Last night, I had a play around with one of my latest watercolours in an app that creates patterns from your artwork. The process was mesmerising. I didn’t realise that they now do metamorphosing patterns like these two!
The top image is directly from the artwork, the bottom one has been lightened, the colours more saturated and adjusted slightly.
I fell in love with metamorphosing tessellations thanks to the works of M C Escher, like so many other people. I love the detail, observational skills and the way he plays with the illusion of space.
Anyways, creating these patterns, albeit digitally, was fascinating and something I can definitely lose myself in for hours! Being able to adjust colours in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro or Affinity Photo is an added fascination too.
I like both colour variations of the same metamorphosis above.
I have made both available in my RedBubble Shop on a wide range of quality products. Please take a look and support my art by sharing with others. #findyourthing
This week, I’ve decided to do a mandala. Mainly because I find mandalas incredibly soothing and calming to draw. I have drawn and coloured the mandala digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
As always, the template is only available to members of the group. It’s free to join the group, and free to download the template. All I ask in return is that you follow the terms and conditions, don’t share the uncoloured template, and credit me with the artwork when you post your wonderful colourations online.
I know, it’s been a watercolour day nearly every day for the past week or so. However, I do like alliteration. As did the Anglo-Saxons, who used alliteration in their poetry rather than rhymes.
Anyway, a fair amount of watercolour being done here in the past day.
Painting (1) This one is now finished. It was an unusual one to do as I didn’t start with a sketch, but just added shapes as the painting grew. It’s colourful, for sure, which is my usual way of working with colour. I know I needed some colour to brighten my heart up yesterday.
Painting (2) A work in progress, this one is on a piece of Arteza Premium watercolour paper, which is 100% cotton. It works in much the same way as the other 100% cotton paper I have, but it’s slightly more offwhite, with a yellow-ish tone, than the Khadi paper. It also has a different texture that is finer and not quite so bumpy. I’ve yet to work out which I prefer.
I’ve decided to complete this painting in shades of blue, green and purple, mostly. I’m sure I’ll end up changing that idea, or sneaking in other colours here and there.
With the 100% cotton paper, I am starting to become comfortable with dropping wet into wet and letting the colours spread and blend with each other. Judging the quantity to get the depth of colour and a smooth gradient is still a tricky task for me.
Painting (3) I don’t know what got into my head this morning, but I felt the need to paint a mandala in much the same way that Carl Jung would to start his day with an idea of what is going on mentally and emotionally on a subconcious level.
I also had a kind of bright idea to use a diecutting machine to cut out circles of paper, in this case Daler-Rowney Mixed media paper.
With the first circles I tried watercolour and had really unsatisfactory results. This surprised me given the fairly pleasing experience I had with the ClaireFontaine mixed media paper.
So, rather than use watercolours, I thought I’d try Inktense pencils, using a damp brush to pick colour up from the pencil nib. I also used a solution of gum arabic to help keep the colour wet for longer. Gum arabic also increases the translucency of the pigments, and can add a glossiness to the colour too. This helped the Inktense colours to work more like watercolours.
I also added dots of gold Daler-Rowney FW Pearlescent acrylic inks to the design here and there. To finish the design off. I had thought of adding patterns in gold to the blank areas, but that just didn’t feel the right thing to do. It felt finished, white space and all.
The aim of this painting wasn’t to create a work of art, but to give an insight into what is going on within me at this time. I’ll keep my observations on this to myself. What I will say is I’m feeling out of sorts and rather sad and low today. I have a lot of confusion, anxiety, fear and despair surrounding various things going on and I’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed by it today. It’s all just emotional weather – just as the clouds cover the sun, they will move along by and the sun (or moon) will shine bright and clear once again, so it is with emotions.
I’ve finished the editing for a colouring book due out later this year, and coloured the cover design for the next one. So, I turned my attention to a bit of watercolouring this morning, and this is how far I’ve got.
I actually started this one last night, and it’s taken me around 6 hours to complete so far. Oh, the paper I’m working on is 100% cotton rag and is approx 5″ x 4″ size, but the design is around quarter of an inch smaller on each side. I’m using White Knights watercolours from St Petersburg. I’m also using a grey watercolour pencil to draw the design. This way, the lines will disappear, mostly, as I paint over them.
Nothing much else to say today. The rest of the day is going to be some self-care time.
100% Cotton rag paper is my favourite for watercolour, so far at least! I started work on this one soon after I’d finished my comparison of papers for watercolour yesterday.
