Greetings!! Oh, my gosh.... yes, I'm still alive!! Thank goodness! ;) It's not that I haven't been busy creating.... I *have*! So, this is what I've been focused on, as far as art goes, since last October. I started taking a class - Mastering Twinkling H2o's, with Dion Dior. So, last fall was the first class and now I'm taking the second one. I can't say enough about these classes! And, the "Twinks"! Oh, my!! They're amazing watercolors that have mica and binders in them, so they are shimmery. It's very difficult to pick up all the shimmer in a photo.....most everything is more shimmery and vibrant in person. I hadn't done any watercoloring for several years, so it's been good to be doing that again... plus, just drawing. Dion gives us a drawing lesson each week, which is very cool. She's so generous with her knowledge; people in the class have said that they've learned more in that first 5-week course than in all the years of taking watercolor classes from other people. I concur. I highly recommend her classes.
So, here are a few of the things that I've done. I'm behind, but that's one of the beauties of her classes.... you can go as you like and you will have access to the online content (the entire class is online) *forever*!! The first five pieces here are from Twinks 1; the last two are from Twinks 2. The Peach is done on Yupo paper - it's a completely synthetic paper than has no tooth; it's completely smooth. Paint or ink or whatever will just sit on the surface for a while, so it can be tricky to paint on! I was a bit intimidated by the stories that I was hearing about it, but I didn't have any problems, at all. It was fun to work with.
One of the activities we did was an ATC, which I've talked about before on here. I love ATC's - they're so small that they're not so intimidating, but you can do everything on an ATC that you'd do on any other painting or mixed-media piece. So, this ATC had to include frisket or masking fluid. I had to toss my old masking fluid and actually bought what The Merri Artist recommended which was Pebeo "drawing gum". Works beautifully. It's thinner so you can get a pretty fine line. I bought a Speedball calligraphy pen/handle with a very fine nib and that's what I use for applying the frisket.
The butterfly was just a lesson on drawing butterflies. :)
These next two were lessons on drawing leaves. Dion has shown us how to make them curl, twist, etc.... and it's been wonderful to practice and play with those techniques! Very fun! So, even though the leaves in this first one may not have a flower, in real life, I wanted a bud on there, so I added one! This wasn't about composition....it was about drawing and getting to know our Twinks better. :)
This next one is from Twinks 2. We started out by working on various papers - this one is black gesso on cold-press watercolor paper. I have a hard time working on the black substrate. Yes, the Twinks can show up more vibrantly - but they don't always show up as the color that you expect them to be! Once you get to know those little tricks that they play on you, I guess it'd be okay.... you'll know what to expect. But, I almost gave up on this one, actually. I let them dry and then I completely changed the color of the upper-right one. It was frustrating but, in the end, I was happy with it.
Peach on Yupo:
I think this next one might be my favorite, so far. This was about tracing. Lots of fine-art artists trace some of their work onto their paper. "It's not cheating", our lovely instructor tells us. :) When you're working with expensive, high-quality watercolor papers, you don't want to ruin them before you even start painting. Every time you erase, you're compromising the structure of the surface of that paper. So, there are cases where you'll want to trace. I couldn't find my tracing paper, so I opted to do it the cheap way. Rubbing a pencil over the back of the paper, then laying it down over the "real" paper and drawing over my lines. I'm working on one right now that I will trace the "correct" way. ;)
Anyway, this was a Hellebore that I saw in a catalog. If you're interested at *all* in learning how to watercolor, or learning how to work with Twinkling H2o's, in particular, I highly recommend Dion's courses!
Enjoy the day! Happy Spring, by the way!