This painting was the very first one of the my Malta street scene series, painted over fifteen years ago. Common masking tape was used to create - or actually protect - each new shape before paint was put down.
Plain masking tape was torn or cut into the proper shapes then placed anywhere I didn't want the paint to go. Each new layer of paint was one value darker than the last one, with the colors painted almost randomly without regard for what object was being painted. After each layer of paint dried, more tape was torn or cut to fit the next shapes that I didn't want paint on. This process continued for seven layers of tape and paint.
The advantage of using masking tape this way is that the wet paint sneaks under the edges of the tape and creates a unique, batik-like look. When the tape was removed, some corrections were brushed in to adjust edges or values, and the wall on the right had to be repainted a lot. The fence and details of the lamp were brush painted, too.
Compare this with the recent posts of the same scene to see what a difference technique choices can make on a painting. This is one of my paintings that I wish I still owned, but an architect bought it years ago. It was my first successful 'tape' painting, and although the lines and shapes were somewhat crookedy, I really enjoyed looking at its unpredictable qualities. Or maybe the crookedy part was my favorite part. (That's not a real word...but it describes it pretty good.)
Plans are in the making for painting it again soon with hot wax batik and watercolor. Once that one's done, I'll post the photos of five different paintings done from this photo of Malta, each created with different techniques. Although I've painted this picture at least a dozen times, I sometimes (often) neglected to take photos of my work. So, now I have no record of those other paintings. (Thank goodness for the convenience of digital cameras.)
"LIGHT UNTO MY PATH #1" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 11 x 15" COLLECTED


Cathy Gatland said...

I think the crookedy parts are what show the hand of the artist, and make it interesting and special. Lovely painting - I can't believe you paint the same scene over and over...another tip I can use :)

Vicki Greene said...

It is truly amazing to see the difference that technique can make. It reminds me of several different people painting from the same photo and the different results they get. Beautiful painting!

RH Carpenter said...

I like this painting a lot although the taping technique is too much for me. However, I also really admire how you do a painting over and over, using various techniques to get a totally new painting each time. It will be cool to see them all together when you do the wax batik one.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks Cathy for your comment about the crookedy parts. I guess it does show the hand of the artist since even though it's tape that does the work.

Vicki, The space of years between paintings may also make them appear to be from different artists. We handle the brush differently the longer we paint.

Hi Rhonda,
Lwet's hope the batik one comes out. It's the most work of all, I think...and mess. Love cleaning up messes:-( Headed to the studio to dig out a messy corner. Thanks for stopping by.

Meera Rao said...

I admire you for painting the same scene/photo in different techniques and producing such marvelously different ones in the end. I have learnt so much from your blog :)-- This March 13 was the 20th year anniversary of the world wide web and I am grateful I get to meet so many talented artists because of www !!!

Sandy Maudlin said...

That's incredible that we've had the web this long. I cannot imagine how we did anything without it...like shopping. So easy now.