Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Spatter of Watercolor

Let me show you what a little spatter can do!

A quick little post to describe how I used spatter to give more interest to this little painting.  I found this landscape of a river bank view in Glacier National Park.  I painted it quite a few years ago.  I didn't want to do much more to it because the sizing could be ineffective now.  I felt like it was not finished enough at this point.  The photo below shows my travel kit with paints and the painting itself.  This was taken when the painting had just been fresh from our weekend travels.

So just a few weeks ago, I brought the painting to my work table so I could find a way to finish it off.  I believe it could be a nice little piece to sell with a bit of love from the brushes.  The trees seemed to need more detail so they could come more alive on paper.  I was concerned about protecting the river areas so I pulled out a sheet of tracing paper.  Wow, this stuff is so handy for many purposes.  I laid the tracing paper on top of the painting.  I lightly traced the tree shapes on the left and right.  When these shapes were cut out, I had a stencil to protect from paint spatter.

The tracing paper is transparent enough to see the painting below.

The stencil made from tracing paper makes spattering a variety of hues easy.  It was all over my shirt, my arms, my face, and my glasses.  What fun!

Right side is much more interesting in my opinion.  I'll do the same with the left side.

This shows the difference.  Left side is still undone.

All is protected except the area where I'm directing the spatter.  I tried a variety of ways of spattering to achieve the best results.  I tapped the brush with my finger, the handle of another brush, and the handle of a palette knife.  I love the process of finding another method; it's best to never stop learning.  Experimenting is a great teacher.  If in doubt, I usually use a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper to test an effect. 

Spattering paint with finger taps.

Mix of different pigments on the palette.

A view of my painting area during this process.  It's much cleaner and less crowded than usual.

My work area is constantly undergoing changes to find out what works best for the tasks.

Well, this has been one of my shortest posts yet!  I'm snapping photos when I think they're of interest in the art process.  I'd rather be painting than writing blog posts!  I hope these snippets of what I'm doing might give a glimpse of what I'm working to achieve.  It's my passion and I feel more complete with this being part of my daily routine.  It's a huge step in the right direction.  Thanks for reading and I hope you'll return.  It's exciting to be able to share my adventures with others, like proof that this is really happening.

This feels more complete now.  It just needed that extra touch for the eye to enjoy.

I've been working on three paintings of Indian paintbrush and they are nearly complete.  Today I worked on touching up the background on one of them.  It seemed to be wanting a little more action around it...I really do feel like each painting has its own personality.  I try not to hurry along too quickly but instead its feeling my way along.  I guess I could compare it to feeling out the texture of a rock wall with a blindfold blocking my eyesight?  I don't know if that even makes sense to anyone else.  I do feel the risk when I'm going back into an area I'd already figured to be done.  The other two paintings are being flattened right now.  I do this by running a wet sponge over the back of the watercolor paper.  Then the painting with damp back is folded in a towel and left to lay flat with several heavy books weighing it down.  After twenty-four hours I check to be sure the ripples in the paper are gone.  This makes it nicely flat and ready to be signed and photographed.  These three paintings are so completely different in a number of ways.  I'll begin working on that post over the coming week.  Here's a preview to stir your curiosity:

This photo shows the drawing being transferred with graphite paper.  My table is in constant disorder.  When it becomes too much to handle, I find a place to take a break so I can get it all under control again.

The three sketches on watercolor paper and their varied backgrounds.  It will become more apparent when you see the finished works.

Copyright Christy Sheeler

I've been spending time today sketching a view from Glacier National Park...there's a place to pull off the road just west of the Logan Pass Visitor's Center.  The Going To The Sun Road as it is known has some breathtaking views.  This is one that I've longed to paint and the sketch so far has my eyes going a little buggy.  I'm roughing in the main areas and locating where dark shadows should be placed.  I'll take some photos soon to show how it's progressing.  The sketch took quite a long time and still needs more work.  I've been wondering how I'd like to approach this one.  It might be fun to explore more palette knife work and have a more impressionistic feel.  Not sure if I will begin this one next or put it on hold for a different painting.

So now I'm back to tidy up the table and get myself focused once more.  It's quite exciting to see the paint on the palette needing to be replenished more often.  I'm putting off my art supply order but keeping a list to remember what I am needing.  This painting may be a larger one and I'm wondering whether to just work on this one alone.  My list of completed work is growing and I'll soon be ready to begin the process of building my online shop.

Until next Thursday...

She must make art.

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