This is the first page of my sketch “book”. It is not a book, but a collection of sheets of paper with sketches and notes. As you can see in the scan above, I did some sketches of flowers and leaves and added the colour of the pencils I used.
Throughout these sketches I used the technique of putting pigment off my pencils with a wet brush. I am still learning how to do it – how much water to put on the brush, how to take off some water off the brush by dipping it on a paper towel.
I use to go through my tv journals, old wall calendars and materials like this in order to look for references or sources of inspiration. When I saw photos of this bird in an old journal (unfortunately the name of the photographer was not given), I felt attracted by the beautiful colours and by the pose of the bird.
I didn’t use watercolour paper this time. I have a stack of rather heavy drawing cardboard sheets left, and hoped that it would not buckle up too much. It did, but only a bit.
For the background I took pigment from the tops of my pencils with a very small wet brush.
I decided to re-activate my watercolour pencils and play around with them. I enjoyed doing this painting although it showed me how much I still have to learn regarding mixing colours – as you can see in the smaller flower. However you can only learn by practice, and practise I will.
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.