Before I go blindly into creating a big painting, I will do sample tests to see if what I am thinking about will actually look good. It saves a lot of time and may take you off in another direction. I keep the samples around because they may work perfectly in a project down the road or as a collage element in another painting.
After the gesso had dried it was coated with a layer of matte medium. This gives me more control with the staining.
My next step will be to add resin into the holes as a test but that is for another day.
There is so much joy in experimenting — Darlene Olivia McElroy