How I Painted Save the Coffee Bean

Save the Coffee BeanWhen I decided to paint this piece, really wanted to use collage. I had been ignoring the process because I am stuck on painting. I love the brushes, the pigments, mixing colors… all of it. However, lately I have seen the merits of collage. I love the subliminal nature of the process, how the papers you choose inform the final piece.
20151013_191711_N River Ave
 In Save the Coffee Bean, I used local newspaper pages to create the background of the painting.

Then I sketched the design on top, first in pencil then in permanent marker because I couldn’t see the pencil marks through the newspaper ink.

 After getting the sketch down, I applied several layers of diluted absorbent ground to where the cup and liquid coffee would be. I knew that I wanted the most vibrant colors to be in the cup and the coffee, so I made sure to build up enough white so that the colors would pop. From there, I painted as usual, building up my colors slowly, discovering the subtle color shifts in the liquid and forming the contours and reflections in the cup. Of course, I also built up the background elements, the hands and the figures holding the baskets of of the berries almost becoming collage elements themselves.
I would love to hear how you use collage and absorbent ground. Message me in the comment space below. If you would like to receive these posts in your inbox, be sure to check “Add me to mailing list”.

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