Project Six – Exercise 5: Mixed media

The brief asks for getting out of the comfort zone and to experiment more with new combinations of material. I reflected once more on my previous exercises and my researches, thinking about how to incorporate collage. I came back to the lonely doors from Toba Khedoori and the thoughts about interiors, doors and rooms in the FRIEZE magazine (‘doors and entering new rooms’) – see under ‘Research on domestic interiors’. This brought me back to my hallway and door sketches.  I did several more sketches and decided eventually to go for the upwards and downwards views in the staircase with a door as an important element.

To get me warmed up and loose I took gesso, black acryl paint and white ink, some spatula and sponge to prepare two A2 papers (one white, one brown Kraft paper) the day before.

1) First paper: White paper, making a rough surface with gesso to imitate the surface of a wall.
2) Second paper: Kraft paper, sketching in with white ink rough shapes of a wall and part of the ceiling

Stefan513593  - project 6 - exercise  5 - prep work

Stefan513593 – project 6 – exercise 5 – prep work

Studies #1 ‘Endless walk’ & #2 ‘Spirit and blessing‘:

Magazine cut-outs for the door openings: Building pic, pic from a chinese opera on stage without auditorium – just for ‘Gods only‘ (Hannes Schmid, 2005/2012).

Stefan513593 - project 6  - exercise 5 - study #1 and #2

Stefan513593 – project 6 – exercise 5 – study #1 and #2

#1: On the dry gesso I outlined with a black water soluble felt tip pen the main shapes of the staircase and the door. I added additional marks with brown felt tip pen, glued the cut-out inside the door frame, and applied washes along the outlines. For the left wall and behind the upper stairs I rubbed onto the rough gesso surface with a broad pencil to create an interesting wall texture. Visual depth is created through the upwards view along the stairs and the view through the door .

#2: Main shapes with shellac ink. Additional marks with yellow pastel to create a spiritual atmosphere. The bold black/white pattern of the primed surface conveys a strong visual effect. This picture with the rough black marks and contrast reminds me a bit to John Virtue and his way of working with aryl, shellac, and ink.

Studies #3 ‘Under the digital power‘ & #4 ‘Running outdoors‘:

vMagazine cut-outs: digital media buzzwords from an ad, red carpet pic, pic of sky for open view through the door and of the Swiss Matterhorn as picture on the wall.

Stefan513593 - project 6  - exercise 5 - study #3 and #4

Stefan513593 – project 6 – exercise 5 – study #3 and #4

#3: Main shapes and outlines with white chalk on the black primed surface. Additional marks with black chalk on the white primed wall to the right. The cut-outs on the top give a kind of overwhelming visual effect. The red carpet cut-out is an eye catcher slightly off centre. I was not so sure how to tone the wall left from door. I decided than on a mid-dark tone. Some final marks on the stairs with brown oil pastel.

#4: I started with pencil line drawing and wanted to see how far I can take pencil it. But as already experienced in exercise 4, I gave up and continued with colored pencils. The additional ink washes were too dominant against the rather light black pencil marks. With oil pastel I added the marks for the floor tiles and added black ink washes. I already enjoyed this technique in the previous exercise – so perhaps not really out of my comfort zone ;-).


I enjoyed the loose way of preparing rather randomly the paper surface with non-traditional drawing materials (gesso, acryl paint). Especially in study #2 it gave a complete new visual effect. To use magazine cut outs enabled me to build on an idea, basically to connect content of found images with a familiar environment. It gives also a different kind of depth perception (see study #1 and #4). I think there are certain limits  to it as it could restrict me too much in my free expression. On the other hand it is also a ‘fast’ way of getting a picture together. On the last study the unintended mix of the black in wash with the white primed surface gave surprisingly new interesting patterns.

The next time I could try other ways of preparing the surface, perhaps in alignment with the intended final picture. Also I need to think about how to use pencil more effectively in combinations with other materials.



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