About The Artist
Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook (Award of Excellence Finalist) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. Her paintings and sketches have been featured in Splash 11, 12 & 14, Artistic Touch 4, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Quarterly Magazine, Wheels of Time and numerous other publications.
Brenda has been awarded signature membership in WW, NWWS, SDWS and she has won numerous awards for her paintings. An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She is in demand to demonstrate and teach her painting and sketching techniques to groups nationwide and abroad.
Visit Brenda’s Website Below:
Pomegranate Collage Demonstration
(Please click images below for larger views)
I love the feeling of being in the middle of a painting and things are spread out all around my studio…I am in my element! The business of being creative gets messy…creative chaos! I just finished a stained paper collage. I thought it would be fun to share the collage process in its stages.
I stain lots of Japanese papers with watercolor. This takes time so I usually set aside a day to do this. I stain the paper with primary, secondary colors and neutrals.
I line the floor with paper towels. I lay the painted papers on the floor to dry. At this stage my cats are barred from entry. One day I returned to my studio to find my favorite kitty rolling around on the papers.
I draw the image on a 300lb piece of watercolor paper. I begin by blocking in the image with the stained papers. I use acrylic matte medium to adhere the papers to the watercolor paper. In the beginning the images looks rough but it is only the early stage.
I have covered about half the watercolor paper with pieces of stained papers. I block in the large shapes first and tear the stained papers to get desired shapes. When I come up against small shape I’ll lay the Japanese paper on top of my drawing and use a wet brush to draw an outline. The paper will tear in a more controlled manner along the wet line. The collage paper should overlap the edges of other papers. The entire surface of the watercolor paper needs to be covered with collage.
Before I begin painting I need to unify the surface of the collage. I use a 50/50 mixture of matte medium and water. I painted the mixture over the entire collage and allowed to air dry before I begin painting.
The technique of painting on a surface that is covered with acrylic matte medium is very different than a traditional watercolor. The surface does not have the same absorbency as watercolor paper. The amount of water mixed with the paint and on the brush is decreased. All professional grade watercolors work for this technique.
I use the technique of negative painting to suggest more leaf shapes in the background. If you are unfamiliar with negative painting use the “Search” bar to the right to read past posts on the technique
In the final stage I added additional collage leaves on the lowest pomegranate, cast shadows.
The finished piece, “God’s Fruit”.
Very beautiful technique!Love the finished painting. Is there a particular brand/type of Japanese paper you like to use? I’ve not used Japanese paper before and not sure what type to get to start practicing with.
Thank you for sharing your process! 🙂