To recap: Phase one of the substrate for my painting was a gessoed piece of muslin which had been given a black underpainting and then printed with a variety of my hand cut blocks in grays and white. I had also done some experimental painting in red, but stopped when I realized it was not turning out the way I wanted. If you look closely, you can see some of that red revealed in the image below.
Since all my previous layers had been applied with acrylic paints or medium, I decided to go ahead with a titanium white acrylic paint to cover all but a few windows of the printed black layer underneath. I was pretty sure I wanted to complete my work with oil paint, but at this stage, the acrylic paint would dry faster, letting me get on with the fun part sooner.
I love being able to see the previous layers peeping through in some way in each layer of a painting. I like it in my work, and I LOVE seeing it in other people's work. This is proving to be the most obvious of those layers (foreshadowing, for those of you following along at home!) What I wanted at this stage was to reserve as much of the revealed printed layer as possible.
Next, I scored lines in a fairly random way into the titanium white with the end of a brush, drawing "swooshes", shapes and spirals into the drying paint. intending to help create future form in the finished piece and textural interest in succeeding layers.
Thus begins the part of the painting process that I call the ugly phase. This can last as long as the moment the final stroke of paint is put on the canvas, requiring from the artist a great deal of patience, faith and hope to outlast it.