Friday, November 15, 2013

Granny in the Afternoon

"Granny in the Afternoon"

Prismacolor colored pencil over watercolor on 140 lb. Jack Richeson watercolor paper. 
12" x 18" This is my first entry into the Colored Pencil Society of America's Explore This 10 online exhibit. This show is for colored pencil with another medium. I chose watercolor because it works so well with colored pencil and because I am becoming so comfortable with using it. I hope it gets juried into the show!

"Granny in the Afternoon wip 1"

A few passes of watercolor washes over masking to keep my highlights light. My first time using Jack Richeson paper and boy do I like it! It lays flat without stretching and it works well with fine detail in watercolor. Most cold pressed watercolor papers are rough so they have a lot of texture to deal with when using colored pencils, but I like texture so it doesn't bother me so much. If you don't like texture you can try using hot press watercolor paper.

"Granny in the Afternoon wip 2"

After painting the shadows of the basket on the floor and on the apple, I then painted the detail of the wires on the basket. This is all watercolor before I added any colored pencil.

Friday, October 25, 2013



Prismacolor colored pencil on watercolor beach wash on 140 lb watercolor paper 11" x 15". This recently won 3rd place at the 2013 State Fair in the professional class, drawing category. I learned about beach washes from Kate Lagaly. She has a fabulous tutorial here.

Since I am 4 hours away from the beach, I decided to try this in my backyard. I used a plastic tub with a solution of kosher salt and water. 8 tablespoons of salt per 1 gallon of water is a good approximation of sea water. I had some play sand laying around so I grabbed a handful or 2 of that and I had mixed up some old watercolors that had hardened in their tubes (cutting the tubes open to get the dried watercolor out). I don't recall how much water I mixed into the jars of paint, but I made sure it was watery enough to pour and not transparent. Then I took 3 - 11" x 15" sheets of watercolor paper out to my table with my pan of "ocean" water on it. I submerged 1 sheet and threw some sand on top and lifted it out of the water. I tilted it in different directions to let the water run through the sand to create the interesting organic shapes. When I thought it looked good, I laid it out on a sheet of plastic (I used an old shower curtain) in my shed. After I finished with the other 2 sheets of paper in salt and sandy water, I poured my different colors of paint. I then let them dry for a few hours. When they were totally dry I shook as much sand off as I could then brushed the rest off with a big brush.

The backs of the beach washes turn out nice too.

Dogwood Berries

"Dogwood Berries"

Watercolor on Masa paper 10 1/4" x 13 5/8".  My first attempt at this style of painting on masa paper. The masa paper has a smooth side and a fuzzy side and is sized. I marked the smooth side of the masa in one corner with permanent ink (micron pen). I took the piece of masa paper and crumpled it up in my hand, then soaked it in a bowl of warm water for about 30 seconds. I then spread it out carefully on paper towels fuzzy side up. I dropped watercolor paint on the paper while still wet. This is when the magic happens. The paint seeps into the cracks in the sizing made by crumpling the paper. When the paper was dry I flipped it over to see what I had created. It wasn't as dark as I had hoped so I repeated the crumpling, soaking and painting process. Next time I will allow the paper to soak a bit longer and squeeze it into a ball before I flatten it out. Some people paint on the fuzzy side for their finished painting. I painted on the smooth side.  After the second crumpling, soaking and painting process had dried, I took a piece of 140 lb watercolor paper and painted it with watered down matte medium and also on the fuzzy side of the masa. I placed a piece of waxed paper over the top and used a rolling pin to flatten it and glue it down to the watercolor paper. You can also use a brayer if you have one. After the "glue" has dried, then you can start to paint on the front. Be careful not to use too much water as the masa is a bit delicate. Don't scrub it!

Munching on Clover

"Munching on Clover"

Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor paper painted with acrylic paint first then prepped with acrylic ground for pastel. 12" x 16"  I loved the textures that the acrylic ground for pastels created. It seems like this piece would have taken a long time to create, but surprisingly I finished it pretty quickly.

Hiawatha's Hair

"Hiawatha's Hair"

Watercolor on Kilimanjaro 300 lb. paper 10" x 14". Another class project from one of my photographs. Hiawatha was in our class at the beginning and we were all crazy about his hair so I asked him to sit for a few photos after class one day. They turned out great and it was such fun to paint too.

Head Honcho of the Hen House

"Head Honcho of the Hen House"

Prismacolor colored pencil on Dura-lar. 9" x 14". This is another class project from one of my photographs. We drew one side of the semi-transparent Dura-lar with black, white and shades of grey. The flip side was done in color. I layered the finished piece with a sheet of beige paper underneath and because of its transparency, cut out some white shapes for the wings and head. This was lots of fun and I will most likely being using more Dura-lar in the near future.

Apple and Pear

"Apple and Pear"

Watercolor 10" x 14" on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro cold pressed paper. Every now and then my class would work from one of my photos. This is an example of that. I am the only one in the group who simply had to try painting the crochet part of the tablecloth. I do love a challenge!