Gestural brushstrokes in ink and fluid acrylic

As shown in a previous post, I start the layers in these pages with big gestural brush marks. Creating shapes and movements which build layer by layer. When working on cradled board in my studio, in recent years my paintings build in such a way that there are lines of movement in the underlying layers and some of that shows up in the finished works but not always in an obvious way. 

With these trees in the accordion books, however, I have found myself increasingly working finely painted lines to suggest the many layers of branches. I am not even sure it is in an effort to create details or a sense of reality in the final images but it has become more of a process led meditative development in these painted pages.

Finely painted branches in a sketchbook

Finely painted details of branches

Fine lines need fine brushes. I have never before owned such tiny, delicate paintbrushes. My favourites are from Rosemary and Co – the smallest rigger and detail brushes they do. 

I just lose hours to building up many layers of these intricate details. It is all fairly chaotic on close inspection. I am not particularly neat but I don’t feel the need to be. I can’t imagine doing this on a larger scale. I am not sure if I will go to this level of detail on my paintings on board – but for that time when we were all in lockdown when I spent hours sat at the table, it suited the process. 

The two photos above are a bit of before and after. The same pages at different stages. The first few layers and the final image. 

Do you find yourself working differently on a smaller scale?

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