Week 5

Today was our final class. In my demonstration I showed you how to use glazes to make the surface texture we created with transparent Acrylic gel more visible.

I added some matte medium to black paint and painted over areas that I wanted the texture to pop out more. Then I wiped off the excess paint with a paper towel. Wiping the surface leaves the dark glaze in the valleys of the texture while removing it from the peaks of the texture.

In effect it puts a shadow on the texture that makes it more visible. I also used some transparent white paint (zinc white) and very lightly painted the background next to the shadow side of the face. By painting very gently the paint only made contact with the high points of the texture and left everything else dark. 

There are many ways to could approach this but the basic idea is that we are using a little bit of color to the peaks or valleys of the transparent surface texture. In this way we make it more visible. When using acrylic be careful not to add too much color to the paint. It is better to add too little and then do multiple layers so you change the painting more than you want. 

A consistent surface texture across the whole painting is yet another way we can visually unit the pieces of a mixed media painting. It is also a good way to add more visual interest and emphasize areas of the composition that might not be strong enough. 

Excellent work all around. I was very happy with all your paintings. I wasn't paying attention and didn't get pictures of most of your paintings before everyone left but I did manage to catch a few of you. 

Thanks again for trying something new with me. I hope you enjoyed the process as much as I did. 



Week 4

Before demo.

After demo - texture gel is still wet.

After texture gel dried. 

Today was our fourth class working on these portraits. In my demonstration I went back and repeated some of the techniques I demonstrated in previous classes. My purpose in doing this was to make the point that we often think sequentially about art processes: 1. draw composition 2. block in collage elements 3. paint on top of collage 4. finish with glaze. We also think of some art mediums (like transfer paper) as preparatory mediums that ultimately get covered up.

I wanted to show you how these materials and techniques can be layered and can achieve very different results when done in a variety of sequences.  In my demonstration I used tracing paper to trace a part of the portrait I wanted to add some red lines to using the transfer paper. While holding the tracing paper in place I put some red transfer paper under it and scribbled in the areas I had traced. The quality of line you get from transfer paper is very different than what you would get with paint or even colored pencil.

In a similar way I traced a specific shape (the shirt area) that I wanted to add collage to. Then I did a transfer drawing of that shape onto a image from a magazine that I wanted to use as collage. I cut the shape out and collaged it onto the portrait and the piece fit the shape precisely. 

Next I added some interesting glazed color with the bleeding tissue by painting clear acrylic medium in the area I wanted color then placing a piece of red tissue paper into the wet paint. I let the tissue paper sit for a couple minutes and then pulled it up. While the tissue paper pigment was still wet I painted into it with some opaque white acrylic and some glazed skin tones. 

At the end of class I showed you how to use gel medium to add a transparent layer of texture. Next week we are going to make this texture pop out with a final glaze. 

A little bit of everything. Hope I didn't confuse you too much. Again I want to emphasize that all these materials and techniques don't need to happen in discrete stages. 



(I didn't catch many of you before the end of class so not many pictures this week.)

Week 3

Today was our third class working on the same portrait. In my demo I talked about how to use glazing to de-emphasize (lower the contrast of) collage elements that were too dominant. I also talked about two different kinds of blending with acrylic: steps and wet into wet.

To get a smooth transition, or blend, from one color to another you can create mixtures of the two colors that start with the mixture having more of one color and then gradually changing the mixture to have more and more of the other color. In this way you can create "steps" from one color to the other. When you go to paint that transition/blend you can achieve the appearance of a smooth blend by placing these steps side by side as discrete colors and not have to worry about literally blending one wet color into another wet color. 

Wet into wet blending is just what is sounds like. You are literally blending one wet color into another wet color. This is possible but it requires a little more practice with acrylic because of how fast acrylic drys. You can use retarding mediums but I find that they cause more problems than they fix when used regularly. For wet into wet mixing you need to have the colors you want to blend mixed before you start painting. Put one color down on the canvas thicker than you need to in order to keep the paint wet for longer. While that color is still wet you can pick up the other color with a different brush and paint it next to the first. Then you gradually push the two colors back and forth into each other until you get as smooth a gradation as you require. 

Of course a combination of both techniques is also a great way to go - mix discrete steps then then them wet-into-wet into each other as you go. 

