Sunday, January 6, 2008


Thanks to everyone who shared their comments on painting number one. Last night I pulled the next set of parameters for painting #2. YELLOW ORANGE for the "Mother Color"....I love chrome yellow so that will be fun to work with. VALUE as the dominant design element...value is one of my favorites. I usually put in the entire gamut from value 1 to value 9. So far so good. Then I opened the composition....RADIAL!!!!!!!!!! OH, NO!!! I thought I was really in trouble with this one.

I got out Marianne Brown's book and read up on Radial Design. She had some really interesting ideas. A radial composition has a central point where the other elements come off of or go to this area (shape, point, etc.) The central shape or point doesn't have to be in the center of the page. In fact, it doesn't have to be on the page at all. She had one design where the lines radiated to a vanishing point outside the frame of the painting. Also, an inkblot (fold the paper in half, drop ink in the middle and press the page together so that one side is a mirror image of the other side.) So, a design with a central axis that has a mirror image on either side counts as a radial design. But, a radial design doesn't have to be symmetrical.

After reading the descriptions and seeing her examples, I realized I could use a Kaleidoscope design. I absolutely love Kaleidoscopes. I bought one which fractures what ever you are looking at rather than having colored chips in the contraption to create patterns. I even bought some software awhile ago that would create a kaleidoscope out of a photograph. Naturally, I couldn't find the disc anywhere. Then I decided to go on the internet and search for a kaleidoscope quilt pattern because I couldn't remember exactly how the image was repeated. I found what I was looking for and even was able to print out a basic pattern. Seems like everytime I solve a problem, I create a new problem. Now I had to figure out how to enlarge the pattern to fit the size I was going to paint. I decided on a 25" square. My math skills are around 3rd grade level, and I had some kind of algebra formula to work out so I called in the brain power in my family. Might as well get some return on the education we paid for. My son, Kevin, who is my graphic designer, worked out the formula and provided me with the magic numbers I needed. In the meantime, I figured out if I folded a 25" square in quarters and then on both diagonals, I could come pretty close to the answer myself. Now I had my pattern which I made out of tracing paper. I made two wedges, one for forwards and one for a reverse image. I drew my face on the wedge shape template, then traced it in reverse for the other template. I put turquoise watercolor crayon over the lines on the back side of the paper and then transfered the lines to the paper using a mechanical pencil because it gives a nice sharp thin line. The watercolor crayon will mostly dissolve during the painting process.

I find it difficult to photograph line drawings, so I hope you can make out what I have done so far. I have created a detail as well. I taped off a 1/2 inch border all around and taped off the corner triangles. I hope this tape makes a good seal. I usually don't have great luck with this, but this is a new tape. We'll see. I will decide what to do with the corners after I see how busy the main part of the painting looks when done. I am anxious to start painting tomorrow!


Michelle Himes said...

I love the way you solved the radial design. Really looking forward to seeing this one evolve.

RHCarpenter said...

Wow, Myrna! This is going to be very interesting to watch - I already like how you solved the radial design dilemma (much more creative than mine).

Nancy Standlee said...

Myrna, you cracked me up with "My math skills are around 3rd grade level, and I had some kind of algebra formula to work out so I called in the brain power in my family. Might as well get some return on the education we paid for." This is an apt description of me..took about a 3hr math course in college in order to figure a yard of fabric??? Home Economics degree.. Can't wait to see your results.

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