In my last blogpost I told you about the combination of watercolour pencils (wet) and copics. I’ve added coloured pencils in the finishing process. In order to shade properly with markers you need a lot of colour combinations – which I haven’t got. So I decided to shade with my coloured pencils.
I’m so glad to have all these art mediums and to be able to use them whenever I’d like to. Obviously there’s a time to use pencils and markers, there’s a time to use acrylic paints, to use oil pastels. In the beginning I was afraid to have bought the wrong mediums whenever I stopped using them for some time. But then, for whatever reasons, I rediscover them, use them and am happy to have bought them!
By the way I am just working on a piece in which I am combining coloured pencils and markers in various ways. You will learn more about that in the Wednesday blogpost.
This time I am using my watercolour pencils in a more “traditional” way: first dry, and then wetted with my tiniest brush. I’ve got the impression that the butterfly is talking to the kitten – maybe trying to show him or her the way home. Or persuading him to climb done this steep hill. Or trying to seduce her to follow it away to some wonderful place where there’s plenty of delicious milk… Nobody knows…
Art has become my passion. I grab my watercolour pencils when I come home from work, I love to watch youtube videos about drawing and painting (my “watch later” list is getting longer and longer), I am uploading scans of my paintings to Rossmann, a very known drugstore here in Germany, in order to get some nice cards to be sold here and there, only to describe some of my art connected activities which all have to take place after work or on the weekend. My free time is precious to me, because that’s all I have for my passion, art.
However, I live in a three room flat, and the self-cleaning flat hasn’t been invented yet. I must admit that I don’t like to do housechold chores, especially because two days after you vacuumed the floor it gets dusty again. It reminds me so much of old Sisiphus working hard to move the big stone up the hill and then – ftt – it rolls down again.
Nevertheless some things have to be done. Maybe there is a way to make it easier? Suddenly I imagined (my imagination can be rather wild and strange) I would be surrounded by living objects. One of them is the Speaking Bath-Tub which is crying out loud because I neglect it that much. I sat down and made a quick sketch. Doesn’t the tub look a bit angry? Shoosh, dear bath tub, this evening you will get a decent rub down, poor little thingie!
Here’s the final version of the butterflies painting. None of these colourful insects exists in reality – I just went for the colours which came to my mind.
By the way: This time I used q-tips for wetting the paper. I’d read somewhere that with those q-tips it is easier to control the amount of water you’re putting on the paper and wanted to try it out. It was okay, but I found no big difference between them and using my tiniest brush.
I am using the smoother side of the rough watercolour paper this time. Much better. And I used my window as a light table when I transfered my preliminary sketch to the watercolour paper. I only sketched the butterflies; the background was created during the process.
The days are still not long enough to allow using my window panes as a light table during the week when I come home from work. This leads to a certain work flow in which I do the sketching and the research for references during the week, then do the transfer to the watercolour paper on the weekend and continue with the painting during the week.
This is the general plan. But I allow myself to digress from it. I am hoping to get this painting finished on the next weekend. A new painting probably will have to wait for another week. It is a very thin line between having goals and trying to meet them and putting onself under too much pressure. We’ll see.
I’ve got a Zazzle shop, I’ve openend a portfolio at RedBubble, and I offer cards in my Artflakes shop. However I noticed one thing: People like to take things into their hands, feel the thickness of the card, take a look at the colours. Many people want to see the product in reality before they buy it. That’s one of the reasons people would not buy my cards online.
Here in Germany you can upload your photos and image files to a drugstore and have your cards and postcards printed for an acceptable price. You can either have single items or a set of 10 cards or postcards. So I selected two of my coloured pencil paintings, uploaded them and had them printed out. Last Sunday I went to an dance and concert at the Hephata church here in Berlin and took the cards with me in order to show them to my friend Claudia. I did this after the concert, when we were sitting together with some members of the church community. Encouraged by Claudia I passed my cards around, waiting for the reaction to come. And what a reaction it was! The people liked the cards very much, were interested in hearing about “how I did it” and told me to show them at the church café, put in a frame, so that they couldn’t be taken away easily.
In addition to that a colleague of mine had had a look at this blog, and now I’ve got a commission! She sent me the links to some of the paintings in a mail and asked me to have these paintings printed on cards. Wow!
So I’ve learnt three important things:
- If people know you personally, they are much readier to buy something from you.
- If people can touch the product and see what it looks like in reality, the chance of selling the product to them is much bigger.
- It is also helpful to be ready to talk about your art, your mediums, your subjects. Sometimes people won’t ask you because they are too shy – and sometimes they don’t want to hear long stories, so you have to find the right way to communicate with your audience.
And by the way I also learnt that there is a term for that kind of marketing – they call it “direct marketing”. Well, I’m off to photoshop now, preparing my next set of prints…
The watercolour paper I’ve got has two sides – one very rough, the other a bit smoother. With this painting here I used the rougher side. The advantage is that the paper is still fixed on the pad, and there’s no danger of the paper buckling. However, I am not 100 per cent satisfied because in my opinion there’s a wee bit too much of the texture to be seen on the painting.
I had no reference for the painting. Of course I had a look at some butterflies, but I took my artistic license regarding the colour of the butterfly as well as the colours and shapes of the blossom. I had a tropical atmosphere in my mind with rich vivid colours.