Monday, January 14, 2013

Catching up on Art Stuff

I'm still loving up the 15-minute art project idea. It worked really well for gift tags at Christmas time.

I started with some VERY cheap brown paper we scored at Lowe's, paper that is meant to be used as masking paper for painters to mask off windows and stuff they don't want to spatter paint on.

The paper -- in huge rolls for about $10 -- had a nice medium tooth to it. I don't know how it will hold up to light and age, but for 15-minute projects and practice pieces it will be fine.

I began by cutting my pieces of paper, no mean feat considering the dampness of the weather and the penchant for the paper to curl like Lillian's hair.

Then I soaked them on my polyurethaned watercolor boards, to stretch the paper and get it to lie flat. There's a slight finish on the masking paper, which I thought (correctly) the water would break down.

Once all four pieces were well and truly yummily wet and flat, I went at them with my cheap watercolor paints, swiping in broad shapes.

I kept the board with the papers flat, not wanting any runs if I could help it.

I'd decided on four seasons, one for each of my housemates, excluding baby Joan, who would only appreciate the art if she could munch on it.

After the initial splats of paint, I had to let each one dry a bit. Then I came back at them with additional pigment, thicker watercolors.

Another drying time had to come, and with it, the realization that the paper had held much more dampness than I'd expected, and most of the pigment had bled out into the brown paper.

The answer? More pigment, of course! I did some thicker blobs of color, and let it dry again.

And dry it did, and began to curl again, so I taped it down with little masking tape doughnuts (tape curled with the sticky side out, making it two-sided) and then had at it with pastels, just a bit here and there, to add texture and definitive lines.

I gave all four a quick spritz of fixative and set them out to dry yet another time.

With the Spring and Autumn ones, I also used an indelible ink pen to help with the trunk lines.

And then, I added a sentiment to each of my beloveds, to be carried on their Christmas gifts.

I photographed each of these against black paper; the angle of the camera gives them that not-quite-square look.

All in all, the project took considerably more than fifteen minutes, but each stage was short, and could be done in little bits in between other pressing daily matters.

I like the brown craft paper as a medium. The tooth is nice, and the color pleasantly neutral. Once our weather moderates, I'd like to cut a bunch more of it into manageable sizes and use it for pastels.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

They're so beautiful. They were Christmas presents unto themselves.