Friday, October 7, 2011

What's in My Sketchbook?

First thing first – I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to visit all the PPFers’ work last week.  It’s been crazy at work and I’m still running on low fuel.  Guess this situation will continue for awhile … :(

Anyway, here is another beetle (Hercules Beetle) for my fellow creatives …

20110918 Hercules Beetle 2

This is quite an exciting sketch/paint work for me!  Let me tell you why.

20110918 Hercules Beetle CU

I mostly use watercolor for my sketchbook.  But because of watercolor being non-permanent, when I glaze it with another color, there’s always the worries like:

-                     the paints being lifted off
-                     bleeding
-                     color getting muddy

I’ve been researching on and off about how to paint with thin acrylic washes.  And this is my 2nd try.  I can’t say I got the hang of it or like it yet.  But the fact that I was able to finish the sketch work with thin acrylic washes was thrilling for me!

20110918 Hercules Beetle CU 2

The permanence of acrylic washes makes glazing more fun.  But then this also posts a challenge to my color mixing knowledge which is still quite limited at this stage.

20110918 Hercules Beetle CU 3

I also find that the colors lose some of its intensity due to dilution with water.  That actually suits me well as I’ve always enjoy “paler” (less intense … subtler …) color scheme.  It seems like I’ve found a way to create the color palette that I like. :)

The main problem I have right now is more about the “grainy” look from the sketch.  I don’t think it’s because of the acrylic washes.  I believe it’s more because of the paper of the sketchbook.  The sketchbook I’m using is of “student grade”.  The paper is rather thin and therefore unable to accept the numerous washes I lay on it.  But I’ll continue to use this sketchbook for some more practice before I move onto watercolor papers and canvases.

20110918 Hercules Beetle


The other continuous problem I have is the ability to create form and texture with minimal pen work.

Do let me know what you think of this sketchbook page.  All comments are welcomed!

And I’m terribly sorry for the quality of the photo.  I’m just too excited to share this with you and can’t wait for a sunny day to take pretty pix!

Cheers and wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

(The sketch is also for Paint Party Friday - hosted by Eva and Kristin.  All are welcomed!  Do join in to share and support each other!)

32 comments:

RobanStudio said...

First of all, let me ask....did you have a real beetle in front of you to paint from? If you did, you are one brave woman!!!! I love y our sketchbook paintings as you know. You could try shading with darker colors to get the form you are looking for. Have you tried using an acrylic medium to do your glazes with? Hope that helps. Happy PPF!

Phoenix Peacock said...

I love the layout of this - it looks so old-worldly. and has so much dimension and interest. This is fantastic!

WrightStuff said...

I prefer acrylics because they are so forgiving! You're doing a great job. Just keep playing is my advice!

Pointy Pix said...

I think it's wonderful that you created this effect with acrylic washes - I would've thought it was watercolour if you hadn't said! I love the softness too and still haven't mastered using wet on wet or dry on wet for that matter with watercolours but I love the effect when done successfully. I know what you mean about the paper - I had that problem with the sketchbook in the sketchbook project last year. I still think this is wonderful!

Lesley said...

Such wonderful details and subtle colours. Lovely!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wonderfully creative and your art style is awesome ~ thanks ~Happy PPF ~ namaste, Carol ^_^ (Share the Creative Journey)

NatashaMay said...

Great page! I love using acrylic washes, too. I find the color to be more intence then from my watercolor pencils.

EVA said...

Another great page! I thought it was watercolour too - you are really doing well with the acrylic washes! I love seeing more of your dots back in your work too.

hastingshall2 said...

What a realistic painting of the beetle! It's beautiful. I thought it was watercolor too till I read your post. I know ZERO about acrylics, except for painting wooden crafts so I'm no help there.

KAT said...

YES ! you are so right..I love the subtle nature of your art. such a delicate touch and it is beautiful to look at. it jumps off the paper and looks very dimensional and textured

- KAT -

Christine said...

nice beetle and it sounds like you are learning a lot!

