Studio Doings

Joe Higgins Monotypes "Superheroine With Burning Boat" Stage 1
Joe Higgins Monotypes “Superheroine With Burning Boat” Stage 1

I’ve been layering Mylar stencils for transparencies, spatial density and complex colors. I hope for rich interactions of negative and positive space, with new visual textures. But a real danger can be overworked, cramped images. Planning becomes an issue.

Good, rich color often involves planning, with transparency and color designs interacting in fresh ways when planning works but becoming muddy or overbearing when it doesn’t. Spontaneity for me, is in the soul of a monotype. Hit it just right, and you get a richness combined with graphic power that people understand as its own unique medium. Overwork it in trying to correct for texture, registration or tonality, and you only make them wonder why you didn’t use paints or colored pencils, anything more controllable.

This image highlights that delicate ballancing act. The first image above, “Superheroine with Burning Boat “ had real potential after one drop, but was fragmentary and lacked real depth. That, along with a tighter, more integrated (meaning less random) blue/orange tonality.

The second, below, I tried to add a unifying, transparent dark blue over the oranges in the waves but succeeded only in confusing the issue with a heavy blue /black. The trees of the ship are better but still lack any real depth or unity. It still has potential, but needs another layer, though it is dangerously close to being overworked. I’ll keep you posted on this one.

However, this is a time for experimentation for me and the overall idea seems good. Perhaps a more open, less claustrophobic composition, and a lighter touch on the colors might be a good thing. Thoughts?

I have another series of “stage” progressions I’ll post later in the week or next week. It’s one that seems to be coming together more successfully.

Joe Higgins Monotypes "Superheroine With Burning Boat" Stage 2
Joe Higgins Monotypes “Superheroine With Burning Boat” Stage 2

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