Sunday, April 23, 2017

All Done and Some Lessons Learned


Here's my finished piece after many hours of tedious but enjoyable work.  I've learned a couple of lessons, which are:

This is very tedious work that requires intense concentration as every stroke must be as perfect as I can make it - so, don't work too long at a time, or at all if I feel tired or just "off."

Consider leaving some of the flowers and/or leaves less finished than others.

Be really careful about keeping the paper clean.  Keep a paper towel between the paper and my restin hand, and keep the paint palette on the same side of the piece as the water container to avoid unintended drips.

Remember that line work will blur when a wash goes over it, so plan the sequence of line work carefully.



Friday, April 21, 2017

And Yet Again


I'm finished with most of the flowers now.  It's fun adding the final detail of the veins in the petals and the white stripes at the base of the petal.  I'm outlining each petal with a thin line.  I'm on the home stretch now.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

And Again


Just adding more washes, trying to enrich the color and create form through lights and darks.  I'm having trouble keeping the white of the paper clearn.  I use a paper towel under my right hand, which often rests on the paper, but I sometimes forget and then get into trouble.  I think the little spots at the top left may have been caused by my cat, Darcy!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Next Layer of Washes


By the way, this is a scan as opposed to the picture in the last posting which was a photo.  The scan is much better.

Anyway, I have now finished the second set of washes as well as painting the veins in the leaves.  For the flowers, I'm using Carbazole Violet and Cobalt Blue Violet on the bluer flowers and Quinacridone Violet and Napthol Maroon on the redder flowers.  I had Rose of Ultramarine on the my pallette but wasn't using it.  I wish I hadn't overlooked it because it's a very pretty color.

I find this technique to be tedious but also to require absolute attention as too much or too little water on the brush creates a problem that can't be fixed.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A New Challenge


I'm so inspired by all the beautiful flowers, both wild and domestic, in my yard and garden that I thought I'd have a try at botanical art.

This is the first step (except for the drawing which came before) of my first piece, silver dollars in bloom.  This is a wild flower that has beautiful flat translucent seed pods that are often used in flower arrangements.  The flowers are a gorgeous blend of blue/violet and red/violet, with the newer blossoms leaning towards the blue and then turning more towards the red as they age.

I'm working with watercolor which is a medium I seldom use, but it's traditional for this type of art, so I'm going to try to learn how to use it well - a long-term endeavor, I'm sure!

The beginning is pale washes, and as I proceed I will build up the color.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Secret Life of Hens


This is the finished piece.  The lantern lights as I've installed a tiny led light.  The light switch is on the back of the base.  I've entered it in Fire Mountain Gem's current competition which is polymer or air-dry clay.

The white chicken has a great hand.  The fox has a terrible hand but he's upping the ante anyway!







Friday, March 24, 2017

Fox and Chickens Play Poker


Here's an early phase of my latest project.  I started it to enter in Bead and Button's 2017 Bead Dreams Competition, but I didn't get it done in time.  I'm thinking if I do a really good job on it I can enter it next year. For the category I'm going to enter the piece must be 85% polymer clay.  It's going to be a poker game inside the chicken coop.

At this stage, I've made most of the players - the fox, five chickens, and a mouse - as well as the inverted pails that two of the chickens are standing on and the straw bale on which the game will be played.

I've sculpted and baked the pieces, then I attempted to antique them, which I where I began to run into trouble.  This is a technique that I've never been too successful with.  You have to completely seal the polymer clay or the antiquing medium soaks right in and can't be rubbed off.  So I sealed each piece with two coats of satin finish acrylic varnish.  Then I mixed acrylic paint with Golden air brush medium which I understand to be an acrylic medium.  

I had my usual few instances of places that I hadn't properly sealed.  But, worst of all is that for some reason the antiquing mixture that I used ended up giving the pieces a gloss finish which I don't like at all.  Plus, the fox is no so dark that I'm not happy with it.

For tomorrow, I'll have to think of a way to correct these problems.