“Experiments” series cont..2

Hi everybody, here’s another piece from the “Experiments” series:
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In this piece I used an old watercolour snippet of a face I had lying around. I adhered it to canvas and used pouring medium over it:
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After the pouring medium encased the watercolour, I used micaceous iron oxide to “shade” around the watercolour to “frame” it like a vignette along with some magenta. The magenta is then used to obscure the eyes, accentuate lips and define the outline of the head. More layers of pouring medium is applied on top with various shades of teal that remind me of bronze patina. Finally, striations of gold and silver are added to breakup the image:
imageThe black bits are fragments of micaceous iron oxide.

The piece is interesting to me because of the colour combinations and patterns. Also, the juxtaposition of the traditional-figurative against abstract motifs. The traditional elemet is a watercolour of a woman’s head, the fluid application of the magenta versus the abstract elements of rectilinear metallic lines, and even the gloss of the medium itself.

Here’s a side shot:
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I’m learning quite a bit about what this pouring medium can do. And I’m finding that it is really versatile.

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Meditation: Eggs

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I hope everyone had a good Easter.

My Easter was tacked on to the end of spring break from school. It was nice bonding with the kids, but not without the usual hiccups. All in all though, it was a nice break.

Above is a doodle of eggs: birth and re-birth of life, ideas and nature.

Wishing you the fresh start spring always brings,

Jeannette

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Patterns II

The other day, I had a lot of fun making patterns. Today, I painted the same watercolour circles again, but this time I used white outlines instead of black ones:

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This change to white outlines does give the piece a different look and a lighter feel. The white was done using my favorite white pen, Mitsubishi Uni Signo. I found that the same patterns can look very different depending on lighting and colour.

Below are examples of my patterns after they have been put through different digital filters:

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There are so many different looks and possibilities!

Wishing you a great weekend.

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Patterns

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I am sometimes inspired by patterns and illustrations. In this case, I was inspired by the patterns in the work of Lisa Congdon. Patterns are a great way of making creative marks when you don’t know what to depict. In a lot of cases, the motif develops naturally and it is often interesting to see what the final product turns out to be.

On my journal page in the picture above, I used my new favourite Akashiya Sai brush pen to paint the coloured circles. I used a waterbrush to dilute the coloured circles to have a watercolour look. For outlining and applying linear patterns, I used my trusty Sakura Pigma Microns. I like the contrast of the black lines in its many variations on the watercolour circles.

I think it’s interesting to see how many variations of patterns you can come up with. I was exploring the circular-segmented motif that seems to look floral. I like the overall look of the patterns that make-up the big picture. It is bright, colourful and whimsical but it also has a bit of edge from the black lines.

Next time you don’t know what to draw, try a pattern.

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Akashiya Sai

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I think I mentioned before how strongly I feel about using archival art materials. I usually use only acid-free, better yet lignin-free, and lightfast art making supplies.

The only exception so far is Akashiya Sai brush pens. These Japanese dye-based coloured pens have synthetic brush ends that are finer and more supple than regular waterbrushes. They are also a dream to work with. They blend with water so easily and the colours are so beautiful, vibrant and transparent. I mentioned them before but I had to bring them up again because they are sooo nice to work with.

Since they are not archival (the colours will fade with light), I use them only in journal pages or doodles that will not be sold or displayed:
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If you like watercolour effects in a brush pen and do not need something archival, give these pens a try. You can find them at Jetpens and other online stores like Amazon.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

P.S. I can never remember how to spell the name of these pens. 😆

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Watercolour and summer

I wanted to post some summery images to offset the grim events of the fires and to cheer myself up. To me, summer is about sun and sea, and watercolours are great for light and colourful paintings. In this case, a small starfish painting on a piece of rag watercolour paper:

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The watercolour is decorated with white acrylic inks by Daler-Rowney, FW inks. They are very nice quality inks applied with a dip pen (the kind with holder and nib). I think I would have liked the nib to be finer in this case.

The decorated aquatic specimens are my way of celebrating and appreciating nature by observation and adornment.

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Watercolour fish

It’s summertime where I am. And it’s been hot!

For me, the seasons and temperatures do influence what kind of materials and images I tend to work on. Below is a watercolour of a fish accented with black and white designs in ink:

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It looks light and reminds me of Batik prints. I did a series of simple watercolours like this on small pieces of rag watercolour paper.

Sometimes it’s good to make some light-hearted art.

And Happy Canada Day to us Canadians!

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Watercolour face on mat board

You know I like to experiment.

One day, I had some rag mat and wondered how watercolour would look on it. So I painted a face and whatever else came to me. Below is the result:

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The effect was interesting and watercolour on mat board will work for limited techniques, but had its limits. For example, there’s not much room for scrubbing: the cotton fibres kind of pill up. But if you wanted to do a quick painting, it’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t take heavy washes and it’s not suitable for too much wet-on-wet since there is no sizing on the board.

I like to experiment and explore art medium in different ways. Do you like to experiment?

Wishing everyone an enjoyable weekend. 🌾

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Abstract watercolour: When I was a Child

Oftentimes, I feel downtrodden by life. I crave the innocent wonder and natural acceptance of the world I felt when I was a child. I don’t think I would be amiss to say everyone treasures those feelings they had in childhood.

In art and life, I sometimes strive to achieve ‘the beginner’s mind’ or to see things with fresh eyes. This was the goal for my piece ‘When I was a Child:

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I started this watercolour with the motivation of the feelings I just talked about. I wanted to express a carefree, playful and innocent feeling, but there is another element in the painting as well. There are opposing rectilinear symbols that look foreign to a child’s mind; much like how the world would seem from a child’s eyes. But even these foreign elements of the adult world coexist naturally in the child’s world.

The child’s world reflected through the painting is colourful and vibrant with fluididity and movement. Transparent colours intermingle and the cryptic incised symbols are just there. I guess my metaphor of this piece would be: to be fully engaged with wonder, curiosity and beauty in life despite the unknowns and uncertainties.

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