I was inspired by images from the Juno space probe of the clouds on Jupiter. The images intrigued and captivated me, so I used them as an inspiration for the pattern on this piece . I have no idea why I used blues and greys with yellows and browns, but I did. A very unusual choice of colours from me.
The Khadi 100% cotton rag paper stays damp longer than the other papers, including the specialist watercolour ones, meaning I don’t get dark areas where colour overlaps as I’m applying it to one area. When I do work over the area, the pigment doesn’t lift or become blotchy once it is dry. Also, less pigment gives a more intense colour than on the other papers.
It’s the ease of letting colours flow and blend that make all the difference.
One thing I’m not too fussed on is the texture of the paper. I used the smoother side, but it’s still rather rough. I may have to hunt around for 100% cotton paper that is smoother in texture.
I also got to learn a lot more about working with watercolour on this paper, and how I can get it to work for me. As long as I can remember what I did in future artworks.
Despite my odd choice of colours, I’m really pleased with this one. I’ll certainly be doing more of a similar style going forward. Once the design is pencilled out, the process of water-colouring is quite soothing and relaxing. It’s also fascinating to watch the colours move and blend in each other in each section. Although I know this is science in action, there’s also something rather magical about it too.
I was getting vexed, again, about the paper I was using for the watercolour I was working on yesterday (1). It still wasn’t behaving like the one I used at the start of the week (3).
So, after another comparision ‘twixt these two, I realised that the paper was too lightweight to be any of my watercolour papers. It the dawned on me it was a fugitive piece of Arteza mixed media paper in my store of pieces of watercolour paper.
So, I had to try a piece of Arteza mixed media paper to confirm (2), and it was the same paper as (3) with similar effects.
The Arteza mixed media paper is off-white, just like the Canson Moulin Du Roy (5) and St Cuthbert’s Mill Bockingford (1).
As I liked the way the mixed media paper worked, I thought I’d try a piece of ClaireFontaine mixed media paper (4). It’s bright white, in comparison, and the colours are much more vibrant. The watercolour laid down in a similar way to the Arteza paper, but the paper is so much smoother as well.
So, which do I prefer. Although I’ve not done an abstract piece on the 100% cotton rag paper yet, I’m sure that will be top of the list. What surprises me is how much I like working on the Arteza and ClaireFontaine mixed media papers. I do think the Arteza has the edge on the ClaireFontaine, though I wish it was a little less on the creamy-yellow side.
Perhaps I like these papers as I’m not working wet into wet, nor am I doing much in the way of glazes. I find they let me apply the watercolour with a finish that pleases me.
I also know I don’t like working with Daler-Rowney Aquafine paper with the White Knights paints. It works better, for me, with watercolour pencils.
I know I will continue to experiment with different papers and watercolour; I have Daler-Rowney mixed media paper to try, along with the Khadi 100% cotton rag paper too. I don’t know if I have any others hidden away in my stores, but if I find them, I will use them.
What a grey, cool, windy and showery/rainy, changeable day it is here in the Valleys of South Wales, UK. Such a huge contrast to the three days of a heatwave earlier this week. Mind you, I’m one of those people who prefers to be cool rather than too hot, and on Wednesday and Thursday it really was too hot for me!
I’m still not quite right in terms of mental focus and emotional balance. After the rollercoaster rides I’ve had over the past month, it takes a while for the stress hormones to leach from my system. Each time they had started to lower, I found myself on that rollercoaster once more.
This is nothing that is affecting me directly, other than emotionally. However, it’s the emotional stuff that makes it difficult to deal with, despite me meditating and self-soothing and losing myself as much as I can in creativitity. That’s hard when I can’t settle to anything.
I do find I can settle somewhat more today, but I am still tired and my mind still feels fuzzy and unfocused. So, I won’t be chancing doing any work that requires my absolute focus, not today.
I was up early-ish this morning for a delivery. While waiting for it, I cut up a sheet of St Cuthbert’s Mill Bockingford watercolour paper and washi taped a 5½” x 4″ piece of it to an old cutting plate. I then took a 3mm mechanical pencil and sketched out an abstract design based on clouds, believe it or not.
I’m now part way through adding colour to it with White Knight’s watercolours and a size 2 Graduate round brush by Daler-Rowney.
Yesterday, I thought that this Bockingford paper was the one I’d used for the first of these abstract watercolours. It turns out it isn’t. I’m begininng to wonder if it was some mixed media paper as it is a brighter white than either Bockingford or Canson Moulin du Roy. It definitely wasn’t Daler-Rowney aquafine paper nor Tim Holtz’s watercolour paper. Nor was it the 100% cotton paper either. How curious.
