparency. Of course, collage itself is a form of textured layering and, in the case of Recycling Life, the collaged newspaper is suggestive of the painting’s theme.
1. After indicating on my canvas the major landscape elements (mountains, water, tree trunks, land), I started my collage landscape by gluing newspaper fragments to a canvas surface with Golden open gloss acrylic medium.
2. Over the collage, I added a layer of white acrylic diluted with water.
3. On the left you see my design sketch lying on the canvas surface. To avoid unwanted dripping of my thin watermedia, I laid the canvas horizontally for painting. In this image, you can see that I had added India ink to the lower portion of the piece. The ink mixed with the diluted white acrylic to give me an array of gray tones.
4. Next I spattered red ink in the land areas.
5. For a pinkish-red tint over the foreground and distant mountains, I created a glaze by mixing gel medium with a bit of red ink.
6. After drawing in the branches (barely visible on the right), I painted them with India ink. This painstaking process took me a little over a month, and I had to be careful not to lean on my large, horizontal canvas. Twice, so as not to lose patience, I took a break for a few days to paint watercolor portraits.
7. To vary the values in the trees, I dripped diluted white acrylic along the trunk and branches.
8. Here you see the finished piece of mixed-media art, Recycling Life.
Sandrine Pelissier, along with other winners of The Artist’s Magazine‘s 2013 All Media Art Competition, are featured in the magazine’s July/August 2013 issue. Click here to order a print or digital subscription to The Artist’s Magazine.
Below: Preview Sandrine Pelissier’s art video workshop, “Painting Patterned Trees.” In this preview, she explains how to varnish a painting.