Joni Nickrent said...

Looks great...love the idea of the washes with acrylics! I think you've definitely got a great start! POP ART MINIS

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Beautiful as always- and I too would have never known it wasn't watercolor! I love the softness you've achieved here, and your subject matter is wonderful too; it makes me think of some long lost relic written up in a scientist's journal.
Happy PPF,
Stephanie

Megan said...

I mainly use watercolors, but also have experimented with thinned acrylic to achieve the same look. I sometimes get thrown by not being able to go back and blend or lift away color. I love the layout of this piece...`the handwritten background really makes the illustrations pop. Thanks for sharing ~ happy PPF!

Jenn Girl said...

Gorgeous! I love the pointillism!

carlarey said...

I think your work is beautiful, and I find your pages fascinating. If you let me sit down with one of your sketchbooks I'd be occupied for hours.

SHERI C said...

Your style is ALWAYS great! Your sketchbooks are like discovering someone's book that has been hidden away and then the journey of walking through each page of someone elses memories. I love it! Happy PPF!

Melisa said...

I'd have thought this was watercolor! I haven't had any trouble with watercolor lifting with glazes. Were you using artists grade paints and letting the layers dry well? No matter, since you've found something else that works for you!

Gloria said...

Love your style. The subtle colors in your piece are awesome. It's a great job!

- T.W - said...

Beautiful work, beetles are such cute li'l beings... I love finding beetles and hold them in my hand for a while and then put them back to safety...

So cool to see you try another medium! I think it looks awesome, that you're even able to paint anything water-based on thin paper and make it look beautiful is impressive. I think you're definately ready for some fine watercolor paper!

// - T.W -

Geckostone said...

Your sketchbook is fantastic!!! I think you will love watercolor paper! I use to get frustrated until I finally used it and boy what a difference, the colors just do their own wonderful thing! You have really done superbly with the student grade paper in you sketchbook though, you are amazing!! I love your work!

Steph said...

loving these sketches!! Happy PPF!!

Amanda Mills said...

wonderful sketch work!

i think the acrylic is good
i had been doing water color sketch
tried acrylic and dove into mixed media work, i liked it so much
(brightness, mixing, layers, etc.)

iamrushmore said...

I really enjoyed this post - your page is beautiful, your enthusiasm contagious and I learned a lot from reading about your process. I'm so impressed by the contour and shading of that pen-less beetle! lovely!

Mandy said...

i am a novice painter so i really can't help you, but i am loving this beetle and how you have presented it on your page...thanks...xxx

Ayala Art said...

Your page looks amazing! Great colors and composition

Tracey Fletcher King said...

I was recently introduced to Golden acrylics and the satin glazing medium so now I get the beautiful strong colour of watercolour with the permanence of acrylics... I so understand where you are coming from with this post because I have been so excited as well !

Rosy said...

enjoy your post and love your beetle. I not the greatest when it comes to water coloring, I get impatience mostly having to wait til it drys before I can add another layer, I am so used with working with Acrylics for painting media, and then using water colored pencils down to ink.

This is my first visit to your blog and glad I had found your wonderful blog. :)

Kristin Dudish said...

I really enjoy hearing your process and seeing the results of what you're learning! (I sometimes use acrylic washes too - usually because that is what's on my desk and I don't feel like getting up to get watercolors! ha!)

xo
Kristin

Linda R. said...

This is such great work.. I love this..
Those subdued colors are look nice..

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Fabulous!! and always unique..i love that!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work, beetles are such cute li'l beings... I love finding beetles and hold them in my hand for a while and then put them back to safety...

So cool to see you try another medium! I think it looks awesome, that you're even able to paint anything water-based on thin paper and make it look beautiful is impressive. http://www.woodbox-china.com/product-list/wood-box.html 。。I think you're definately ready for some fine watercolor paper!