Art · Surface Treatment Workshop · Watercolour

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 24

Welcome to week 24 of the Surface Treatment Workshop (STW). The workshop this week is about creating textures using rubbing alcohol. This is a really fun thing to do and so easy. All you need to remember is not to have your paint too thick – it needs to be a fairly runny wash – otherwise the alcohol wont break the surface of the paint. Here’s what I created….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 1 - NB

I used watercolour paints for my samples this week. I started with a wash of a light colour and then went straight over the top with a darker colour. Then while the paint is still wet I dropped in the alcohol. The alcohol breaks the surface of the paint and creates lovely patterns and textures….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 2 - NB

You can click on the images to view them larger if you wish. I used an assortment of different colours – Lemon Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 3 - NB

The rubbing alcohol created some lovely textures and patterns in my watercolour paint. This is a great way to add some extra interest to an abstract watercolour painting. In conclusion I think rubbing alcohol is an interesting and useful item to have among my art supplies. It’s not something I would use every day but to occasionally to add some extra drama to some art – it’s great!

Larger images of my work can be viewed in my Art Gallery. The next STW is about using a bleach pen in art work…. fun times ahead!

Art · Watercolour

Colour Harmony

Some exercises in colour harmony. It’s all about mixing warm and cool colours….

Colour Harmony 1 - NB

Mixing Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, (warm colours) with Ultramarine Blue (cool colour) to create simple sunset seascapes….

Colour Harmony 2 - NB

I have put these colour harmony exercises into my watercolour work book. Inspiration for these exercises came from the book “Tate Watercolour Manual Lesson from the Great Masters”, the section on Joseph Mallord William Turner, whose work I absolutely adore….

Time spent on simple exercises like this is a very useful learning process for me. I’ve almost finished reading this book. Then I’m going to start it again from the beginning and do more of the exercises….

Art · Watercolour

Ocean Colours

I’m going to begin this post with a little confession…… around 12 years ago I bought myself a pack of 12 Windsor & Newton professional watercolours and it’s only in the last 6 months that I have actually started making proper use of them… ! I’m also pretty sure that I’m not the only person who’s done that… !!

Out of that set of 12 colours there are 2 greens: Hookers Green and Sap Green. These are both colours that I have virtually never used. Like many artists, if I need green I prefer to mix my own from blues and yellows. Last week I decided to have a little play with those greens….

Ocean Colours 1 - NB

I started by mixing Hookers Green with Prussian Blue and some lovely ocean colours began to emerge. I continued by mixing the Hookers Green with Phthalo Blue…. more lovely ocean colours….

I went on to do exactly the same with the Sap Green….

Ocean Colours 2 - NB

 

…. even more lovely, lovely ocean colours emerged! I love these colours ~ they inspire me. I may not use those greens for foliage but they are certainly going to start featuring in some seascapes in the future.

So…. are you one of those people (like me!) who’ve had a set of paints in a drawer or cupboard for over 10 years and never used them? Why not get them out and have a play with them? Go on, you know you want to…. !! You don’t have to create a masterpiece ~ just play with them ~ mix some colours ~ let them run together, mingle ~ have some FUN with them….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 23

This week’s workshop is all about using shaving foam in mixed media art. This is something I would have never considered using in art before reading the Surface Treatment Workshop book. The basic technique is to apply shaving foam to the back of a disposable plate (or other flat surface), then drop paint into it, swirl it round a bit and then transfer it you your art surface. Here’s my first sample….

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 1 - NB

I applied my shaving foam really thickly to the back of a disposable plate I added yellow ochre, turquoise, indigo and gold acrylic paint, mixed it in the foam a bit and transferred it to my paper. I swirled the foam round the paper with the plate and then lifted it off. At this stage I had a choice – I could either scrape the foam off straight away or leave in on to disintegrate. I decided to leave it on to disintegrate by itself. I left it for 24 hours and returned to find the foam had disappeared leaving some amazing painted textures on my paper.

Now shaving foam is obviously not archival, so to preserve my lovely textured surface I carefully applied a layer of acrylic glazing medium. When dry I applied a second coat of glazing medium mixed with some pearl mica in complementary colours.

While the above shaving foam sample was disintegrating I started some more samples….

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 2 - NB

For the above samples I followed exactly the same process but using slightly different colours – Indigo, Prussian blue, Yellow Ochre and Gold. I left the foam on to disintegrate.

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 3 - NB

For the above I used Indigo, Prussian Blue, Pale Power Blue and Silver. When the foam had disintegrated to virtually nothing I was left with lovely lace kind of pattern. All my samples were finished with acrylic glazing medium to preserve the textures and patterns.

Shaving foam is interesting stuff to use in art but it is MESSY !! If you don’t make a mess applying it, you will make a mess scraping off any unwanted residue! It’s sticky and gets everywhere. I highly recommend giving yourself plenty of space for this technique and move/cover anything you don’t want to get shaving foam on! All that said, I’m quite pleased with how my samples turned out and it was fun to do….

Next week’s workshop is about using Rubbing Alcohol. It’s going to be interesting…

Art · Watercolour

Cornish Roof Top Sketches

When I visited my sister in Cornwall a few weeks ago I spent a little time doing some sketching outside the front of her house. As the house is quite high up on a hill you get a nice view of the Cornish roof tops. So I decided to sketch a few.

Cornish Rooftops Pencil Sketches - NB

I used a HB pencil on A4 sketchbook paper. This was good practice for me – I need lots of practice at drawing! Reasonably happy with my basic sketches I started to think about painting them….

