Hello all my blog followers! So this week I have taken my learning project for ECMP355 to the next level! I felt like after my last post, it was time to challenge myself and see what I could do with the skills I have gained related to shading with stain.
Because I was going to be pushing myself artistically, and would be doing something that I haven’t quite done before, I needed a cheap piece of wood to practice on. So naturally, I headed to the store that every poor university student goes to when they need supplies – Dollarama. Initially, I set out to just grab a wood cutting board and see where it took me from there.
However, as I was walking down the art supply isle, I found something that was even better. I do believe it is called an Artist’s Panel. It is like a small painting canvas, except, it is made out of wood. Perfect for practicing my project!
My inspiration for this piece was the big rose table that @Bethany had done. My first challenge, however, was to get the outline of the rose onto the wood and still have it look like a rose. I soon discovered that free handing it was not going to work because there is a lot more involved with this flower than the simple flat ones I sketched in my last designs. So out came the thinking cap.
After a bit of searching, I found an outline of a rose online and traced it onto a piece of paper off of my computer screen. Now, I was a little bit closer to where I needed to be, with the flower no longer on the computer. Nevertheless, it was still not on the wood panel. And then I got thinking even more…transfer paper. What could I use to draw on my paper that would transfer (in a non-permanent way) to the wood, when I lay the page face down on it? Then I found this video:
After raiding my girlfriend’s art supply bucket for some chalk, I tried this little trick out and it worked quite nicely. I actually think I will use chalk instead of pencil from now on to draw my designs – regardless of whether or not I need to trace the image – onto my work. I find that it rubs off a lot easier during the staining process, but stays on enough that it doesn’t rub off completely if you accidentally brush against it.
Next, it was time to start staining. Because the visual effects that needed to be created using the stain (like the contours of the petals) were a little more sophisticated, I needed to change how I initially applied the stain. I tried using a paint brush, but I really didn’t want to risk losing control of the stain as it comes off the brush. Just using my finger wrapped in a cloth was also off the table as my finger was too wide. To my luck, I found some Q-tips and that worked just fine.
As I began to stain, I found the more I did, the more challenging it got. The outside leaves I could do as I had always practiced. However, as I got more toward the center, the complexity of the shadows and the contours increased quite significantly. Keeping it slow with a steady hand, and using the original picture as somewhat of a reference, I eventually got it figured out. I don’t think it turned out too bad, but I do feel like I could use a little more practice to get the total swing of it!