I have been playing with my crayons again. This time I tried to scale up from the small sizes I’ve been doing (5″X7″ and 6″X6″) to a quarter sheet of paper. I worked on a block of Arches 140# cold pressed (CP) paper. I wanted to use many colors and a swirling design because I was thinking about a fiesta or festival of some kind. Dancing, fireworks, movement and color – that’s what I saw in my minds eye. This painting has three layers of crayon. You have to be really careful or the colors all just melt together to form mud. I am still learning about using the crayons and I love many of the colors. Some are dramatic, deep and rich while some are packed with pastel punch. Oh yeah! enough to keep me enchanted…
April 25, 2013 April 26, 2013
I really admire Barry Coombs and his ability to inspire artists both old and new. I love to watch his blog and to learn (from a long distance away) along with his local students. He recently started a new set of classes so I am going to tag along as I can find time. Here is the link to Lesson 1.
I started by sketching a draft of the composition I chose. I always move things around and reorganize the components – at least a little.
Then I worked on planning the color scheme and got a sketch I liked the first time .
I did two more color sketches. The first used the warm color scheme that Barry uses so much in his “set ups”. I just blocked in the shapes and the colors were OK but didn’t grab me this time.
The final color sketch used primary and secondary colors. Once again I blocked in the shapes and I wasn’t dazzled with this color scheme either. All of the color sketches are done in my AquaBee sketchbook. I probably won’t have time to turn these into a painting but completing all of the sketches has been excellent practice for me.
April 21, 2013 April 22, 2013
I had several meetings last week and one of them was a brainstorming session…that one left my head spinning. My monkey brain would not be quiet! Any way, I have been able to spend a small amount of time creating. Below are two new postcards. I like both of these…really fun to paint.
With both of these little pieces, I enjoyed the look of shattered glass and the interesting paterns. The surface of the postcards is smoother than the notecards and gives a different look.
I haven’t touched up the edges yet. I am using Dr Martin’s Bleed-Proof White to touch up the edges.
April 13, 2013 April 15, 2013
In an earlier post that you can view here, I talked about Indiana Autmun 2 and how challenging it was to create. This painting is done on plate finish illustration board and it was the first time I worked with this surface. I was not happy with the lower corners of the painting and was playing around with cropping. I couldn’t find a cropping format that worked. I was planning on taking a full sheet painting and cutting it down to half sheet or quarter sheet size. While painting Indiana Autumn 3 I had the earlier painting on an easel for the “living with it” phase and I decided my approach to cropping was wrong. I finally decided to take 3″ off the top and bottom. Affter that I did two pours of paint to unify the painting better. Lots of details for you but at this point I’m much happier with the painting.
As I’ve mntioned, one of my struggles with this series is that the main color scheme is made up of mid-value colors. The struggle for me has been to add diversity and excitement with darker values.
April 11, 2013 April 12, 2013
You may be getting really tired of hearing me babble on about my notecards…good news! I’ve run out of notecards so I switched to POSTCARDS! As I mentioned yesterday I had forgotten to get photos of two of my notecards so I shot a photo of notecard 6. With this one I started trying straight bands of color and I chose purples and grays for this painting.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I started doing postcards. I found an old pad of Cotman postcards that I took to Mexico on a vacation several years ago. The paper is 4″ X 6″ (slightly smaller than the notecards) and I am taping off a 1/4″ border. The colors were applied in organic shapes and are pale colors such as flesh, spring green and pale peach…I wanted a soft gentle look. The postcards are smoother than the Whatman notecards which have a rough surface.
April 10, 2013 April 11, 2013
I finished my last notecard and realized I had never photographed two of the paintings. I gave most of my cards away yesterday to a group of friends that are helping me with a big project but I still have one and will photograph it later. Here is Notecard 8.
I did something slightly different with this one. I usually use my Caran d’Ache crayons to color shapes in organic, random patterns and then spray with water and apply shrink wrap. This time I colored square and rectangular shapes – every shape was geometric. Then I used the same process of spraying and sealing with wrap. I was trying to use darker, deeper colors. I think the results are interesting.
April 8, 2013 April 10, 2013
I continue to make notecards and am enjoying the process and learning as I go. My current problem has to do with artist’s tape. I use the 1″ wide, white artist’s tape and am trying to figure out how long I can leave it on without creating “pulls” when I take it off. Haven’t quite got it right yet!
With this notecard I wanted to use darker, more dramatic color. I like the mix of the gray with the three greens.
Once again, I was trying for deeper, more dramatic color but what a difference the reds, oranges and yellows make.
April 7, 2013 April 9, 2013
I finally finished my third Indiana Autumn painting. I struggled with this one because the paper was rippling. I was using 300# Arches paper and that paper usually stays very flat and handles large amounts of water well. However, the last shipment I received does not feel as thick as usual. It flexes more than past shipments and when I’ve used 300# in the past it has not rippled. With the techniques I use this can be a major problem. Anyway, the painting took longer than I expected but I did get it completed and am pretty satisfied with the results. Hoosiers out there – what do you think? Does this remind you of an Indiana Autumn? I hope so!
April 6, 2013 April 7, 2013
I continue to play with my notecards and crayons. I am finding one interesting challenge. I tape down the notecard to keep the paper flat and to define the white border around the painting. When I wet the paper it makes a big flat bubble and the water begins to run off the paper like rain running down a mountain side. This gives nice mixes and mingles of color BUT it also pulls out the wrinkles I have created in the shrinkwrap. I need the wrinkles to give texture and interest but they just slide away. With this notecard I tried to give more texture by applying a second layer…and a third. It didn’t turn out well and I really abused the paper. This notecard will carry a note to my Granddaughter – she’ll appreciate it because its hand-made by Grandma.
When I made my third notecard I decided to lay heavy books on the painting after the water and shrink wrap were applied. This seems to be reasonable solution. I was very patient and let this one dry completely before removing the shrink wrap.
I have two more notecards started this morning and I am almost done with a third Indiana Autumn painting. Proud of my productivity considering that I watched NCAA basketball games and Les Miz yesterday. House cleaning – what’s that!!??
April 4, 2013 April 5, 2013
I ran out of Fluid Watercolor Paper – 0n both size blocks at the same time! Oh NO! So I went seeking small sized paper blocks and found that I can find Fluid paper in Indianapolis art stores but only in the 9″ X 12″ size. Not too bad and I bought some but larger than I wanted. At United Art & Education they had watercolor notecards so I bought a set of these to try out. I thought the crayon paintings might make good notecards – and they did! I am still learning how much water to use and when to remove the shrink wrap but I thought my first card turned out well. The colors used were inspired by my longing for Spring. The pieces that look like sea glass are not as pronounced on the actual notecard.
Wishing you warm weather and refreshing breezes!