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…
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.
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.
I decided to have a go at a female portrait, after having done abstracts and surreal landscapes. Of course paintings done with watercolour pencils need a lot more time than for example acrylics or paintings done with soft pastels. I even discovered something like a zen attitude – focusing on each and every dry pencil stroke, and then touching it with the wet brush, watching how colours change and become vivid. Moving onward to another part of the painting in order to let the paper dry, repeating the same process, adding one pencil stroke to the other, wetting it carefully, letting it dry.
I don’t know how long it will take to be finished, but I’ll let it take its time. No hurrying. It is something to look for at the end of the work day, something to come home to.
You probably will ask: “Why can a tree be called ‘naked’?” Well – I was thinking of the structures of the wood beneath the bark, of the smooth surfaces, smooth on one hand, but twisted, gnarly and maybe broken on the other hand. I have no clue whether a tree like this exists at all – but I can feel the wooden structures under my fingers.
I hadn’t done a preliminary sketch before painting this abstract image. First there was the ornament in the middle, then the rest followed. I also didn’t plan the colours in the beginning – I so to speak followed my intuition.
I learnt one important thing doing this: be careful about the direction of your brush strokes! Always do them in one direction, otherwise you’ll get patterns of paint which are not so desirable. The other thing I learnt was that black tends to be a greyish black with wet watercolour pencils. You really have to press hard with the black pencil and wet your brush only a wee bit.
I had no specific reference for the painting, but of course I’ve looked at many, many pieces of wonderful abstract and decorative art, and so my imagination has been inspired by many artists.