Scrubbing a wet color onto a dry color will not achieve a blend. If you can see the dry color behind the wet paint you are putting on the canvas - it is a glaze. Glazing is essentially any technique where you paint a transparent or semi-transparent layer on top of a dry layer. Glazing  is great more many things but it won't replace the need to learn blending. 

I used glazing and blending to paint the general highlights and shadows on my portrait with just black and white. I used glazing where I wanted to be able to see information in previous layers of color, texture or collage. 

Next week I we will continue developing the portrait with acrylic paint. I am going to show you another round of how you can use a combination of glazing, opaque layers and transfer drawing to further develop the image. I am also going to show you how to use acrylic gel medium to add surface texture. Bring gel medium if you have it. 

Great work this week. I am really liking all of the portraits. 




Week 2

Today was our second day developing our portraits. In my demonstration I showed you how to transfer the drawings/tracing you did last week to your canvas or paper. You can transfer a drawing by covering the back of the drawing with graphite and then tracing over the lines of the drawing with the graphite-covered side touching the canvas. I also showed you how to use transfer paper which is the same thing as carbon paper but it comes in several different colors. I used red transfer paper for my drawing.

After I transferred my drawing to the canvas I demonstrated how to collage paper without it rippling. In short you have to liberally coat BOTH sides of the paper AND the surface you are gluing to with matte medium before you set the paper down. Let the paper sag in the middle when you are setting it down and smooth from the center out. I put some torn up photographs in the background of my drawing. You can see one of Mona Lisa's eyes looking out at you. 

I also showed you a product called "bleeding tissue" paper. With the tissue I just put the matte medium on the surface I am gluing to. The tissue is delicate enough that you can't really put glue directly on it without it breaking apart.  I used green bleeding tissue for the jacket on my portrait. For the face I got a wad of green tissue wet with matte medium and then rubbed the tissue on my canvas so color came off but I didn't glue down any paper. Before the green color dried I wiped away some of the color to expose the white of the canvas to create the beginnings of some highlights. 

Next week I am going to talk about integrating photographic collage elements with painted elements. One of the difficulties of working with mixed media is figuring out how to make a cohesive and legible image out of a lot of very different visual elements. We will talk about how to de-emphasize parts that are distracting and emphasize parts that are getting lost. Come prepared to paint with acrylic paint. Of course bring the same image we have been working on and your reference image. 




Week 1


Today is was the first day of the short summer term. We only have five weeks and I would like to take all five weeks to work on one project. I will demonstrate several different materials and techniques that can be used in combination. Our subject matter will be a portrait.

Today I asked you to focus on experimenting with drawing the portrait and working out composition. Tracing paper is a great way to arrange and rearrange things quickly. I showed you several ways you can use tracing paper to pull details from your reference image and also to distort information in the reference image.

Of course you can also draw freehand or a little of both as I did. Once you came up with a composition you liked I asked you to do at least one more version of your drawing using the same basic elements but rearranging them. Your first idea is rarely your best but even if it is creating several iterations will help you see what is and isn't working.

I distorted my portrait quite a bit but you are welcome to take a more naturalistic approach. Today was just about getting started. A white canvas can be daunting so messing around on paper is a good way to warm up.

Next week we will transfer your final drawing to canvas using transfer paper. I will bring the transfer paper. You will need a canvas to paint on and your usual painting supplies. We are going to be doing some collage so also feel free to bring any collage materials you might want to use.

Let me know if you have any questions: trentreynoldssmc@gmail.com




Week 16


Today was our last day of class. Thank you to everyone for following along this semester. I gave you some challenging assignments and you all did some really excellent work. During the summer and fall I will return to some more familiar territory but I do think there is value is pushing boundaries sometimes. I appreciate you being patient with me trying new ideas. 

For our last class I wanted to spend the time painting self portraits. I talked at some length during the critique why I think self portraits are an especially interesting exercise. For many artists (Rembrandt, Lucien Freud etc.) they act as milestones or snapshots throughout an artists career. They are not only snapshots of what the artist looks but where an artist is at in their technical and personal development. It is interesting to see the changes in paint application and visual style that occur over the course of an artists life and self portraits are often a great window into that progression. There are also the practical and logistical reasons self portraits are a good exercise: cheap model, not as worried about offending the model, introspection, practice etc. A lot of good can come from regular self portraits. 

