Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Theme: Medieval Sauce

Wie geht's, Pocketeers?  That means what's up in German :)  Not surprisingly, my work recently has revolved around a particular theme of medieval awesomeness.  We'll be like Tenacious D and call it "sauce."  Medieval sauce.  And it's flavoring everything I work on.  Because being in Germany and seeing all the medieval sights at medieval sites (see what I did there?) brought back my taste for the medieval pretty strongly.  As soon as we got back, with my head bursting with ideas, I ordered a whole bunch of Michelle Ward's Gothic Collection stencils.  If you ever do anything with stencils or stamps ever, and you haven't seen them yet, click right there on the words "Gothic Collection" and take a look.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

So they're gorgeous, right?  And super medieval, which is kind of the idea.  And perfect for many of my German-castle-and-monastery-inspired ideas.  And very fun to play with.  So here are a few things that I've been working on, with a hearty helping of the medieval sauce.

This panel was the result of me playing with the stencils applied one after the other in layers with heavy body gesso.  

I had so much fun with the layered panel that I decided to do little ones, with a coordinating shadow box.

And this is how they look now.  Still not finished, the moss isn't secured, there will be more in the shadow box, but I liked the layers of color.

Closeup of the treatment on the textured ones.

I went to experiment with some offprints that I did with the gesso-y stencils from those two projects onto cardstock, and had some misfires.  But those misfires led me to end up doing this:

Regular gesso and homemade ink spray using a Distress Ink reinker, on watercolor paper.
I loved playing with the sprays and letting them run all over the paper and between the gessoed areas and over the gesso and then wiping it off the gesso and seeing the reverse-windows I ended up with.  So these experiments are now destined to become individual paintings for our bedroom.  But first, they need some detail.  Remember this pic from last week?

I love the vines painted around the arch.  So I copied that style and cross-referenced it with some motifs in an old medieval manuscripts textbook of mine, and tested it out a bit, and then bit the bullet and went for it:

Detail painting is hard!  I have trouble making accurate brushstrokes, even with a tiny brush.
So far I've only done one side of one window.  But all three windows will be surrounded by the time I'm finished.  I want to add some shade and highlight to the vines as well.  But at this stage I'm pleased with how they're coming out.  I'm hoping that when they're finished and trimmed up, I'll have something that will remind me of our time in Germany but with my own personal seasoning.  Some modern seasoning in the medieval sauce.