Acrylic on A1 Black Sugar Paper
“ប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត” is Khmer for “Angkor Wat” – where I took the photo which I worked on to produce this piece. Indochinese civilisations are intriguing in my opinion. It is hard to imagine that a great empire flourished there more then a millennium ago and fell, having the city abandoned and surrounding jungles consuming it. The trip there was incredible and I admired the Classical Khmer architecture, how it is sturdy and delicate without having to use any fixation like concrete. It is a shame to see some temples crumbling beyond repair, but luckily there are many countries donating to Cambodia so that they may be repaired or preserved in a better manner. (It also saddens me that the Thai government is trying to knock down Khmer temples situated in Thailand.) Anyways, Angkor Wat is definitely worth visiting – afterall it is the world’s largest religious complex built in the 12th Century and a UNESCO site.
The photo was taken by the primary wall just by the moat over the bridge, about where that red cross is. (Nope, I don’t own that image.)
Back to the painting. I basically painted onto an A1 piece of black sugar paper with four pieces of A4 white paper stuck to each edge. I applied the paint onto the paper using cardboard instead of a brush. Slightly similar to using a palette knife except that the width of the card can be controlled to whatever size I fancy. Imagine smearing butter on your toast with the shorter side of a credit card. That’s it. Furthermore, strong and stark paint marks can be made simply dipping the edge of the cardboard strip and printing the strip onto the surface of the paper in a perpendicular manner. I found that this method of mark making with paint is effective in texturing the relic, giving the building an overall structure, creating contrast between the different tones and also giving the temple an overall weathered sensation.
Light tones were essentially the white paper and pure white paint; dark tones were the black paper and pure black paint. In order to create mid tones, I smeared a thin layer of white paint onto black paper, vice versa, so that a bit of the paper beneath can be seen through the paint. Mid tones were also created by smudging or mixing both paints on the paper to create different tones of grey.
I found making this piece enjoyable since acrylic dries up really quickly and I usually work quick. In addition to that, I can always paint over the dried parts to build on the layering and create a greater sense of depth. Due to its rather large size compared I reckon it took me about three hours to work on it (excluding drying time). I think the advantage on working at a larger size allows me to have enough space to fill in the details and it also gives a visual impact to the viewer in my opinion.
Tell me what you think.
Bonus: Here are some photos I took in the trip.