I have enjoyed the process of drawing the design and starting to add colour. The colours are softer than yesterday’s watercolour, but more vibrant than the one I did earlier this week. Perhaps the change in colours is a sign I’m continuing to settle back to my usual chilled out, calm and content state.
So, I’m going to take a break from arty stuff for a little while. My concentration is wavering and I’m tempted to go back go sleep. However, I know that will prevent me from sleeping well tonight.
This morning, it was lovely to settle down to some watercolor work with the air much cooler and after a good night’s sleep.
I used a 5½” x 3″ piece of Canson Moulin du Roy watercolour paper for this one. I have to say, I’m not at all fussed on this paper. I much prefer the Bockingford paper from St Cuthbert’s Mill that I used for the last watercolour abstract I did. My favourite, though, is the 100% cotton rag Khadi paper, but as I’ve been feeling my way through this, I thought I’d use paper from my stash that is OK but not my favourite.
Oh, I used White Knights watercolour paints, which are usually much smoother and cleaner in colour. The off-white Moulin du Roy paper mutes them down. Also, the colours easily re-wet and move when adding glazes. Definitely not my favourite for this kind of work.
I’ve had heck of a couple of days, again, that have been emotionally draining and mentally exhausting. I think that shows in my choices of colours, which are not as harmonious as the previous version. I was also frustrated with how the colours didn’t appear as I expected them to.
I’ve also made the colours a lot more saturated. I’m not sure if I prefer this, but it could be a reflection of how I’m feeling and what I need at this time.
Nonetheless, there are parts of this piece that I am pleased with, the pointy teardrops as an example.
Still, I really think the colours I used feel really uneasy, which is a reflection of the lingering remains of the emotions of the past couple of days in particular.
Even though I slept really well last night, I’m still exhausted and feel the need to sleep again. That tells me it’s another self-care day. I hope that will recharge my batteries so I can focus on the editing and work I need to do by the end of the month. I fear not focusing well at the moment would result in me not saving edited images correctly so I lose some of the art I’ve done. It’s a necessary, but tedious, task and I need to be able to focus and think clearly. Today is not that day.
Last night, I was tired and emotionally drained, again. So, some self-soothing activities were in order. I thought I’d try to create an abstract watercolour painting in the same kind of style as the abstract digital art I’m working on.
Before bed, I got a small part of this done. I finished it this morning. I woke around 4am, with a headache. The usual kind of stress-comedown headache I’m prone too. Migraine-y in nature. I also was due to get up early for my weekly delivery of organic vittles from Able & Cole; they deliver to me just after 6am.
Oddly, the headache lifted as I started to work on the watercolour, which was a huge relief to me. A couple of hours later, and the watercolour was finished.
The paper is Bockingford cold pressed and it measures approx 5¾” x 2¾”, the artwork being approx. 5¼” x 2¼” in size. I used my set of White Knights watercolours and a Daler Rowney Aquafine brush (size 0, round). I did lightly pencil in the design before painting.
I love working digitally, but I also love to work with traditional media, watercolours becoming one of my favourites as I work out how I can get them to work for me.
I’ve said before that I love to create small works of art – precious little treasures that need to be the centre of attention in a huge frame. The precision of this abstract watercolour painting really pleased my artistic heart. I worked with watercolours on paper in a way that is analogous to how I work with colour and shape digitally.
The realisation of this has been a ‘ta-da’ moment for me. As much as I love to see the way watercolour does magic when it’s worked wet in wet, my sensibilities tend towards having much greater control over the way the colours mix and blend. I even break the rules; I’m happy to mix colours on paper, while the watercolour paint is still wet or damp. I’m also happy to use glazes to intensify the colour or alter the tone.
What is a change for me, in terms of traditional art, is the lack of black line-art. In the past, that would have been something that really troubled me; the work didn’t look right without black lines.
Working digitally, with pure colour and no black outlines has certainly made me more confident in working traditionally this way.
In this painting, you can see influences from nature and architecture. Shapes that I love appear – rounded and pointy arches, curves, leafy and petal forms, circles, but no spirals this time.
Straight lines and rectangles add a counterpoint to the curvilinear forms, giving a sense of sections and also support in various places in the design. The colours I chose are a lot more muted than is typical of me in the past, and I actually really like them.
Yet another piece of artwork that marks a development in my artistic voice. Actually, I think it’s more like a note in my artistic song. I seem to have a number of notes (styles) that are characteristically ‘Angela’ and this is very likely to become another of them.