Layering Colourful Chaos

This week’s Life Book lesson was entitled “From Here to There”.  Taught by Roben-Marie Smith, it was all about her particular process of taking a page from being a daunting blank sheet to being a many layered riot of texture and colour.  Smith led we tutees through each mixed media layer, step by step, which I found to be incredibly useful scaffolding since layering does not come easily to me at all.  The idea of colourful chaos was emphasised, the need to be playful and intuitive – which I struggle with as much as I do with layering – but I think I slipped out of the realm of aesthetically pleasing chaos and into a hodge-podge of a mess.  I managed to avoid making sludgy mud out of all the different colours, which is a definite success story, but I think the whole thing really needed pulling together with a focal point to draw the eye and provide coherence instead of the eye darting around from one area to the next.  However, I used many more layers than I usually use and I didn’t create ugly mud so I will still claim this as a small success.

Week 39 - Layering


23 thoughts on “Layering Colourful Chaos

  1. Laura, I enlarged the picture and I can see all the details and all the layers you used! I hope I remember not to use big acrylic brushes and think small and control the chaos!

    • I will be looking forward to seeing your version of this lesson. I only used a brush twice in the whole process: once for the initial watercolour layer – which is now not even visible – and once for applying the paint that I then dribbled. I had not really thought about it but that is quite something to have all that colour and layering and only have used a brush once – well except for a waterbrush which I used to activate the Neocolor II doodles.

  2. I love layering! I think this really works too. Layered backgrounds give the eye a sense of depth and ‘story’ to the finished painting – I can see this with one of your fabulous figures or animals painted on top of it too – anything is possible. And not a drop of mud in sight!! ❤ I can't wait to pick up Life Book lessons again – the time is coming closer 🙂

    • I wonder if that is why I am frustrated with the lack of a focal point: I usually have a figure or creature in the painting or drawing so the eye always has something obvious to settle on. Perhaps I will try this layering technique for creating a background in future. Thank you for your kind and supportive comment.

  3. This is definitely a success Laura. You followed your instincts and play with your heart. You did great. I hoped you made this in a bigger scale like in a canvas to display in your beautiful home.

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