Saturday, March 31, 2012

some day...

     Some days were not meant to be filled with accomplishments, however, under pressure and time constraints, amazing things can happen. I had a day filled with meetings and classes, with small time slots in between, and as I was sitting there trying desperately to make headway on the big commission I was working on in the 45 minutes available, I had to make a change: scrub out the location of the apple tree stump and move it because I had changed the proportions from the original drawing and needed to re-center the stump. So, the normal way I do this is to wet the area and painstakingly "scrub" off the color with the tip of a firm brush. I had bought this "scrubber" brush from Cheap Joes decided to give it a try - it's a very short, hard-bristle brush - it worked amazingly well: in just a few strokes, the color was gone right back to the white of the paper, leaving it easily reparable to be painted over with the blue of the water. I couldn't believe how quickly and completely it removed the color from the paper, and I just sat there a minute and had this inspiration come to me. How about an image that starts with dark, and you use the scrubber to lift areas of paint - like a reverse watercolor - the way a mezzotint print is crafted: starting with a dark tone and lightening areas. 
A quick trial of lifting paint off Yupo -
just to see if it worked. 
     So I imagined a dark gray winter scene with the white snow on the branches lifted off, kind of in a foggy misty kind of way. So I grabbed a small watercolor block and mixed up a mess of payne's gray and ultramarine blue, and laid down this deep color wash, leaving the lower edge white for snow. Then I set it aside (it would have to dry for me to attempt the lifting of color) and got back to work on the foreground grass texture on my commission. 
My second attempt - utilizing the unique qualities of Yupo
to add clouds and background tree texture.
     When it dried and I tried it, it didn't actually work as sweetly as I had imagined; it was too much work to get the effect I wanted on Arches paper. But then I tried the same thing with Yupo paper - and it worked perfectly! It's more of a graphic statement/sketch of a winter scene than my normal painstaking level of detail, but it is still works and the result is fresh... and it's FUN.

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