Field Projects – Shaped Paintings


This week I started a new material project called Shaped Paintings. What I aim to achieve within the next three weeks of this project is to create a painting that is not your day to day square or rectangular canvas shape but one of the shape of my subject. My chosen subject for this project is a beetle. I have chosen to use a beetle as this will link in with my Outside/ Inside project and also it will be quite a challenge to see how the final result of this piece turns out.

What I am wanting to do for this this piece is to create a three-dimetional painting that doesn’t initially have to be hung on the wall but could be propped up or stood up on its own. How I would do this would be to create the shape of the bug using chip board (as its easy to cut and paint on) and create wire legs to be able to hold the weight of the beetle.


What I have done is cut out templates for the chip board so that I can get all of my pieces to a similar size. With the wings, I need to make three of each side as I want to create a layered effect that will help with shaping my beetle. After I have used my templates to draw the shapes on my chip board, I plan on using a bandsaw to cut out my shapes and then sand down the edges using a sanding machine for wood. Then I will need to prime the surface and sides of my chip board with three layers of priming paint to prepare the wood for the acrylic paint I will be apply next week.

This week is the week I am under painting my chip board pieces. The colours I have chosen for my beetle are red and green like the image above. What I am planning to do is to paint a dark red base coat as my under coat and then after that has dried paint green around the sides. Then using a damp brush, I will then blend the paint into the middle in circular motions to create an ombre effect. I am also hoping that using this technique may help the wood look less flat and more rounded to create a 3D effect.

Update 25/10/2016:


I have started my ombre effect painting and so far I am really liking how it has turned out. The ombre effect is exactly what I was looking for at this stage of the painting part and the next layer of paint that I put on will help to blend out the green and not leave any harsh lines or areas.

Some thing I would really like to add to my beetle is some kind of pattern work that I could put on the wings and the head area. This could be small line work like tree bark just to add a textured look to the area and also to add detail like in Ernst Haeckel’s work.


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