Wanderlust: butterfly vine

Series: Wanderlust 2021 #24

For this lesson, the starting point was to think about something we needed or were grateful for and then find a related quote. I was feeling less than perky at the time so I chose the word “comfort” and then went searching for a poem. The poem I found was Inner Comfort of Hugs. I didn’t use all of it, but I liked the imagery of
like the fluttering wings
of the little butterfly
when it is about to land
on a flower that dances in the wind

The background layers were created by reverse stencilling over neutral collage papers — laying down patches of different colours of paint, thick enough that they won’t dry too quickly, and then placing a stencil over the top and using a damp cloth or baby wipe to lift some of the paint off. This works best if the collage papers are sealed either with gesso or acrylic medium first. I did two layers like this, first with pink and orange and then, once that was dry, with blue.

The vines and leaves were sketched with a Stabilo All pencil which is water soluble and gives an interesting effect when you go over it with a wet brush. The background was toned down a little by using a brayer to add a thin, patchy layer of white gesso and then the focal collage papers were added over the top.

The rest is details. Highlights and shading around the edges of the collage papers, more leaves sketched in over the top, faux tea stains, writing in the quote, white splatter, and shading around the edge of the page.

There is a lot I like about this piece. The way the reverse stencilling allows tiny pops of the base collage layers to peep through and how it helps the different patches of colour to sit side by side without any harsh edges. The mix of painted and outlined leaves on the vine and the way that ties the focal collage papers into the page. And that big collage butterfly lurking in the corner.


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