Piece description from the artist
Whirlwood was created by glazing thick transparent layers of acrylic media over a simple underpainting of trees and sky. Some of the acrylic layers were tinted to create layers of complex color. Contrasting highlight and detail colors were stroked through the wet glazes with a fine brush. Depending on the medium used to form the glaze, these strokes of contrasting color can be suspended inside the glaze, made to float to the surface forming a raft, or placed near the bottom of the glaze. this behavior also depends on whether the media used glazes dry thick or thin. Media that dry to a thick film, losing much of their volume, were also used to create relief effects. These are effects where the media pulls back from the paint threads as it dries, due to density and viscosity differences.
The layers of media were dried a controlled tilt angles, allowing gravity to pull the threads and streamers of paint brushed into the glazes into curved shapes and whorls.
The final details added were the contrasting tree trunks and leaves. The trunks and branches were applied using paint and media loosely mixed in a pastry bag and extruded through a cake decorating nozzle. The texture of these features was enhanced using a little silicone squeegee brush. The green leaf textures were made using an elastic fluid medium (Golden clear tar gel). The medium was mixed with a small amount of green paint to tint it while retaining translucency. This mixture was dropped with a palette knife and then maneuvered into leafy like shapes and movement using a silicone tipped tool (with a little contrasting paint on it to break up the colored areas).
The overall effect is somewhat like a painting on layers of glass, with a good bit of 3-D depth and color layering both above and below the main surface of the paint film. Unlike layered glass, transparent media allow curved surfaces that intersect in 3-D and meld with the subject much more naturally.