I also like to periodically give you a chance to work large (ish). I enjoy working large very much and wish I could provide you with that experience more often. It is freeing in many ways and I was happy to see so many of you enjoy it. 

Thanks for a great semester! My painting class is on Tuesday afternoons in the summer 2-4:15.




Week 15

Today in class we continued work on the landscape we started in the last class. My focus today was on strengthening the story in your image by emphasizing and/or deemphasizing the various elements of your composition. 

In my demo painting I wanted the castle to be the main point of interest. I wanted it to feel dark and ominous. In order to clarify that statement visually I tried several different things I thought would emphasize the castle and deemphasize the other parts of the scene. Generally when we talk about emphasizing or deemphasizing we are talking about increasing or reducing contrast. 

There are many kinds of contrast we can manipulate. Value contrast is one of the strongest kinds of contrast we can use. So I darkened the castle and lightened the sky around the castle to increase the value contrast in that part of the composition. I also made the value of the sky on the opposite side of the composition closer to the value of the trees to decrease value contrast on that side of the painting. 

Another kind of contrast is hue contrast. The greatest hue (or color) contrast is complimentary colors. With all the green in the painting I chose to add some bright red to the castle roof to create high color contrast. I also wanted to create "anomaly" which is when one thing is different than everything else. 

We talked about several other kinds of contrast during the critique but the basic idea is that we can clarify the story we are trying to tell by increasing contrast in the area(s) of a composition that are most important and decreasing contrast in the areas that are least important. Doing this will clarify and empower your visual storytelling. 

Next week is our last class. We will be painting self portraits. Bring a small mirror or a recent photograph if you can. I will provide paint and a surface to paint on (but come prepared with your usual stuff just in case:)). 

Also feel free to bring food or drink to class for our last class. 



Week 13

Today we started a new painting. I wanted to continue along the same train of thought we have been pursuing all semester. This train of thought has to do with understanding and manipulating visual language. 

I brought in a photograph of a landscape I found. Already this is an image that has been carefully composed and is full of meaning. You may or may not like the image. I wanted you to use this image as a point of departure - something to respond to or recreate in your own way. Art is often created as a response to something that already exists.

You could choose to recreate the image in paint, you could choose to rearrange the elements in the composition to change the meaning or story of the image, or you could create something completely abstract that incorporates the colors or any element of the photograph. I think we can learn a lot from seeing how each person responds to the same image in very different ways.

In my quick demo I chose to follow the basic composition in the photograph but exaggerate the size of the castle in the background. The building is what captured my attention so I decided to make it more of a focal point by making it large and more irregular. I also worked very quickly and with a lot of paint so my version is more textured and chaotic. 

We will take one more class period to finish these paintings. Next class we will talk more about visual story telling. 





Week 12

Today was our third week working on portraits. For the demonstration I showed you the work of several artist: N.C. Wyeth, Sargent, Odd Nerdrum, Manet and others. We looked at the different ways these artists approached painting eyes.

As you study an one artists work you will begin to see patterns in how the artist constructs various parts of the face. With several of the artists we have examples of unfinished paintings and sketches to give us even greater understanding of the artists technique.

Even in his completed paintings Sargent had a wide range of levels of finish he would bring portraits to. Seeing some of his less resolved portraits reveals that he would initially paint faces without discernible eyes. He would just block in general dark areas for eye sockets. N.C. Wyeth had almost no details in the eyes in many of the paintings we looked at. Even in his self portrait you can barely make out the whites of his eyes. 

It can be very compelling to give only a suggestion of detail and let the viewer fill in the rest. So I suggest finding examples of our favorite portrait artists and look very closely at how they construct facial features. There are often clues in the brush strokes repeated colors. 

I also did a demonstration of painting an eye. It is important to remember here that the surface of the eye is concave but the iris is convex, so if you light source is above the face the highlight on the surface of the eye will be on the top of the eye (imagine a ball) but the highlight on the iris (colored part of the eye) will be at the bottom (imagine a bowl). It is also worth reminding you that there is typically a dark line at the bottom of the upper eyelid that is created by the eyelashes and the shadow cast by the eyelid onto the eye ball. This dark line is often overlooked, making the eye look buggy. 

Next week we will start on a new painting so come prepared with a new canvas to paint on. Also bring your portraits if you work on them during the week and we will take a look at them at the beginning of class. 

Make sure you take a look at our boxes in the display case. They look really nice. 




