I made time for a little creative photography today….
I photographed some of my paint brushes on my desk in my little studio.
I used my 18 – 55 mm kit lens with my Canon EOS 7D. I processed the image in Photoshop. Very simply explained, I desaturated the image so that it was almost black and white but not quite. Then I added two layers of one of my own textures. Finally I sharpened the image and saved it. Done.
I love how the texture layers have given the brush handles a lovely marbled look….
Today sees a return to the Surface Treatment Workshop after a few weeks break for my holiday and time for me to recover from a rather unpleasant injury. Week 13 is about using pastes. I used Galeria Modelling Paste. Here’s what I did with it…
Pastes are very good for embedding objects into your art work. Above, after applying my paste (not too thinly) I pressed some papers, cardboard and some rusty washers into the paste. The washers were quite chunky and heavy but the paste did a great job of sticking them down. I then simply applied a thin wash of pale blue acrylic paint over the paste.
In the above sample, after applying the paste I embedded some papers and then I used a number of different things to make marks in the paste around the paper. I used a round cardboard tube and some bubble wrap. When the paste was dry I painted over the paste with pale blue and turquoise paint and highlighted some of the marks in the paste with gel pens.
Pastes are very good for embossing patterns into. Above I applied my paste to some thick paper and then pressed some swirly shapes into the paste. When it had dried I painted the shapes with blue, gold and turquoise acrylic paint.
Below is another similar sample:
I simply applied a pale turquoise acrylic paint to this one. These shapes turned out quite well.
So then to sum up my findings for this weeks workshop I would say pastes are a very useful commodity to have among my art supplies. I don’t think I will be using huge amounts of it but it will come in handy on occasions and it is very easy to use – does what it says on the tin… ! As always, these samples will be stuck into my dedicated STW sketchbook!
Next weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about skins – this could turn out quite interesting. Looking forward to it…
A wet in wet watercolour sketch on 140 lb hot pressed watercolour paper. The majority of this sketch is done with Paynes Grey, with just very tiny hints of Sepia and Prussian Blue. This took me about 15 minutes.
When it rains in Scotland the mountains very quickly blur into the clouds and mist and they still look beautiful. This sketch, my abstract rendition of rain on the mountains, will be stuck into my watercolour sketchbook…
A little watercolour practice in painting skies and clouds:
“Rain Clouds” above was painted with Paynes Gray
“Storm Clouds” was painted with Indigo for a slightly more moody looking sky
“Bright & Breezy” was painted with Cerulean Blue and tiny touches of Phthalo Blue
“Sundown” was painted with some soft sunset shades, namely: Sepia, Cadmium Red Pale Hue and Lemon Yellow. These colours were inspired by an image in my photo archives.
I enjoyed doing these very much and I plan to do more using different colours and trying different cloud patterns. Being a seasoned photographer I have a whole heap of “sky” photos in my archives to refer to for a little help and inspiration.
I remember years ago my brother saying to me ” What ARE you photographing??” as I had my camera pointed at the sky. I happily replied ” Clouds…”, his reply was “You’re weird.. !! ” shaking his head, with that cheeky grin on his face… ! LOL !!
I’ve learnt over the years to be completely indifferent to the strange looks I get when I photograph unusual things, at strange angles. If I like the colours, textures, shapes etc. I photograph it – I’ve learnt to trust my artistic judgement and not be self conscious about what other people think…
Week 12 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is all about Metal Leaf. This weeks’s major discovery for me is that I DON’T LIKE metal leaf… !! I’ve never used metal leaf before and probably never will again but it’s part of the workshop so I’ve done it and given it my best shot….
You can click the images to view them in more detail…
Above is my first sample – metal leaf over some lace. This actually worked quite well. I stuck my lace to some thick paper with PVA glue, then applied more glue over the lace and applied my metal leaf over the lace. I carefully pushed the metal leaf into the lace thoroughly to make sure the pattern showed through.
