Sculpted-Book Flower Painting

Guillermo Bert of Los Angeles, originally from Chile, makes an ordinary book into a unique sculpture.

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Guillermo Bert is originally from Chile. He makes and teaches art. In this segment, Guillermo takes an ordinary book and incorporates into his project to make a unique sculpture.

Materials:

small book *
gesso
powder pigment
black lira pencil
oil paintings
Liquin or an oil solvent
oil brushes
varnish
a piece of wood
satin transparent sealer
drill and drill bits
paintbrush
craft knife
bolts and nuts
spatula
metal base (and screws) or a small easel, plexiglas box or frame

* Look for a small hardcover book (children's book) about 3-1/2" x 4-1/2" and 1 inch thick approximately (so that when you open the book on the center fold, it will measure 8" x 4-1/2").

Steps:

1. Position the book vertically and attach a piece of wood in the middle, approximately 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" on the cover side with small bolts and nuts. You have to make holes with the drill first and then install the bolts through the book and through the wood so that you can put the bolts on the back.

2. After the book is rigid, you should make some marks and indentations to distress the surface. At this point you may want to do some holes or circular marks with the drill bits that are normally used for installing the door knob.

3. For painting: First mix gesso and powder pigment and apply it to the entire surface, including the wood in the back. Let it dry for a day.

4. Mix oils with Liquin to create washes to apply on the surface of the gesso. Let the color sit for a little bit and then wipe it gently to allow the color to get into the crack and textures of the surface and let it dry for a couple of hours (the Liquin has a dryer which will help it work faster with oil, but you can also do this using acrylic paint).

5. Draw the image of the flower in solid lines with a thick black Lira pen. After that you will mix a dark color like Prussian blue mixed with raw umber to get something close to black but with a warm quality, so that it will blend nicely with the other colors. Apply this color with a really fine #3 brush on top of the line drawing to dissolve it with the oil and the solvent.

6. Color in some details of the flower with oil that's a bit more pasty. You should generate some shadows with cold and dark colors, and highlights with warm and light colors according to the specific design of the flower.

7. Wait a day or two depending on the amount of paint you used and seal it with a satin transparent sealer.

The final phase will be how you plan to display it. You can mount it directly on the wall using a hanger, frame it in a plexiglas box, or put it on a metal base which is attached from behind. Also, you can put it on a small easel.

This is just the basic framework for how this should be done. A number of steps can be simplified, and other elements of collage or different styles of painting techniques can be added. Don’t forget to be creative and don’t be afraid of trying different possibilities. Experimenting is part of the creative process.

Website: www.gbert.com

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