I created a random design, using a discarded cereal box to cut shapes from.
Then … I thought I’d try to be clever. Tricky. Try something new.
Instead of doing the normal thing, I chose to try a new path. I used small foam sticky pads to adhere those shapes to my base plate.
You never know. Until you try.
It didn’t work properly.
It would’ve been better had I used my regular glue ie (acrylic matte medium) to glue the cut cardboard shapes onto the base plate.
The sticky foam pads, allowed the cut out shapes to fall and sink unevenly. Which meant that the ink being rolled on the plate from the brayer, wouldn’t be level and smooth. The ink would be a hit and miss affair…….oh dear.
Too late. I needed to try, to make it work.
I was in class, it was a demo for Atwell Gallery class.
What. do you do?
You get on with it.
I gave up trying to continue on with the normal hand printing process with barren and wooden spoon to get the ink onto the paper.
The shapes were too uneven and the ink wasn’t ‘catching.’ Wasn’t getting onto the paper.
I used Masa paper a very versatile paper great for lots of media. And my hand, mainly my thumb to press the ink onto the paper from the shapes.
This last print, I think is rather nice. Not as solid dark as the others, it has more feeling in it.
There is some lovely texture, tonal variations.
It seems to have a mood to it.
The other collograph I constructed not using the foam tabs, was a much better plate.
It provided a far superior printing experience that I let a student borrow for class.
Still, I do enjoy this one featured.
It was a challenge.
Its kind of cool.
I used a wonderful ink, not available now.
A professional grade, gorgeous velvety black Daniel Smith oil based printing ink.
I had some saved from about 15 years ago.
It Still, is still great to use.
It rolls out perfectly. Even after all these years.
In class I demonstrated soaking a variety of good printmaking papers, including Rives.
This process worked out nicely. whew.
I love doing this, with the oil ink and using better quality print papers which provides such a beautiful professional finish for even beginners.
Spendy… but hey, once in awhile its a fabulous pleasure. And, bear in mind, it can last decades.
experiments, may not go the way you expect
back up plans, creative thinking go a long way to making even those work out ok
buying good quality materials, though more money, usually proves to be more cost effective in the long run
The word, “Summer” conjures up a myriad of thoughts, ideas, feelings.
It might evoke thoughts of ……
By gone days.
Picnics in the past, spent under a shady tree while the warm breeze rustles the sun dappled leaves. Or in the cool peaceful breeze of the patio.
For the under 20’s perhaps Summer brings the more ‘urgent and now’ feelings of where to go, Right Now!
Perhaps water skiing around a 15 mile island in the bracing waters off the Canadian shores,
or for some the challenge of hiking in the Cascades or Rockies is a great Summer pastime.
But if you’re in the midst of winter, as we are in the Southern Hemisphere, then Summer might just be a tantalizing lure.
As artists, to paint Summer scenes with authenticity, we need to fully immerse ourselves in that place. To be in that moment. So that the viewer, might also feel the Summer warmth shine upon them as well.
For the beginner watercolorist, it can be, all very overwhelming to try to remember it all!
You don’t have to.
My thoughts on painting water.
Keep it super simple.
For Beginners: Short easy sessions, that you focus on just one technique at a time are the key.
Just one process you want to get down.
Not the whole shebang at once.
You can have a lot of fun, keeping it simple, learning to paint water.
Keep it nice and loose.
In an Impressionist’s approach.
Its really about Your impression of the subject you paint.
Its more about how you are feeling about the subject that makes the difference.
Its how you personally are interpreting it, what dialogue you have between the two of you… that counts most.
Just let us know, show us.
Sometimes the water appears bright and tropical, fun and summery. Light and easy.
So. Paint it that way.
Utilise white sparkles of the paper shining through, to accent and highlight this point.
Don’t allow it or yourself, to get all bogged down and tight; the work filled with hard edges won’t capture the fun loose and carefree vibe.
Sometimes the water appears dark. Choppy. Moody and Sullen.
Well, paint that feeling! cool, stormy colors with short choppy strokes will evoke this sensation.
Leaving white of the paper is a big help.
Painting a few squiggled lines for ‘ripples’ is another fast and simple method that works quite well many times.
Graded washes, light -mid – dark tones in your water, is another key factor to remember.
The other thing to remember about water, is that the farther away it is – white waves will be ‘greyed off’ not stark white, and the less detail, the less color intensity, the less contrast, the less strong dark deep tones it will have.
That right there, is worth jotting down!
Beginners at watercolor, may find it useful and easier, to begin with simpler designs.
Simple basic easy shapes.
Starting right at the beginning.
Nothing too complicated or complex, no matter how much our minds are leaping to do so.
We are yearning to…. paint that busy harbour scene filled with action.
Boats, sailors, shipping lines, cargo carriers, seagulls in flight, reflections shimmering, sailboats flying in the wind.
But, I have discovered, small steps.
One thing at a time, works.
So that week by week, month by month we do see incremental improvements.
Then, we can paint the more involved scene.
Such as the shadowed fir trees reflected in the misty early morning waters of the Pacific Northwest.