Layer (and Layering)

(Layer on layer on layer….)

Artists who work with coloured pencils put layer after layer on their drawing paper. This process holds some magic. It is like the gestation of a plant, the stages of pregnancy or the stages of meditation. Something is slowly manifesting from nothingness. It is emerging from inspiration, the unknown, a wormhole or whispered in your ear by the art Muses. There is only so much the artist has to do with it.

Later the artist judges the outcome of the layering process. If his work is according to his intentions, then he is happy. However when there is a gap between the final result (artwork) and his intention, then there is ‘dukkha’ (a word from Buddhist psychology referring to suffering).

But sometimes the final result supersedes the expectation. Something magical has happened! Where the art Muses not only whispering but having a bigger part in it?

When I think about ‘Layer’, I think about ‘Layering’ and ‘Stages’ too. Artists put on layers to create depth. The more stages of inspiration the artist experiences, the more likely he will be surprised by the outcome.


26 thoughts on “Layer (and Layering)

  1. This photo is beautiful because of two things:
    – the composition of the photo (seen by over the shoulder)
    – the drawing you are working on. Your style reminds me on Maria Sibylla Merian, she is one of my favourite artists.
    Have a great and creative week, Paula!


  2. It all rings a bell with me. Thanks for teaching me a new word. I’ve got a recent painting I’ve been feeling a lot of dukkha with. I hope you post this painting when you have it finished. Looks great so far!


    1. Sometimes with art ‘dukkha’ spontaneously disappears. You store your art work away and after a few years you might be pleasantly surprised with it! (Although most of the time it ends up in the bin). 😉


  3. To see a work in progress, to watch as the individual layers develop, is to capture a rare glimpse into the mind of the artist. Amazing details, as always!


  4. I do thank you for sharing these words on layering and I love your photo at work. Makes me want to try and photograph myself. The magic is so true about layering, and when I use unusual combinations of colors I am blown away with excitement because I can create a new “color” look with colored pencil layers that I don’t do when I do my acrylic painting. That is what is happening with my newest colored abstract colored pencil drawing now. It is so cool to explore unconventional hue variations. BJ


    1. Welcome and thank you, BJ Glowacki. You describe wonderfully the excitement that follows the unexpected result of layering with colours.
      I do layer with coloured pencils, but, like you, not with acrylic paint. Oil paint allows layering if you dilute the top layer with medium. Magic it is!
      I hope to meet you here again. Your website is wonderful. I wondered if you liked the mathematical and geometrical art of M.C. Escher.


  5. I love working this way in colored pencils. Little by little, layer by layer the drawing comes to life. I use bright colors, never dull to create my work. Fushia, different colors of red, cerialian blue, turquoise, oranges, and purples,


Discussions are welcome. Thanks for your comments. Gracias por tu comentario. Merci pour vos commentaires. Grazie per i vostri commenti. Obrigado pelo seu comentário.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s