Week 11

Today I brought in a book about the painter Chuck Close. I foolishly decided to try and demonstrate the principles of color Chuck Close uses in his paintings. It wasn't a very successful demonstration but hopefully you got the idea. He puts spots of colors side by side so from a distance they mix visually to the color he wants. This is very different than physically mixing colors of paint together to create a color. It is very similar to pointillism in principle. 

After my Chuck Close flop I painted over the warm colors I used for my portrait with purple, blue and white. This was to show you as long as I maintain the correct values it will still look good. The different color will effect our interpretation of the image but it will still be a convincing illusion of three dimensionality. 

My hope with this project was to emphasize the importance of value in creating the illusion of volume and three dimension and also encourage you to experiment with unusual colors as "skin tones". My suspicion is most of us feel like we are not getting correct "hue"(color) information when really it is the value (light/dark) that is the problem. Fix the values and I think you will usually not be bothered much by hue inaccuracies. Value value. 

Next week will be our final class working on these portraits. I will bring in some books showing different several different approaches artists have used to paint eyes. I will also do a demonstration on how to paint eyes. 



Week 10

Today in class we started a new project of painting portraits. I asked you to bring in a photograph of someone you want to paint and something else related to that person that you would like to include in the painting. 

I want to continue the conversation that we started during our last project about how we can use "visual language" to say something about the subject matter we are working with beyond simply getting an accurate representation. One of the many ways we can create a sense of psychology or emotion in a portrait is by manipulating the colors we use. 

I talked a little about "skin tone". We looked at two artists that used very different color palettes to represent human skin: Lucien Freud and David Hockney.

Early in his career Freud painted skin almost monochromatic. The skin in his figures seems to get much more colorful throughout his career but even the early monochromatic skin felt was believable as skin tone.

Hockney has always used very rich saturated color no matter what his subject matter is. We looked at some of his portraits and they all have a full palette of color. Much of his "skin tones" fall well outside of the range of colors we would typically consider a healthy color for skin but even his portraits read as fairly believable (if not a little too saturated). 

Between these two artists I think you would find every color possible being used somewhere as a "skin tone". I want you to think about how you can use color to communicate something of what you feel about the person you are painting. Look at how different artists use color to express something about their subject matter. 

Finally I focused on the importance of getting value relationships correct if you want your portrait to feel three dimensional. You can use any hue (color) you want as a skin tone as long as you are getting the correct value (lightness or darkness). I want you to push yourself to experiment with colors that you don't think have anything to do with skin. See how your feelings about the portrait change as you use different colors. 


Week 9

"Living in a fish bowl" - Pink Floyd

Today was our second class working on our current project. In the demonstration I talked a while about my purpose in doing this project. I want you to think of it as a thought experiment. Every semester I get at least one student who asks how to decide what to paint or how to develop ideas into visual images. This project is an attempt to help you with that. As I explained it also experimentation on my part, trying to find ways to teach a way of thinking and problem solving that tends to be very unsystematic and intuitive.

So last week I asked you to use ink to write your chosen phrase onto a full sheet of print-making paper. I wanted you to think of ways you could render the phrase to visually communicate something of what that phrase means to you. For most of us our first inclination is to illustrate what the phrase says. If the phrase is about a fish bowl we want to somehow render a picture of a fishbowl. My intention was to encourage you to not rely on literal illustration. I wanted you to use just the visual quality of the words on the paper to communicate something about the phrase. 

Today I asked you to rip up the paper and make a smaller collage from some of the pieces. The idea here is to obscure all the words of the phrase so we can no longer read the text but try to retain the visual qualities of the text that communicate something about how we feel about the phrase. I wanted you to rely completely on abstract visual information (nothing recognizable as textual language or literal image) to communicate your phrase. 

As the final step in this "thought experiment" I was going to have you come up with a way to incorporate the image of the unrelated object I had you bring in for the project. The idea being that this would again get you thinking about ways to represent how you felt about your chosen phrase using visual information with the added challenge of incorporating an unrelated image. One definition of creativity is the ability to see relationships between seemingly disparate things. 

If you wold like to, continue working on the next step at home and bring in what you work on next class. We will put them up on the board at the beginning of class and take a look but we won't dedicate anymore class time to working on this project. 

