Monday, September 26, 2011

Cactus Flower-watercolor on TerraSkin

I'm still playing around with the TerraSkin paper surface.  I love the watery effects I can get with it and it forces me to paint more loosely.  I took some pictures of cacti flowering at Sherman Gardens a while ago and had been wanting to try painting them.  The flowers on these cacti are so beautiful I will probably paint them many times in several mediums.  This is a very small painting but I think a huge painting of these would be amazing.

Cactus Flower
Image Size 5.5" x 4"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stone Hollihocks- TerraSkin

What a weird title for this painting, right?  Well, it's painted on "stone" of a sort.  I found out about this new "paper" from a blogger (sorry I don't remember who) and hunted it down because I just had to try it.  It is called TerraSkin and is made from 75-80% stone (recycled calcium carbonate, the mineral in marble) and an environmentally friendly polyethylene resin.  It uses about 50% less energy to produce, no bleach and little to no water.  It is also acid free.  When I heard about it, I couldn't wait to try it.  I'm always looking for interesting substrates for my art.

One of the environmental perks of this "paper" is that it is biodegradable in 3-9 months with enough heat, moisture and sun.  Of course, I don't want my art degrading but I would imagine that a piece of regular paper would be destroyed much, much quicker in that type of environment than this surface would.  Remember people, don't put your art in the direct sun and definitely don't put your paintings in the landfill and expect for them to survive. : )

This paper has a wonderful chalky feel to it and it comes in various weights.  I think this painting is done on the heaviest paper.  The paint sits on the surface much like on yupo (I'm talking about watercolors) but I think this surface is more forgiving in a few instances.  I started a completely different design on this paper and erased all of it and that didn't seem to change the surface of the paper.  With Yupo, I've found that erasing is a big no no.  Also, fingerprints don't seem to be such an issue with this paper as they are with Yupo.  Lifting paint was similar when the paint was freshly dried but seemed to be a little harder to lift as it sat longer.  It could still be lifted but didn't feel as impermanent as on Yupo and it was easier to get a blended edge when lifting instead of being either white or the color.  Of course, I have NOT had much luck working on Yupo so for those of you that know what you're doing, these issues are probably not even problems for you.

I like the TerraSkin surface and look forward to painting on a large piece of it.  I really like the effect of the paints on this paper, which is similar to the look on Yupo, but working on TerraSkin seems easier.

I would love to hear from anyone that has painted on this surface with watercolor and what your experiences have been.

Stone Hollihocks
Image Size 5.5" x 4"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bougainvillea in Colored Pencil

I really need to get some new reference material!  I love bougainvillea but I think I've painted them enough!  We have been traveling and I needed something to work on while on the plane.  Colored pencils are the best medium for me in this instance because it doesn't take much space and if there is turbulence, there are no spills.  There were a few pencil skips during turbulence but it worked out okay.

I am so amazed by artists that use colored pencil as their primary medium.  It is a very time consuming process and being stuck on a plane is about the only time I have enough patience to work with them.  It sure makes me appreciate the skills and time needed to finish a colored pencil painting.  This is a small one and it took many hours more than if it was done in any other medium that I use.  Even though I really like the look of colored pencils that have been burnished, I didn't burnish this one because there was a bit too much texture in the paper, even though it is a hot pressed watercolor paper.  I usually like using smooth Bristol paper for colored pencils.  This paper did have a little more tooth to hold more layers of color, which was nice, so I guess each type of paper has its pros and cons.

Bougainvillea in Colored Pencil
Image Size 7" x 10"
Colored Pencil

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lake Powell Reflections

I'm really enjoying these watery, loose paintings.  I know I will go back an forth between painting like this and really tight but variety is fun.  As much as I like really controlling the watercolor, wet into wet painting gives beautiful effects.

Lake Powell Reflections
Image Size 22" x 15"
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