The Artist’s Journey: the layering technique.

Layering: My Hands and Heart.

Last time I mentioned that artists use layering. Today is just one example. This layering technique uses collage (pasting), painting, stencilling, and stamping and it is fun for all levels of compitence, even children could get involved. I find it important to fill my ‘creative well’ by experimenting with different art techniques regularly; it keeps my creativity alive. After five happy hours of sticking, painting, stamping and stencilling My Hands appeared. Soon after that I created the heart and then I experimented further with the tree.

My Hands, mixed media layering technique, M Noffke, 2012
Happy hands, healing hands,
caring hands, reaching out;
lifting hands, holding hands;
Joyful clapping hands;
cold and warm hands;
wringing hands,
ordinary hands,
delicate hands,
strong hands,
young hands,
old hands:
hands belonging to all of us
linking us together
or push us apart.
I am held 
in the Hand
and you are too.
That makes me smile.

Layered Technique Explained.

This technique consists of layers of paint and collaging (pasting) serviettes for texture and using stamps, and stencils. Here is how I did it:

  1. The first layer on the canvas is light luminous (I used yellow),
  2. then choose patterned paper serviettes which pasted over in a random torn pattern. Separate the two back layers of paper the paper serviette so that you are left with the top layer only. This creates the translucent effect.
  3. I used podge to stick my layers down. First paint the podge over the canvas, then place the torn pieces down and paint over it again carefully and gently with more podge. (You can also use translucent/clear glue.) 
  4. When this layer is dry continue layering different chosen patterned serviettes or use stamps and stencils instead. Always wait till the layer is dry before starting the next layer for best results. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
  5. You need to decide how many layers looks best for the individual art project; (three and upwards is my suggestion.)
  6. Last dark layer: when a dark colour is used, remember to reserve it for last layer which will create the final image. Use the colour carefully otherwise you won’t get a very nice effect because the dark colours conceals all other colours and patterns. I used the dark colour last to create the image of the hands or heart or tree. You can see that it conceals the patterning where I didn’t want it to show and thereby creating the desired image. I created the final image by making a simple stencil of my hand or heart or tree out of newspaper and painted over. Warm Heart had some butterflies attached to the top and snowflakes added from wrapping paper. And I added glitter glue to emphasize Experimental Tree and the stars.

I felt it was a fun, playful, serendipitous way of creating depth and textures. I used my incidental learning which I used for following art and image making. Next time I will show you how I incorporated it into collages and a more detailed image. Have you or would you try this technique?

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

21 thoughts on “The Artist’s Journey: the layering technique.

  1. Your ‘Hands’ image is one of my all time favorites Morag…!
    And Im so blessed to have had private lessons with you on this technique! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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