Every so often I challenge myself to work on a small scale. I find it much more difficult to work on smaller pieces without losing spontaneity.
I have been using various media – watercolour, collage, pastels. It means that I have to think a bit harder (often a problem for me :)) but it is always fun.
Here are a few examples. I will be selling these on Folksy and Etsy. Another bonus is that, because they are small, they don’t cost as much! They measure just 2.5 x 3.5 inches. I am selling them mounted in a 6 x 8 inch mount, so they are ready to pop into your own frame.
I have been playing about with my acrylic paints, inks and Neocolors. I used heavy weight water colour paper as a base.
The ink is from Sakura’s Pigma pens, which are pigment based and fade proof. I especially love the brush tip version.
The Neocolor crayons are water soluble, so will dissolve with water to create a watercolour effect. I used to be sceptical about their usefulness, until I got some to try. Now I wouldn’t be without them. They are great to take sketching too.
I love trying to recycle or upcycle things. I hate to get rid of something that might potentially be useful. I have had this organiser hanging around for ages but it has never been used properly as I have another which is better suited to keeping my information handy.
I am always looking for ways to take a sketching kit along with me and I have various set ups, depending on the amount of room that I have in the bag that I will be carrying (if any). I had a play around with my organiser and found that I could fit a reasonable amount of kit in it. I ended up with a set of Inktense paints, which are a lot of fun. Lightfast and water resistant when dry. You can layer them very easily and the colours are strong. I also fit in a pair of containers for water. They are supposed to be for oil paint but work well for watercolours too.
I also cut some paper to fit, I used Zerkall printmaking paper in this case. It is a lovely smooth paper and takes both pen and watercolour really well. I have a great Bind punch which I used to make the holes, it is adjustable (A5/A6/A7) and I can get the holes in just the right position for my organiser. It is available here.
The pocket in the organiser holds some travel brushes, pencil and eraser. I forgot to show my pen which fits in the loop next to the paper. I haven’t room for a water bottle but I usually carry one for drinking, so I will use that.
All in all, I am pleased with how it turned out. I have only taken it out once so far but hopefully it will get more use soon!
I have been writing a few posts recently about Dr PH Martin’s Bombay Indian Inks, mainly because I have become captivated by them.
These inks are available as singles or in sets. I bought two sets, each set has 12, 1 oz (28.4 ml) size bottles. This one, Set 1, has Yellow, Red, Magenta, Green, Blue, Brown, Black, White, Violet, Bright Red, Teal, Grass Green. This one, Set 2, has Golden Yellow, Orange, Tangerine, Crimson, Cherry Red, Red Violet, Aqua, Turquoise, Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Van Dyke Brown and Sepia.
They are also available as half size bottles but they do not have a dropper like the larger ones.
I think that if I could only get one set it would be Set 1. It has a good range of colours which, with the exception of White and Black, are translucent. The colours in Set 2 are good but I think that I could mix many of the colours using the Set 1 colours. The earth colours in Set 2 are fairly opaque and the Terra Cotta, in particular has a strange consistency. Whilst being opaque is not a fault and might be useful for some people, my reasons for liking these inks is their translucency. The earth colours in Set 2 also have a tendency to separate out on standing and if you don’t give them a regular shake them they will separate permanently and become unusable.
The photograph below shows this effect.
So my advice would be buy Set 1 and play with them to see what they will do. Mixing colours is easy because the bottles have a dropper in the lid, so you can measure out how many drops it takes to get a particular colour and then record that for future use.
Today I thought that I would try out some inks that I have had for a while but not yet had a chance to use, Dr PH Martin’s Bombay Inks. I was getting some gesso out of the cupboard and noticed the inks lurking at the back. So I promptly forgot my original plans and started playing – nothing unusual for me.
These inks use pigments rather than dyes and therefore have better lightfastness. The colours, as you would expect, are mostly vivid and translucent. There are some opaque colours, white and yellow ochre are examples.
You can dilute them with water to create paler colours. I applied them with a brush and also using a dip pen. They are waterproof when dry, which means that you can create many layers without worrying about creating mud.
I also used some recently acquired mica watercolours, Kuretake Starry Colors. As these don’t show up well in a head on photograph, I took a second one at an angle. These paints are very effective and very pretty.
I have a couple more doodles which I will include in my next post, assuming that I don’t get sidetracked..
Following on from yesterday’s painting, using a minimal palette, this is today’s play. I used a similar palette with the addition of a little bit of red. I love using the dull, celadon green that one gets when black, yellow and white are mixed together.
I am playing with a minimal palette just now which leaves me free to concentrate on just letting go with the mark making which is the first layer of this painting. I have a few ideas in the pipeline but don’t have enough time to get started on them. However, I can’t not do any painting! So this is today’s play. 🙂
On another subject, I have been updating some of my blog settings and apologise in advance for any randomly duplicated email newsletters that get generated in the process! Hopefully it won’t happen but I thought it best to warn you!
Life is very busy just now, which is great! I have lots of new work, some of which I have on display at the fantastic Blue Roof Gallery at Oyne in Aberdeenshire.
This week is particularly interesting as many local artists have opened their studios as part of the annual North East Open Studios (NEOS) event. There are so many excellent artists living locally, whose work I want to see, so I shall be trying to visit as many as possible this week.
I do love this time of year, the apple trees are all in bloom here. I think that we need to invent the smellernet, the perfume from all the trees is fantastic, especially in the sunshine – when it decides to shine on us!
I planted quite a lot of them many years ago, after discovering that the huge vegetable garden that I had planned might be a little difficult, due to the lack of soil.
The field that I had intended to use turned out to have been, in the past, a stock yard, where cattle were kept. The whole area has about two inches of soil, underneath which there is about three feet of stones.
When I planted the trees I had to use a pick axe and, as there were around twenty five trees, it took me a while. Once they had their roots down the trees really loved it. The insects love the trees and I love the fruit. As do our two dogs. They regularly inspect the trees to see if there are any apples that they can steal. Oh and the chickens like apples too, good job that I planted so many. 🙂
There are one or two rhododendrons flowering too, very pretty but no smell or fruit off them.