Art

Hot Press Watercolor Paper

…makes me want to cry.

I’m trying, I really am, but I am not winning at this type of paper.  I’ve read comments and perused tutorials and all of that stuff.  “Don’t soak it”, “Soak it for 15 minutes”, “Gesso the front and back so it doesn’t buckle”, “Only use it for drawing!”, etc…

My first attempt was using watercolor pencils.  I sketched my figure out, did a bit of shading, and liked how it turned out!  Then…I added water.  Mistake.  I only added a little bit of water, not a lot, and it was still a disaster.  So, in an attempt to fix it, I added more paint/water.  Of course, it got worse.  The paper buckled and pilled.  In some sections the paint just lifted right off, leaving my lady speckled.  Frantic, I tossed aside all water-related mediums and attempted to smother her with oil pastels (that I don’t even know how to use).  I was desperate.  Hopeless.  The painting was destroyed.

I started off my second attempt being a little cocky, giving a little sashay in my step.  “I’m going to gesso the shit out of it!” and that I did.  Paper didn’t buckle or pill!  It made the surface a bit rough, and that was okay.  I lightly sketched an image on the paper, using a ruler, gettin’ my perspective right and everything.  Then I added the paint — acrylic this time.  Watered-down acrylic.  It wasn’t the best move.  It didn’t do what I thought it would do.  The paint still sort of lifted off, so I reduced the water and added more paint.  That seemed to help, but the background lost its subtly tinted sky and bare landscape and was replaced by rough spots and brush marks.  I like dry brushing.  I might even say I’m not terrible at it.  But, I didn’t want to dry brush this one.  I wanted it to be smooth, fluid, and pretty.  It, too, is a disaster.  It looks like I squeezed a whole bunch of acrylic paint on my hand and mashed it on the paper in a fit of rage.  It’s terrible.  I threw my brush against the table, took a hot shower and cried while in the shower.

I’m a basket case.  I’m not giving up, though.  Today is a new day!  A new day to completely wreck anything I touch!  A new day to make a zillion more mistakes, possibly cry some more, but also figure out what I did wrong and try something else.  I thought that what I was doing wrong was to even attempt to do any artwork at all, but I need to nudge that out of my head with a hard elbow.  Maybe.  I’m full of self-doubt today.

If you have comments or advice, I’d love to hear them!  In fact, I think I need it.

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Art

Illustration Friday: “Eye Glasses”

Sweet jayzus, it’s been a long time since my eyes graced the theme for Illustration Friday. This week the topic is “Eye Glasses”.  I feel that this illustration needs a story, so I’m going to tell you one.

When I was a little It, I developed a passionate madness for a gorgeous, gorgeous man loved by billions and billions of other people.  He was the ideal man for me.  A perfect face, perfect profile, intelligent, funny, glorious nose and bottom lip.  Who was he?  You guessed it, it was Rick Moranis!  Rick Moranis is still one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen so it only made sense to attempt to sketch him for this week’s Illustration Friday theme. When I think of glasses, I think of the beautiful Rick Moranis.  And Drew Carey.  Drew Carey was another massive crush of mine that (also) still hasn’t fully gone away.

This, though…this is about Rick Moranis.  I want to say (want) that the sketch looks kind of like him, but that might be the Riesling talking.  I absolutely can not draw real things – only the craziness in my brains.  Forgive me!  Also forgive me for the extra lines.  Since I’m not fully unpacked, I have no erasers!!  This makes as much sense to you as it does to me…unless it makes sense to you, then…no.  No erasers!  Gah!

Image

Art, Art House Co-op

It has arrived…

Not me, It, but the Self Portrait Project from Art House! It’s a 4 in x 4 in gallery wrapped canvas, primed and ready-to-go! I’m currently trying to figure out just how many of my personalities I can fit on this bad boy…

There’s also a note card explaining the rules – the same stuff on the site, just in paper form (easy for those of us that get cranky from staring at a screen for too long).

Who else has done this?! Tell me! If you haven’t yet, I still suggest you swing over to the Art House Co-op and see what projects they have going on there (for free and for dollars).

Art

Just a drawing…

I used to do these doodles while trying to offer tech support to customers at my old (very old) job. Squiggles kept me sane…

Art

Sooo cutting it close…

Yikes. It’s evening my time, but it’s still Sunday! Woo!

So, trying to decide what to post today, I figured I would give you this:

It’s from my Sketchbook Project “Encyclopedia of It“. After looking through the book, people will realize the title doesn’t make one damn bit of sense, but neither do I and while I’m hopelessly scattered, disorganized, and generally ridiculous, I still have a semi-sense of humor. This is called “Tyrannosaurus Sex” – as if I had to tell anyone that!

Oh to have a huge rack and tiny, tiny arms…

Art, Art House Co-op

The Sketchbook Project 2012…

Has gone the way of The Fiction Project.

This is Procrastinator 2: (Putting Off) Judgment Day. In this version, everyone (including Terminators) plops down on the sofa and nothing gets accomplished because they’re too busy watching American Dad and eating hummus with crackers. No one dies and Linda Hamilton doesn’t develop arms that could break Chuck Norris in two. Nope.

I should now tell you that I started writing this post on Saturday (2 days ago). On Saturday I was under the impression that my Sketchbook Project had to be post-marked by January 21st. Clearly I missed that, so I did what I typically do every time I feel defeated: I give up and internally give my self a “talking-to” about why I suck and how I need to take a course on the Meaning of Time and How it Works, or something like that.

Pouting, I opened Opera and headed over to the Art House Co-op to check out the other artists and see what was going on with them, and pout some more. When I did that, I saw a date: January 31st! I realized that I originally misread it (I do this frequently – numbers don’t look like they’re supposed to in my head) and I still had time!!!! Yesterday, I whipped out a bunch of drawings that don’t make one bit of sense and finished the Sketchbook Project. Today I put the book in a bubble sleeve, weighed it, slathered it with stamps, and shoved it in the mail-hole. Fingers crossed that the postage on USPS is correct!

Woohoo! This might be the first time I have completed something within the time frame I am given! I would celebrate, but I have to go watch It’s Always Sunny so I’ll celebrate later…

Art, Writing

Art with intention…

Does intent make it better or worse?

While preparing dinner I got caught up in the intention of preparing dinner. Suddenly I was acutely aware that I was holding a knife that was slicing through a vegetable that was going to be eaten for dinner. I was completely aware of that action – I wasn’t thinking about this blog or how Lucy jumped on the counter earlier to lick my empty salad bowl clean (she really is evil). I do think about those things when I’m doing other activities that don’t require my complete attention (washing dishes, cleaning, etc…). When my hands are working, I will allow my mind to play in the dirt in work clothes.

Once I became aware of being aware (strange feeling, isn’t it?) I thought about the process of creating artwork. I will let my mind do what it wants while my hands move to make lines that eventually become a picture. Other times I am exacting and fully engaged in what I’m making. Everything is done with intent. I’ve noticed that even though my pieces start out as mindless doodles, if I incorporate myself into the work, it develops a purpose. It becomes an intention. The process turns into a very powerful thing.

It’s easy for me to spot my intended pieces while looking over my collection, but not easy for me to see them in others’ work. That leads me to wonder how many other artists work with full intent or toss some colors on a surface to produce their work? Or maybe each of us has a mixture of works – a pile of mindless writings next to a pile of purposeful prose or a canvas closet full of magnificence and future-DIY-bulletin boards (I did that!)?

I’m curious about this. Probably because I’m nosey.