I did additional experiment with sugar. This time I used the same methods as the last time, and coated sugar all over my hand, back and front. To achieve 4 coats of sugar wasn’t as easy as I thought. I had to let first few layers dry pretty well in order to advance to the next coat. Otherwise, the sugars fall apart easily, and in a big chunk (when painted continuously, all the layers merge into one thick coat). The colored sprinkles seemed to dissolve into the layer better when done with rests. On top of this, the fingers are hard to get around to, especially the corners. Smaller brushes are probably the answer to this problem.
As everything came out, the hand looked…mix of extreme feelings; a little repulsing and disgusting, yet colorful and fascinating. I really want to pursue this aesthetic into this project. That’s just what sugars truly are.
I let the sugar dry out for longer than 20 minutes to see what happens (yes, I had the sugar on my hand for that long). The overall appearance of sugar was similar to snowflakes, or more like salt. Visually, it was obvious that the sugar was very dry. It might be a good addition to the texture though.
We also had a group critique last Friday. To see how much everyone has been devoting their time and effort on their personal project was so amazing and motivating. I presented the general idea behind this project and test shots of poses and sugars I have been working on. Everyone was very attracted to these two images (look below). They are detailed shot of the painted sugar hand from the experiment above. I cropped those into these format just to see whether the details can stand alone by itself – and it did! Most of the responses focused on how they are disgustingly beautiful, and repulsive yet intriguing. The skin is what mainly causes the turmoil, which is interesting since it isn’t obvious as it is hidden by the sugar.
As I reviewed these images after the critique, I did see why they are much more powerful. Compared to the first idea I had (people eating sugary food with sugared hand and face), this is much simpler in composition and aesthetic. Visually, there are no actions at all in the frame, but the reflective nature of the sugar and the colors from the sprinkles add vibrancy. This creates space for the eyes to wonder around the frame, corner to corner. The quiet fresh pink background (which is the skin) tones down the loud colors, and brings in innocent image the sugars have. Above all, it really is the melting sugar that creates the uncanny feelings. Shiny but wet. Pretty but unpleasing.
I decided to pursue more into these images. The feedbacks were very helpful!