Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Galoshes of Fun!

Watercolor, Ink and Stamps
Handbook Watercolor Sketchbook
17" x 3.5
This was fun! I very much enjoyed creating this double spread. First, I really love the long format and second, I've finally found a way to work with the paper of this particular sketchbook. I've been working in this sketchbook since October. The paper has given me a fit from day one. I've tried working with various tools, ink, and watercolors. It wasn't until recently, that I remembered one of my old rules*—get in, get it down, get out!

What does that mean? You've only got one chance so make it count! The paint sits up on the paper. Very little soaks in, so if you try for a second wash, chances are very good you're going to have a mess on your hands. Such was the case in this image. The red of the boot gave me fits! So, I pulled out another one of my old rules*—add penwork to de-emphasis the watercolor.

It never fails to amaze me how much pen will change a watercolor from a painting to a graphic image or a sketch. In this case, I used that to my advantage. Before the pen was added it was very obvious the washes were blotchy and uneven. With the pen, they're still blotchy and uneven, but it's less noticeable now.

*I say rules, but they're guidelines that have worked well for me over the years working with watercolors. Your results, should you try these "rules" on for size, will vary wildly as you are a different artist than I am! I have been using this sketchbook as a place to practice getting in, get the pigment down in a heavy-enough wash the first time, and getting out—so I don't have to go in a second time!

16 comments:

  1. I do like the pen work ere Laure. I like pen work a lot anyway. I used to be afraid of it now I just go with it. I would still be afraid of that skinny little sketchbook though.

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  2. Great info--I've got a sketchbook made from what I think is the same type of paper. I'll remember the get in/get out principle when I work in it.

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  3. Very striking effect with the intense colors and pen work. I love the addition of the dots for the background - I love polka dots! I'll assume that they were what was done with a stamp.

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  4. Thanks, Lisa! I'm having too much fun with the shape! I've found all kinds of cool things to put in that book.

    KJ, I find that principle stands the test of time no matter what kind of paper I'm working with. Less chance of overworking the piece.

    Yes, Claire, the dots are stamped. I then when back and darkened a few with pen as they weren't quite bold enough.

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  5. I love this - it is fun - you're right.

    I enjoy penwork both before and after WC washes and that word 'graphic' really sums it up. A great reminder!

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  6. Fun, fun, fun! I love that boot...perfect for the April showers soon on the way.

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  7. I'm crazy about this! I love it, love it, love it! (can you feel my enthusiasm? ;-)

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  8. I'm thinking of trying one of these Handbook journals so the advice is great. Forewarned is forearmed or something like that. I think your boot looks terrific and not splotchy at all. Okay, I went back for a closer, closer look and see some splotchiness but all the rubber boots I've seen in real life have that too so it looks more real to me and is not a minus in any way!

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  9. Your work is so much fun. I like how you add things that are unusual, like a polka dot background. I am trying to figure out what was the stamp you used. it says watercolor ink and stamps underneath the photo.

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  10. Thanks, Ms. Gillian! I'm more of a penwork after work kind of girl. If I do the penwork first, I feel like I'm doing a paint-by-numbers piece!

    Thanks, Kelly, we've had rain two days this week with more on the way!

    Thanks, T!

    Timaree—save your money and make one out of paper you love instead! Seriously. I made one to take to NOLA out of Arches and I LOVE it. This one...not so much. Thanks for the kind words, too!

    Hey, Cris, thank you! The polka dot background is stamped, but then I went back and added some pen work to some of the dots that didn't show up well.

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  11. Laura this is eyecatching! I assume you stamped first (no dots show through though anywhere, so wondering if you masked the painted image and stamped later?)

    What kind of brush did you use - nothing is bleeding out of the perfect outline, though yes I understand you had a paper that didn't accommodate that. Just perfect; oh did you use w/colour pencils maybe? So neat a result whatever you used.

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  12. Hey, Carole, thank you! I stamped last! I also did the outline of ink last as I really didn't intend to ink this one. I use tracing paper to create a mask and then use tape to hold it in place while I stamp.

    I used a waterbrush (like I use in the videos) and for this one, I didn't use any watercolor pencils. If and when I'm not using a waterbrush, I tend to use sable brushes.

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  13. Love, Love, Love this! The color, design-Everything. Your work is such an inspiration!

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  14. I like that the paint looks a little "blotchy". To me it kind of looks like water on the boot. Anyway, these are great tips. I have always liked working with pens in my paintings. Gives them a "finished" look, I think.

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  15. How great is this! Spring, rain, flowers...

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  16. So pretty Laurie! Spring is HERE!!!! Excellent work and it is so incredibly fresh!

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