Friday, August 31, 2012

Policeman in Water No. 2

I have to figure out the issues with absorbency of pigment, but I may have found my paper. Still need to test out Windsor & Newton's lifting prep, which may address the issue.  But for giving something that Japanese print look, this hits pretty close to the mark.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Myriad of Combinations

With my commission behind me, I'm continuing to develop this new watercolor on ink work as the response to it has been fantastic.  And while I enjoyed how those pieces turned out (stay tuned, I'll be posting the results of those soon enough), I'm not sure that I want to commit every whimsical idea I have to hot press watercolor illustration board.  That might constitue excess. So we're mixing up the papers and seeing what they'll do.

Also, thanks to the advice of my buddy, the fantastic artist/illustrator, Dave Crosland, I've come to love diving into the various mediums that can be added to paints.  So I believe I've completed the Windsor & Newton line of extras, and now I'm eyeballing all the strange chemicals that Holbein makes to add to watercolor.  Gotta start saving up my nickels and dimes, as those run a little pricey.  (Feel free to wire me the funds, I'm not above begging in the name of artistic experiments!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Awash in the Flow of Watercolor

At long last I've returned with one of the finished pieces from my new water-based paint experiments. I'm very happy with them, though they're still not exactly what I wanted.  I was aiming for something somewhere between Japanese prints and Arthur Rackham.  In that respect, I've been somewhat successful, but there's still something lacking.  Now part of it is that my water color skills, while improving, are a damn sight below Turner...and maybe the drawing, while also getting better, still has room for improvement.  I'm working on it. Always working on it.  But here's a taste of the results.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Final Test

By the time I rolled around to this test, I was already feeling more comfortable with using watercolor glazes again.  This was more of a paper test.  While I knew about hot press, I had never used it.  Heck, I'd never even used super heavy paper before (and I'm depressed to admit that even watercolor board I've been using has still been buckling and/or curling more than I expected, necessitating the use of tape).  Hot press, though it too has grades, usually has a smoother or satin texture to it, as opposed to the grainier texture of cold press.  So as I prepped the final drawings, I did some glazes on this little lady.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

More Testing...

Much like acrylic mediums a year or two before, I had never really played with all the chemicals you can get to go with watercolor.  So, this test got a little damaged as I tried them out.  Specifically with the masking fluid.  Masking fluid, for those who don't know, is sort of like rubber cement and can be used to cover areas you want to keep free of paint.  It peels up with your thumb or eraser when you're done; however, you can't leave it on indefinitely, and with the wrong paper (which this was), it'll tear up the artwork when you try to take it off.  Like any medium on any project, this is what the testing is for. Like most of my gender, I tend to tear right into things without reading all the directions first.  Fortunately, I've at least learned to invest time in doing these tests so I can do this rash play, and figure out what I'm doing wrong without ruining the final project.

In the end, the paper was heavy enough that I was able to re-ink what got torn and with a few more layers of wash, I mostly managed to fudge it out.  Had I not liked the drawing, I likely wouldn't have bothered.  Even with a few rough spots, it turned out to be a decent piece.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Testing...Testing...1-2 1-2...

I'm afraid there hasn't been much time for sketching lately, as I've been in full finished piece mode for some time now.  But as I had to continue doing paint tests in preparations for the final pieces, I figured I'd share some more of the tests.

Now, I realize that doing watercolors and gouache (which I learned was once called bodycolor) over ink doesn't seem like it would call for much testing, but then you don't understand how long it's been since I've worked with watercolor.  The water-based disciplines sometimes get the short shrift because of their associations with crayons and kids, but to do them well takes patience and skill.

So, I started with a quick sketch of classic Hollywood star, Myrna Loy.  It's not totally accurate, and I realize the level of the eyes are a bit wonky....but didn't I say test above?

I chose to go for a teal/turquoise color of glazing.  The first couple I mixed, but as I felt it needed more greens or blues, I only added additional glazes of one or the other.  Myrna's hair was red and I figured that would be a great offset to the backdrop...and hey, I think I was right.  So there you are.

In case you were wondering what the finished piece from last week's post looked like.  I figured I'd include it with this post.  Using sepia as a base glaze helped get that muted tone that I'm going to be looking for in the final pieces.