Next week we will start a new project. I would like to continue talking about some of the ideas I introduced with this project but we will return to a more conventional subject matter and medium. Come with a new surface to paint on and your usual paint supplies. We are going to be painting a portrait so I would like you to also bring an image of someone you would like to paint and also a few other images, objects or text that you might want to incorporate in the portrait somehow. 



Week 7

Today we started a new project. Last week I asked you to find a line poetry, a simply lyric or phrase that you would like to work with. I also asked you to bring in a random object and a full sheet of heavy print-making paper. 

In my demo I showed you three different artists that have used words in their paintings. The only one I will mention here is Ed Ruscha. I am realizing now that the other two artists might have confused what I was trying to teach.  

For this project we are going to work in stages but each stage is really an attempt to solve the same problem in different ways. The problem as I see it is that we (me included) painters tend to reach for symbols, illustration/representation and overlook some of the more subtle and effective means at our disposal to communicate visually. All of art is communication of some form or another. I want to get you to think more about how to manipulate visual information in order to communicate effectively rather than relying only on symbolic or literal depiction.

So we have a phrase or just some words. I used the lyric, "living in a fish bowl", from a Pink Floyd song. I want you to take your phrase and think of how you could manipulate the text visually to enhance or add to the meaning of the phrase. I do not want you to think of an image or images that would illustrate the phrase.

With my chosen phrase if I were thinking in terms of illustration I could make the "o" look like a fish bowl with me in it frowning. That illustrates very clearly what the phrase is saying. If instead I were thinking in terms of using the text itself to visually communicate something about the phrase, I would start with how I feel about the phrase and what it means to me. This might be something like a story or scenario or it could just be a feeling or vague idea. "Living in a fish bowl" is a negative, messy, restrictive, dark and oppressive idea to me. So how can I make the text itself look "negative, messy, restrictive, dark and oppressive"? Big letters or little? Cursive or block letters? Clumped letters or spread apart? Fuzzy broken edges or clean sharp edges? What visual information communicates these ideas or feelings? 

As I mentioned in class I don't know if I am explaining this very well so I will continue to work at it. I really do think it is an important shift we need to make in how we think about creating visual art. If we rely primarily on literal illustration to communicate in visual art I think we are overlooking some of the most profound tools we have to communicate visually. 


In two weeks we will continue working on this project. Try to finish the first phase that we started today - get the words on your paper in black ink. Just the words to start with. I will tell you what the next step is at the next class. So bring back what you have started along with the object you chose and all your usual painting supplies. We will start painting on these things next class - oil or acrylic is fine. 


Week 6

Today was our last day working on the box project. Many of us (myself included) didn't finish so I would like to have a critique of all the finished boxes in about a month. I will also be looking for an opportunity to display the boxes at Emeritus. You all made some excellent boxes. I was very pleased with the outcome. Check out some of the images below - excellent work!

In my demonstration I talked about glazing color on top of a photographic image. In a previous week I had done a photo-transfer of a tree on to the front of the box. The tree was black and white and I wanted to add a little color. The difficulty here is adding color without covering up the photograph. We accomplish this by glazing which is essentially any technique where we add transparent layers of color to a painting. 

When glazing it is helpful to know which paint pigments are transparent. Some pigments (the colored powder mixed with oil or acrylic medium to make paint) are more transparent than others. Imagine dust particles of colored glass as opposed to dust particles made from charcoal - glass is transparent, charcoal is not. You can make even opaque pigments appear transparent by adding more transparent painting medium but this is not the same as using transparent pigments. 

You can find out how transparent a color is on the paint tube. Sometimes it will actually say "transparent", "semi-transparent", or "opaque" and sometimes it will have a little box that is black, white or half black and half white. Use transparent colors when possible and dilute opaque pigments only when there is no good transparent option. 

Alizarine Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Indian Yellow are all good transparent pigments. I also recommend Gamblin's line of "Transparent Earth" colors - red, orange and yellow. 

Next week we will be starting a new project. I want you to come prepared with a short passage from a poem - one or two sentences. I also want you to bring an object with you. Preferably a three dimensional object but a picture of an object would work too. Finally I would like you to bring a full sheet of a heavy print-making paper which you will find in the flat-files at the back of Blick. Also bring your usual painting supplies. 

Some good options for printin-making paper are: Stonehenge and BFK Rives.