Cornish Rooftop Colours - NB

My sketches were going to be painted with watercolours but first I needed to decide on what colours to use. After doing several tests on some spare paper, the colours above are what I chose to use. Cornish roof tops are predominantly grey with lots of yellow lichen growing on them. The chimney pots are lovely – very old fashioned terracotta pots in lots of lovely different shapes and styles…

Cornish Rooftop Painted 1a - NB

You can click on the images to see larger views. I did make a classic beginners mistake when painting these – I diluted my paint slightly too much. Hence the colours aren’t quite as strong as I would like. But I’ll put that down to experience and try to improve on that in the future! On the whole though, I like how my Cornish roof tops turned out. Here’s some closer views…

Cornish Rooftop Painted 2 - NB

Cornish Rooftop Painted 3 - NB

Lots more sketching is on the agenda in the future to hopefully improve my drawing and painting skills…..

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 22

Welcome to week 22 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week in  the workshop we were using pours. Pours are created by mixing acrylic paint with different mediums to create a pouring mixture which you then pour onto your art and let it run. Here’s my sample:

Week 22 - Pours - NB

To create pours you can mix the paint with an assortment of different acrylic mediums. I used just a little gloss gel and water with my acrylic paint. The colours I used were: Paynes Grey, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue and White. I started with a collage base and then let my diluted paint run over it. I like how the colours have run and mingled together. I particularly like how they’ve run over the textured paper in the top left corner. Here’s a closer view:

Week 22 - Pours - Macro 1 - NB

I enjoyed using pours this week and this is something I will do again in the future. Next week in the workshop we’re using shaving foam – it’s going to get messy! But I’m still looking forward to it….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 21

Week 21 of the Surface treatment workshop is about embedding items into a work surface. Embedding helps to create interesting textures that seem to be custom made to a piece of art work.

I did just one sample for this week and kept it very simple…,

Week 21 - Embedding - NB

I attached a piece of lace fabric to some sketchbook paper with modelling paste and then blended the edges of the fabric into the surface with a bit more modelling paste. I left it to dry and painted stripes of colour over it. The fabric has blended into the paper quite well. Here’s a closer view…

Week 21 - Embedding - Macro - NB

The edge of the fabric blended quite seamlessly into the work surface….

The touch of sparkle is a touch of pearl mica in a shade called Diamond Dust – it’s one of my favourites….

This sample will be added to my growing pile of samples ready for gluing into my STW Sketchbook…..

 

Art · Watercolour

Quick Watercolour Seascapes

Today I managed to find an hour to do a couple of quick watercolour seascape sketches….

St. Clements Isle Watercolour - NB

Above is a watercolour sketch of St. Clements Isle, just off the coast of Mousehole, Cornwall, UK. This is one of those paintings that is best viewed from a slight distance. This watercolour is loosely based on the photo below:

a-black-diamond-edit-nb

This is the other watercolour sketch I did this afternoon:

Turquoise Seascape - NB

This watercolour is of nowhere in particular and just came straight out of my imagination. I started this by wanting to just use up the left over paint in my palette and it kind of turned into a seascape…

I enjoyed doing these quick seascapes this afternoon. Both measure approximately 6″ x 4″ – just the right size to go into my watercolour sketchbook. Both were done on 140 lb watercolour paper.

By The Sea · Photography · Surface Texture

Mousehole Colours & Textures

Mousehole Colours & Textures - NB

Inspirational colours and textures in Mousehole, Cornwall, UK. Soft blues, greens and greys…

Blue Boat Texture - NB

Weathered blues, soft greens, flaky peeling paint and rust….

Harbour Blues & Rust - NB

These colours inspire me….. they make me want to get mixing watercolours in my paint palette and splash colour on paper….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Weeks 18 & 19

Well I’ve managed to get myself a bit behind with the Surface Treatment Workshop,  so I’m posting 2 weeks together today and still hope to get this weeks workshop done to post later in the week!

Week 18 was about using ventilation tape. Basically it’s a thick self adhesive tin foil and it has a backing you peel off. This is probably something I would never have thought of using for art work…..

Week 18 - Ventilation Tape 3 - NB

This is ventilation tape just screwed up and the backing peeled off and stuck down. I then applied several washes of thinned acrylic paint. The paint sits very nicely in the grooves.

Week 18 - Ventilation Tape 2 - NB

Week 18 - Ventilation Tape 1 - NB

For the above I made marks in the ventilation tape, then peeled the backing off and stuck them down. I made more marks and then applied acrylic paint over the top.

Week 19 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is about embossing. I’ve used molding paste for embossing before and it worked really well, so this time I decided to try something different. I decided to use acrylic Matte Gel Medium and also Fiber Paste.

Week 19 - Embossing 1 - NB

For the above sample I started with a painted background and then applied a thin layer of Matte Gel over the top. I left it to start to dry for about an hour or so. Then I pressed a piece of patterned vintage fabric into it. I carefully peeled it off and left it to dry. The Matte Gel dried transparent so I applied some thin washes of pearl mica over the top to make the pattern stand out more.

Next is the Fiber paste sample…

Week 19 - Embossing 2 - NB

Again I started with a painted background and then applied a layer of Golden Fiber Paste. I left it to start to dry, about an hour or so. Then I pressed a piece of wallpaper onto the left side of the sample, it had a lined pattern on it. It didn’t work quite a well as I hoped but did create some extra texture. On the right hand side I pressed some rubber grip (the stuff you place under mats to stop them slipping) into the Fiber Paste, used some paper to press it into the paste and then peeled it off. This worked  a bit better, you can see the square patterns. I finished with washes of pearl mica to add some extra colour.

So it was an interesting couple of weeks in the workshop, trying different things and covering new ground (well, new ground for me!). The next surface Treatment Workshop is about using glazing mediums – looking forward to this….