For my next sample I applied glue through a home made stencil and then applied the metal leaf over the stenciled glue:
It kind of worked OK, you could see the pattern but the edges weren’t crisp – probably something to with my technique…. ! So I then collaged around the metal leaf with some of my left over art work from previous projects and blended in some oil pastels.
How both samples look in my sketchbook:
Now, why didn’t I like metal leaf?? I’ll tell you:
Firstly, I discovered I had the same issues with metal leaf as I did with the aluminium foil (Week 3) – it’s difficult to apply colour to the shiny surface. Secondly it’s incredibly flimsy, delicate stuff to handle and use – it tears very easily. Thirdly, it’s very “fly away” – when you rub your excess metal leaf off just breathing too closely makes the stuff fly every where. I’m going to be picking up metal leaf bits for weeks….
In conclusion then my final question is: why should I faff around with gold metal leaf when I can use gold acrylic paint instead? Gold acrylic paint is quicker, easier, and cheaper to use and the end result is the same….. ! Of course, this is just my personal observation and experience of metal leaf. It will not be featuring in my future art works…
Monochrome landscapes in indigo watercolour. Mountains interest me at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m off to Scotland in a few weeks and we’re going to be surrounded by lovely hills, mountains and lochs…
You can click on the images to view them larger
I decided to keep my mountain watercolour landscapes very simple – simple shapes, shadows and colour. My blue mountains have been glued into my watercolour sketchbook. The smaller landscapes above are a mixture of Prussian Blue and Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue).
I first started to experiment with mixed media art in the spring of 2014. I bought a few books and started to try out some of the techniques. It was during this process that I very quickly discovered I love watercolour paint. However, I carried on with my mixed media experiments and it’s only now (3 years later) that I’ve made a conscious decision to develop my love of watercolour paint.
As far as art goes, watercolour painting is my first love. Whether I ever become any good at it is another matter entirely… but perhaps that’s not really what’s important. What’s important is that painting with watercolours is something I love doing and find enormously relaxing and therapeutic…
This weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about using drawing grounds – ie. clear gesso, absorbent ground or pastel ground. Out of these three I only had clear gesso so that’s what I used. Drawing grounds are used to add tooth to an uneven surface like a collage that’s made up from glossy items and matte items, it kind of “evens” out the surface.
So I started this weeks workshop by collaging two thick pieces of paper. I then covered them with my drawing ground – the clear gesso. I did actually mix my clear gesso with just a tiny bit of white gesso, just to very slightly tone down my collage a bit. I left it to dry. Then comes the interesting bit – what to put on top. The book gave only three prompts for this – add thin washes of colour, drawing on the surface or a combination of both. I did a combination of both…
On my first collage I decided I wanted to draw a fish. I don’t know why, I just did! So I did practice a couple of times on a separate piece of paper first and then drew my very simple fish above. I painted it over with watercolour paint but it looked a bit dull – I think that has to do with the clear gesso. It needed a bit of bling… so out came the pearl mica! I overlaid the watercolour with thin washes of complementary shades of pearl mica. You can click the images to view them larger…
Above is a macro view of the fish. You can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and also the texture of the clear gesso over my collage. I photographed this image using a 60mm macro lens at f/2.8 and made sure there was backlighting to get that lovely bokeh (the sparkly out of focus bit top and bottom)!
My second collage ended up like this:
I didn’t have any clear idea of what I wanted to draw on this one but I like circles, so I started by drawing some circles. Then came some lines and then I filled in with some colour, which I overlaid with some washes of pearl mica. It ended up looking a little “other worldly” so I called it Portals Into Another World…
Here’s a couple of macro views:
Above you can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and texture of the clear gesso. Below is a fun macro shot just because I love bokeh and blur…
Both of my samples for this week measure 13 cm x 10 cm and I have stuck them into my dedicated STW sketchbook. As is often the case, both these samples look better in reality than they do photographed! My sister Carolyn should be posting her samples from last week and this week soon, so please do pop over and have a look… ! In next week’s workshop we are using Metal Leaf – I’ve never used this before so I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with it but I’m up for the challenge…