My Fence drawing was what I wanted to work on for my final drawing project. I liked manipulating the spray paint and the way it looked with the barbed wire and I liked the comments about it’s suggestion of landscape or color field painting. The drawing has to be five feet in at least one direction, so the materials will have to be handled differently. For example there will be no holding the paper behind a barbed wire fence to get the silhouette of the wire, I’ll have to buy a roll and lay it on the paper. Jackson suggested curving the paper around a box so that the spray of paint would feather at the edges rather than make a hard line. I bought some 300 pound watercolor paper to practice on as well as several cans of spray paint in gray, silver, and navy. I bought automotive paint because I don’t think it is as bright and clear as regular spray paint. It seems to have been knocked back somewhat by the manufacturers. I didn’t want the drawing to be mostly about color, so these more muted colors fit the bill.
I began to practice on regular drawing paper. I put painters tape around the edges to create a bright white border. I wet one piece of the drawing paper to make it more drapey and put both pieces over boxes and fastened them down with tape. The edges of the paper were then out of the direct line of where I would be spraying the paint.To simulate the barbed wire, I used pieces of bare branches that I found in the yard laying them flat on top of the paper.
I sprayed the paint in soft layers moving back and forth between the colors of gray and the blue. The wet paper made a more interesting texture than the dry and the branches left strange white lines across the pages.
For the one on the heavy watercolor paper, I wet it moderately and taped it onto a box. I concentrated the darker colors at the bottom of the page along the taped border. One of my paints was supposed to give a mirror finish. I used this along the edges and across the top. I am very happy with the results. The drawing looks somewhat atmospheric, like a seascape. I can’t decide whether to use barbed wire or continue with the sticks. The various widths of the sticks and their curves are pleasing and impart a calmer message than does the wire.
For the big drawing I bought 300# cold pressed watercolor paper. I cut it down to about 4×6 and taped the edges for the border. I draped it over boxes outside and laid sticks of different sizes over the surface. I sprayed it with the blue and gray automotive paint and let it dry. Unfortunately rolling and transporting the drawing scraped off some of the paint and I had to go over the paper with a graphite stick and gray pastels. This created an interesting study with the branch shapes, but the color field gradation was lost.