For this piece, I also began with a gesso resist under a wash of acrylic, using a rubber stamp of a pear.Â You can still barely see the imprint of the pear just under the crow’s shoulder.Â After pasting on scraps of greenish textured paper and repeating washes of red-iron-oxide colored paint, I decided it was time to stop dicking around with the background and make some kind of a focal point.
I wanted to repeat the pear motif, while adding a little elegance to the piece, so I used golden joss paper.Â Joss paper is the fake money that Chinese people burn for the dead at New Year’s.Â It’s thin, cheap, and bleeds like crazy, so it’s good for certain kinds of collage. I folded it in half and trimmed it into the pear shape, then pasted it onto the paper with acrylic medium. The acrylic kind of made it shiny around it in a halo, but it was supposed to be matte, so I don’t know why.
My pieces have been hankering for a little more realism.Â Acrylic would have worked better, but the clean up is such a nuisance that I decided to resort to colored pencils despite the way they exaggerate the texture.Â Â Â With a little shading, the pear looked much more like a piece of fruit and a lot less like a pear-shaped piece of joss paper.
Now for the bird.Â I’d cut some raven linoblocks, but again, getting out the acrylic seemed like a huge nuisance, so instead I just drew a crow’s head using the black colored pencil.