Not only that, but I wanted to try a new technique and see how it turned out. I had this idea to achieve a kind of marbled look by using a lot of thinned acrylic paint piled in layers on my canvas. I started by covering the canvas in a layer of blue paint, kind of slopped on unevenly but thickly. Then I began adding dots and lines and splotches of gold. Then more blue, then more gold. My canvas had a lot of paint on it by this point, as you can probably imagine. So much so that it took three days for all the paint to dry.
So, the pros of this technique were the wonderful marbling effect I was able to achieve, especially on the sides as the paint dripped off in all directions. It was easy to do and cool to watch the effect of the paints blending and swirling together.
There are some things I would do differently now that I have a little more experience with using A LOT of acrylic paint on one piece. If I used the same amount, I would tip the sides and let more drip down. That’s what happened to the side shown above and it turned out amazing and not too thickly covered with paint. It also prevents too much from pooling at the top, because I found that thickly applied acrylic paint not only takes a long time to dry (I know, “duh!” right?) but it cracks quite a bit as well. I think it works with this because 1- I can’t change it and 2- it makes it seem more like an actual gemstone.
I thought it seemed appropriate, based on how my marbled lapis lazuli resembles a rough gemstone, that I add a few symbols of industry and man-made elements to add some depth and character. Gemstones and brightly colored stones are not only beautiful, but lucrative, though their quality and beauty stands out only after being polished and cut in most cases. Diamonds of course are the prime example, but other stones revered for their beauty must be designed and shaped before they can really bring a profit. I think that’s what I had in mind when I added my clay pieces… symbols of the alteration and work it takes for to bring out the natural beauty of some things, whether good or bad.