Shapes capture more attention when they have some diagonal movement to them. This painting is about placing recognizable, diagonally oriented shapes together to create a patterned painting. It leans slightly toward a grid look or checkerboard composition.

Watercolors - five different colors - were washed over the paper initially, with many blossoms and textural effects encouraged to occcur in the wash. Then opaque gouache watercolor was added to enhance, define, and bring out the emphasis of the shapes. Stencils were also used for the lettering, roosters and chickens by using a sponge to lift out each shape from the paint through a piece of precut acetate stencil.

After lifting out the shapes, some areas in the stenciled shape were touched up again with paint. The rooster feathers were left as is, showing the underlying textures, with only the face and leg areas painted with detail.

Repetition was important but couldn't be over done. Temperature dominance was understated but still evident. The use of straight edges in the background against the fluid edges of the birds and egg helped add contrast, too. The painting needed some surprises and stronger contrasts of value to keep it interesting.

The egg has a lot more value changes within a small space than this blog shows. It did turn out really good with just a hint of warmth on the lower side of it. Click on the pix to see the textures along with the chicken wire --- which could have been done with a stencil, but was painted in.

The elements of design that were meant to be emphasized included shape, color, and texture. My natural inclination when painting is to put a very strong emphasis on value, but not this time. The whole process was like going on a mystery trip, since there was no initial plan to go by. Although most of my work is usually preplanned, I really get charged up by the challenges of finding my way in a painting like this.

"THE EGG CAME 1ST!" Transparent Watercolor & Gouache on 140#CP Arches 20 x 14"


Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Wonderful wonderful wonderful! Love the explanation and mystery tour details. You'd never know the chickens were all from the same stencilled shape as the background allowed to show through created diversity. Love the lettering and its placement and the single egg. You understand so much about composition and keeping the viewer enthralled. I can see egg boxes and hatchery windows in the beautiful background colours.

Nancy Standlee said...

This is like a whole painting course in one post. I'm going to try some roosters and chickens soon as I have some great photos that I want to use. Love the combination with the letters.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Hi Joan, Using stencils with gouache is really easy and effective. You can see all that??? You grew up in the oountry for sure:-) Lucky woman.

Nancy, I so enjoy your work on your blog and website - just added your name to sites I enjoy. Thanks for stopping.