Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Walk Through: Season Girls, with Watercolor!

Hello, my poor neglected blog! How are you today?

Yes, I've been away. I could explain why, but it's complicated and involves terms like "neurovascular", so let's skip it, shall we? I want to get to blather!

I have a lot to blather about,certainly. There's the Etsy blogger o' the month (seriously, check out Lazy T Crochet on Etsy), the looming Akon update (I am now to the Editing Scythe phase of that post. Gyeek. Anyone know how to do a Blog Cut here?) and the fact that I have become Carapace, Queen of Giveaways this month, and need to gloat on my swag with supervillainess cackling.

First I need an Idea. If I've got a good solid one, I'll sometimes just start drawing on the Cintiq; but I wanna break out the paints today,so I go experimenting on a good ol' paper sketchbook. Hmm, no particular idea in mind. When I don't know what way to, how about Art Nouveau?

Ok, so I'm not totally content with them. But if I wait until I'm totally content with any idea,I will not only fail to get anything done, I will enter some weird alternate state where the work other people do is actually undone by my entropy.

Anyway, I love this part, when the idea is still new and innocent and full of possibilities. Look at those sketches, they could be anything! Time to start corrupting them! I can't show you the next bit, because it's where I put draw a new clean version on watercolor paper with non-photo blue pencil, and that, well, doesn't scan so well. That's sort of the point.

But I can show you the next step! Using what's sometimes called "dry on dry"- that is, watercolor with hardly any water on dry paper-- I paint my outlines. I use midrange-price brushes, Ebony brand; I like the level of spring they've got better than the supposedly awesome expensive brushes I've tried. Which is good, since a ten-brush set of Ebony costs less than a single expensive brush. Anyway, I digress. For this set, I'm doing the outlines in matching colors to the fill, at least at this level. Here we go:

At this point, if you know me well enough, you might notice that these are a familiar couple of faces. To you I say: yes, very good, and also Hesh, no one else needs to know about that. Yet.
I LIKE these outlines; they're pretty much where I want them to be. I especially like the winter woman, and the way her scarf and the curves of her hair interact. You'll notice I've flipped the sunflower girl; that's an old trick to make the eye see proportion issues it might have missed. Dont' worry, she'll be back to normal in the next one.
I pause to note here that I'm told some people find watercolor very challenging. It's actually a very forgiving medium! I and my shaky hands love the heck out of it. It allows lots of color to go down fast, and certain level of fluidity that I can never get with ink. It's also really easy to blend colors on the page. There's not the endless forgiveness of acrylics, but there is a level of speed and ease that no other coloring method, not even computer, offers.
However, watercolor shares with ink the potential to totally ruin any amount of previous work as you go along. So, since I like my outlines, now it gets scary. Now, I have something I can seriously screw up! Yay! Better lay down some color while I'm still on my high:

Oooh, the pants are turning out niiiiiiice. Winter is a very hard season to represent; in really cold places it's "white, with white bits" and here it's "like the rest of the year, but desaturated". Winter is actually shades of gold and pale blue here; the grass is all sunburnt and dry but not dead, and the light has that quality that only comes from being angled uncomfortably far from the sun. Watercolor's really the only media that works for it.

Summer, though, is actually pretty tricky. I think the summer picture might have benefited from some more accessories, but I got caught up in the Swoopy. Something to keep in mind when I redo these on computer. On the other hand, it'll probably look just fine at postcard size. I'll see; maybe I can redeem it in later stages with some interesting paintwork. Thoughts?


Kara said...

Come baaaaaaack!

Carapace said...

How can I resist a plea like that?

I will return! Soon! I'm working on it right now! You don't want a tiny little return post, right? If I'm coming back, I'm trailing clouds of glory! Or at least swathes of text.

Bead Flora and Jewels said...


Splendid Little Stars said...

a fun little journey into your mind!

Leanne said...

Hello again!

this is leanne at Folk Craft! :) this is just a reminder that you have won the daikini pincushion giveaway and i would love to ship it out to you; please contact me with your shipping address ASAP; thank you! :D


memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Glad to see you back to blogging :)
Hope all is well!

mermaiden said...

missed you! what a great return post, allowing us to sit on your shoulder like that, and listen to you talk to yourself ;D

Carapace said...

Wow, I'm very touched by how many of ya'll are still bothering to watch this poor sad blog! I shall endeavor to make it more worth your while in the future.

Beadflora, Splendid Little Stars, Glad you enjoyed it.:)

Memories- I'm doing ok. I'm coherent again! With luck, I'll stay so long enough to build up a backlog of posts for the next meltdown, right?

Leanne-thank you thank you thank you for holding that! I really thought I'd emailed you-- and I have, now! Please, let me know if this one doesn't reach you!

Mermaiden, I now have a mental image of you, in your witchy hat, sitting on my shoulder and cheering me on. "Oh, don't worry about that wonly perspective I like your colors! Hey, why don't you paint more witches?"
..Clearly, in my head, you are a dangerous wee sprite.;)

Rose Works Jewelry said...

So glad to see you blogging again! It was fun reading about your process too :D

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