Star-gazing hare

This workshop — True North Star — used to be offered as a standalone class by Laly Mille, though it’s now only included in one of her longer classes. It was also one of the bonuses with Wanderlust 2021 and that’s how I came to make this.

And one of these days I will managed to paint over collage papers and leave some of them showing. I was a little heavy handed with the initial paint layers, but I love the end result even if it doesn’t look like the inspiration.

There are so many things I really like about this piece. The tissue paper texture creates a lot of interest in the sky and clouds. The lone tree has a definite presence on the page: rather than simply paint it, I trimmed a dried pressed leaf into shape, painted that and glued it in place. And the glitter highlight on the edges carries the starlight all the way down to the bottom.

And the hare silhouettes. I hadn’t planned to have them there, but when everything else was finished, it felt unbalanced. I would either have to add something lower down or cut it down into a square. I drew the silhouettes freehand (!) from a reference image with an acrylic marker, which was a bit daunting especially given the textured surface of the collage and paint — but it worked! I carried the hare theme back up into the sky by adding larger dots over the white star splatter in the form of the lepus constellation; they’re not that obvious, but the intention is there.

This was my first time trying the Seawhite Artboard — I usually just paint on mixed media or watercolour paper. I have to say I was really quite pleased with it. I threw a lot of glue and paint at it and there wasn’t much warping at all, and what there was was fixed by adding a single coat of gesso to the back of the board and then (once the gesso was touch dry) leaving it under a board overnight.

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