Thursday, 28 January 2016

Taking a line for a walk.

Experimentation is something crutial to develop the way we work and taking us out of our comfort zone.

In the last few months, I've been learning to sew. I love it! Creating something three dimensional and usable out of flat material is very exciting. I'll continue to make things.

But, the purpose of my learning was to learn free sewing and finally, this week was the moment - on a background  of watercolour, a vase of flowers sketched last week.

The freedom of free stitching is exhilarating, there is control but the line takes precedent, it just goes on on a walk, comes back to and fro and goes over the previous path.
It is something i normally do with a pen, or pencil, but in the beauty of the sewn line is that it is constant, but wobbly.  The thread was multicolour so i was not able to control the colour of line that much and it produced contrasts with the painted surface that were unexpected but enjoyable.

 I also tackled a simpler drawing over an orange satsuma drawing with repeated lines to create the shadows. It made me worry about the strength of the paper and whether it would desintegrate under the needle - new methods, new worries...
 And where will I go next?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Watercolours - testing various paints

I paint and sketch in watercolour since the 1990s and I love the quality and immediacy that watercolours give.
Through the years I've used some various makes of watercolour and always love trying new makes.  However, I tend to revert to W&N and I wanted to explore why.
I've done a little test of painting the same view (a tree in the cemetery near my house) in various makes that I've currently have on stock and on the same paper, following the same process (colour first,  a few w/colour pencil marks and at least two other watercolour paint layers. The makes : Kreme Pigmente,  Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith (colour chart), Vallejo (liquid watercolour).
Here is what I've found :
More pigmented.
Less translucent and therefore less layers, less subtlety possible.
Grainy and some interesting unexpected effects.
Some colour mixing (off paper) but opacity does not allow clean mixing.
Good earthy colours to use straight off palette.
This is what I am used to.
Translucent and good mixing possibilities off paper (I mix my greens).
Multiple layering retains freshness
Little graininess on most colours
Good reaction with w/c pencils
Clean colours with little graininess
It takes longer to dry so got quite a bit of wet on wet effect on paper.
I did not mixed the colours ad limited supply of  paint (sample palette of 238 colours).
Multiple layers retain freshness
Liquid watercolour applied with water brush (the others were with normal brushes)
Vibrant colours (not light fast so not archival) very punchy!
More chaotic mixing on paper only - but fun.
Mixing before painting possible.
Less layers possible - as freshness and vibrancy would disappear.

My favourites:
I will stick to W&N for painting but may add the odd colour from other makes for effect, specific colours.
On the road, and on my sketchbook  I'll keep using Vallejo amazing bright colours - their light and vibrancy appeal to me.