A CARPET PAGE’S PROGRESS/PROCESS XIII
At last, the best bit, for me – the addition of colour. This is where the real ‘painting’ starts. Using my Rocks brush for the infill of the myriad colours; these are not randomly scattered but instead mirror each other symmetrically throughout the piece. I do not really do ‘colour tests’, I just go with the flow and the colours come automatically. In the central box there is a malachite ‘band’ running vertically to highlight the vertical axis; in this way colour can be used strategically to emphasize certain aspects.
I use a mixture of handmade paints from pigments, both natural and synthetic, and shop-bought ready-made colours – I don’t like to restrict myself to one format, instead using the best of both worlds (all are artist’s quality of course). The mussel shells containing the paints lend themselves to the name ‘shell’ colours, eg ‘shell’ gold, simply because they were kept in these convenient shells.
I’ve also done the ruling at this stage of the process since ruling is one of the hardest elements for me and I like to get it out of the way early – again not the traditional way of doing it but perhaps the pragmatic way. My ruling pen is an antique ivory instrument my husband gifted me from Portobello market years ago (back when it was good and there were warren-like cubbyholes of antique sellers). These older models often have a sharper point than the newer ones, though ruling itself is an art (one to which, in the past, there would have been specialists dedicated).
It’s starting to take shape and really look like a carpet now.
Note – there are several cast shadows in my photos because I do the majority of my work at night! ~