Week 5

For today's demonstration I showed you some options for creating shelves and sub-divisions inside your box. At most art, craft and hardware stores you can find a display of craft/hobby wood. It is usually bass or balsa wood but I have seen some other varieties as well. This wood is easy to cut to size using a min-miter box and xacto saw. You can glue the wood in your box as shelves or sections with super glue or wood glue (if you are glueing wood to wood). You can use your hand, tape or something else to hold the piece in place while the glue dries. 

For my box I demonstrated how to make a circular compartment with foam and plaster. The foam can be found at art stores and comes in varying thickness and shapes. The plaster product I used is called "Plastercraft". I am a huge fan of this product. It is essentially cheese cloth that has been saturated with plaster so when you dip the cloth in water the plaster softens and you can apply the cloth strip to any surface.

I applied the plaster strips to a square area that I measured out on a piece of glass. In the center of the square I taped the upside-down bottom of a plastic cup that I had cut out. When the plaster hardened I popped the piece off the glass and removed the plastic cup piece and was left with a thin square piece of plaster with a round cup in it. 

The plaster is easy enough to trim with scissors so it fit perfectly in my box. I put a sheet of foam in the box with a hole cut in it (the size of the plaster cup) to support the plaster piece without adding much weight. I will glue both pieces in and fill in the gaps with gesso or acrylic gel so it is flush with the side of the box. 

Next week will be our last week on this project though I don't expect you will be done by next week. In class I will demonstrate some ways you could add a finishing layer to the surface of the box. 


Week 4

Today was our second day working with the boxes. I demonstrated photo-transfer and collage. With photo-transfer you are literally transferring the image from the paper you printed the image on to a different surface like the wood box. With collage you don't transfer anything. Collage is just glueing a piece of paper (or anything else) to a surface like the wood box or a canvas etc. 

I won't write the photo-transfer process out here. Look at last week's class summary for two videos demonstrating the photo-transfer technique I demonstrated in class. The one thing I will remind you of is that any white on your image will be transparent when you transfer your image. So you can see the design I created with gesso on the front of the box last week and the chain link on the inside of the box looks unified with the collage I transferred onto. If you don't want the image to look like it does on the paper you will need to transfer on to a white surface. 

Collage is pretty straight forward though there are a couple things you need to keep in mind. When you are glueing paper to a surface it can be tricky to keep the paper from buckling. If you like the texture buckling creates, then you don't need to worry. I happen to think that it is hard to make buckling look intentional. To me it usually just looks like the artist didn't know how to glue the paper down correctly. 

To avoid buckling you want to put matte medium (your glue) on BOTH sides of your collage element AND the surface you are glueing the collage element onto. When all three have been covered with matte medium you hang the collage element over the surface so the middle touches the surface first and you smooth out from the center to keep air bubbles from getting caught underneath.


Week 3

Today we began our box project. In my demonstration I began by showing you some images of Joseph Cornell boxes. You can see some images of his work HERE. There are many other artists who have created similar work using boxes and found objects. The reason I wanted to show you Joseph Cornell in particular is that his work doesn't seem (to me) to always have a recognizable narrative or obvious symbolism attached to included objects. Much of the images and objects he chooses invoke and suggest a feeling rather than illustrate and represent something literally. 

As you put together your box I want you to consider allowing yourself some freedom to include elements that have no reason to be there other than they feel right. Give intuition some authority in your decision making. It doesn't need to make sense.

I have chosen to make my box for my sister in law. When I am done I plan on giving this to her, but you may choose to just make it for the person but keep the end result for yourself. Either way it is important to have someone specific in mind to help give structure to your ideas. 

I had you all create thumbnails of generally what you plan to do with the box. Just like any other creative activity it will be important to work general to specific. First consider generally what the four surfaces will contain and how they will relate to each other. Once you have that general overview you can then start filling in the specifics of images and materials. 

Once you had your thumbnails completed I demonstrated how you to gesso the box. There is nothing complicated about applying gesso. Mostly I just wanted to make the point that you could choose to leave some or all of the surface without gesso. If you want to incorporate the wood color and texture you can use matte medium to seal the wood to make easier to paint and collage on. I covered part of the front of my box with gesso and left some without. I recommend painting three coats of gesso and then sanding if you want a smooth and opaque white surface. 

Next week I will be demonstrating photo-transfer and collage. Look at the videos below for a demonstration of photo transfer. In the video I will tell you what you need to bring to class to do a transfer.