Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Watercolor, ATC and Graphic Design

Today's update is kind of a hodgepodge. I was in Walmart the other evening and noticed that this local store (we have 2 within about 5 miles, different towns but..) has bolts of fabric again, surprise. Thinking I should check it out I wandered in that direction. Then I got distracted and never even checked out the fabric, not a big deal it is probably poor quality, but will do that on another visit. Anyway the path toward the fabric took me by the art supplies isle and I thought why not check that out first.

The supplies are mostly cheap student grade stuff but for some reason they were doing a close out on pads of paper so had reduced prices on all their Canson pads. I can only guess that they are getting in a new vendor and want to clear out the Canson paper to make shelf space. Anyway the prices were pretty good, paper keeps until I need it so I picked up a couple of pads.

One of the pads I picked up was labeled as Mix Media and is 11 x 14 inches 160gsi or 98lb in weight. I purchased the pad thinking it might be good paper to use to make some more of my own journals. Since I had never purchased this paper before I wanted to check out how acceptable it would be to use with watercolor so I painted the above.

Loose impressions of 2 plants I have in the apt. For the Spathiphyllum (peace lily) on the left I did a bit of inking first. The 2nd on the right is supposed to be some kind of fern and that one I just used the brush for. I did mix a new green and used that along with some other mixed greens that were already on my pallet.

I started keeping a very messy pallet when I belatedly realized that dried watercolor can be reactivated by adding water with no problems unlike gouache which seems to suffer a loss of quality. Now unless I am starting a new project that I will need completely different colors for I don't bother cleaning up the pallet between painting sessions.

Anyway the experiment was a success, the paper accepted the watercolor without excessive buckling so I think it would be a good choice for a blank journal. I wouldn't want to flood the paper with water, don't think it will stand up to that, but a combination of ink and fairly dry watercolor works. The paper has a fair amount of tooth so should also be fairly good with colored pencil. I think I made a good buy.

The two images above are a continuation of my toy theme. The top Teddy Bear is based on the one I did for the last update with the doll, though this guy is on a new ATC (Artist Trading Card). I added the flag (pennant) just to add some color and interest. The rug he is sitting on sort of looks like grass but then I have seen indoor carpets that also mimic grass so it isn't that much of a stretch.

The outlined rocking horse is also going to be a ATC, but the drawing I made was just a bit to large to copy directly over to a card so I scanned this image into Photoshop, shrunk it a bit and reprinted it out. I will use the reduced size image to transfer over to a blank ATC stock. Right now I plan on using colored pencil on this, but who know I may change my mind and make it a watercolor.

The drawing is based on some photographs I found of antique rocking horses, but isn't a copy of any of them as it combines some elements of my plastic(fiberglass?) horse with the antique wooden ones.

Late last fall one of my friends from the old Compuserve Crafts forum days created a new Facebook group for us. But the group needed a header so I spent some time yesterday in Photoshop to pull the above one together. Not totally thrilled with it, but it is better than nothing. I found myself remembering why I don't like the Text tool in Photoshop and am thinking I should really redo this in Illustrator where I would have better control. The quilt blocks are images exported from Corel Draw and my days of drafting quilt block patterns. The font wasn't my first choice, but I guess it works.

Just realized that my graphic design skills are getting a bit rusty. Oh if any readers are interested in joining (it is a closed group) e-mail me and I can give you contact information or an invite.

Last image a photograph of a blooming weeping cherry tree. There are actually a pair of these outside the Catholic Church Rectory that is across the street from the Library. I love weeping cherries, so even though it was raining a bit that day I made this photograph.

That is it for today, per usual comments are always welcome.