Square Foot Art: Wheatscape
I had the central image of this piece on hand for months. I made it from a photo I took in the fall of 2010. The background photo is a cropped section of a piece of old farm machinery. The tall “trees” are actually heads of wheat. They and the trees and flock of flying birds are from a Dover book of old time prints. These prints were originally black on a white background. Dover supplies digital files and I used GIMP to convert the white to transparency and the black to a colour of choice. I then used Inkscape to put the composition together. I could duplicate and resize the “tree” and tree images as I liked. I printed it with a laser printer on acid-free paper.
This closeup shows the gear that is part of the machine in the background. The graduated sizes of the bird shapes are from the original print. You can also see the detail of the wheat head.
I decided to use texture in the background. I used the frugal artist’s modelling paste — wall joint compound — for a layer of texture around the photo piece. The bottom of a plastic thread spool nicely echoes the gear shape in the photo and I used it all around the photo area. After it dried, I coloured it with diluted walnut ink. I then glued on the photo and did more colouring with yellow acrylic. Once that was dry, I brushed the edges with a copper metallic acrylic on a sponge. The texture still needed something more so I got out my dollar-store chalk blocks and dusted parts of the spool circles with a dusky pink.
The entire piece was sealed with Diamond acrylic wood sealer.