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.

Advertisements
Art

Illustration Friday: “Explore”

I’ve been ill and I’ve done nothing but lie around, reading Pet Sematary and popping lozenges. SO, I decided to use an older drawing/painting for Illustration Friday’s word, which is “Explore”. I thought this painting (A Head, 2012) was suitable!

Art

Stretching, stretch, stretching…

I missed last week’s I.F. – the word was “Stretch”. This is what I made and wrote.

Spindly with graceless steps, pointed toes, stretching limbs as far as possible, rushing to get off the street, hoping these sentient buildings (it’s in your head, dear) would stop with their imposing posture. Maybe the beginning of capture – “we snack on Marfan”. Maybe a respectful, welcoming gesture – “we mean you no harm as we mean nothing”. Her mind flutters with questions: “Is it a greeting or am I for eating?”

Art

Not afraid of whimsy…

A couple of weeks ago I did two drawing/painting type pictures that Jer insisted had a “Nagel-like quality to them” (Patrick Nagel…oh how I loved him). In addition to that, they are “pretty” and colorful and not typical of what I do. Still, I have to admit that I do like them, especially because they’re out of my norm, and it was really fun to experiment.

As you know from my last entry, I have drawings posted on Etsy and decided to post these as well. While they don’t really fit with everything else in my shop, I don’t care because I don’t really fit with everything else in my head. I suppose that makes it more honest and more…me *smile and wink*. Enjoy. 🙂

Art

New body baby…

New body as in body of work. I’m not sure where I’m going with it, but I have found that I’m very attracted to poppies. Symbolically they are of great interest to me – anything that is tied to dreams is bound to pique my interest (or obsession). I’ve also noticed that the use of poppies seems to soften things up a bit for those that are turned off by my work.

I stayed with my Grandmother a lot when I was a little girl and among the variety of flowers she had (has) were poppies. They surrounded the base of 2 oak trees that I played on and around. I loved the colors – bright bloody red, sometimes tinted orange and the petals seemed so vulnerable. We sold fake poppies made by Veterans to support the American Legion. The fake poppy petals were more resilient than the real ones and I always wondered why poppies were chosen for that specific purpose. I’m sure I knew I one time, but I can’t think of it right now.

Knowing the different things poppies represent I was hesitant to use them in my work, considering the subject matter, but hopefully it will be taken as something positive, whatever the interpretation. One constant running theme with me: I mean no harm.

Art

This is a face…

This is only a face…  I’m terribly uninspired so I doodled a face with watercolor pencils in hopes that it would kick-start me.