After doing a whole month of ink work it was hard to let go. I started drawing a parrot on a pre-painted acrylic ink background, fully thinking I would do it all with my ink filled fountain pen.
Instead of having my subject looking off the edge of the book, I usually place it so it’s looking toward the center of the book as I do here.
I even put quite a bit of work into the shading and modeling of the beak but it didn’t feel right. I got up, made myself a cup of tea, and thought about why I was so hesitant to keep going. I finally realized I was missing color!
This parrot is red. No, not just red, but a screaming scarlet red! And he wasn’t about to let me portray him with a bunch of black lines.
OK… color. I could use red watercolor but because green is its complement in color theory the red would turn muddy grey against the green. Not what this parrot deserves.
I went in search of my gouache that has been languishing in a drawer since earlier this summer. Gouache has larger particles of pigment which in turn yields greater opacity. Just what I was looking for.
I layered the gouache thick enough to obscure the background, along with ninety-nine percent of my ink lines, but not so thick that the paint will crack as the page is turned.
As I was debating what to do on the verso page of the spread I remembered an overheard humorous comment on the current political climate… “What could possibly go wrong?”
It had to go in the journal!
I still chuckle every time I open the journal and see this spread… just one of the reasons why I create.
April has come and gone and I’ve been finished with my Fake Journal for two weeks. I took a lovely break, went on vacation, and am back with my wrap-up.
I’ll be posting the full wrap-up on Skylark Karma, my fake journal blog, but as I’m unable to share video there I’m going to post it here instead!
If this video doesn’t play you can also watch it through YouTube.
If this piques your interest be sure to check out the daily postings of my 2017 Fake Journal… that way you can easily read my character’s daily writings.
Hope to see you there!
… and when this April’s done, so is IFJM 2017- International Fake Journal Month.
Here’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s post on my Fake Journal Blog, Skylark Karma.
Only three days left for me to create an alternate world. Come see!
Just a couple of images from my 2017 Fake Journal…
Have I piqued your interest? Want to see more?
I’ve been blogging daily since April 1st on my Fake Journal blog: Skylarkkarma.wordpress.com. It’s not too late to follow the progress, I’ll continue posting daily all through the month.
Today I’m sharing the process of my latest gouache spread. For once I took a few photos as I went along but I only wish I had remembered a bit earlier as I started to blend the body color of the birds.
Oh well… next time.
I started by creating a basic line drawing over a pre-painted matte acrylic background.
Even though I intended to cover my lines with opaque passages of gouache just having them there helped me feel more confident as the painting progressed.
Then there comes a time when you think you’re done but when you step back you realize you’re still not there.
What’s missing? Now it’s time to critique. In this case I had plenty of medium and dark values but almost no lights. Daley-Rowney Pro White was the perfect addition.
And then there’s color theory. Violet and Orange are both secondary colors… two of the colors in the secondary triad. The other color in the triad? Green. Eureka! I need leaves and an odd grouping of them across the spread.
A little Payne’s Gray for feather definition and I consider it done.
I can’t remember which of my friends sent me this meme but they definitely knew my love of paleontology and dinosaurs, both real and plastic.
Plastic is made of oil.
Oil is made of dinosaurs.
Plastic dinosaurs are made from real dinosaurs.
No… oil was formed long before dinosaurs lived. And besides, this dinosaur is made of gouache!
I’m into week four of my summer gouache adventure.
My original thought was to use gouache exclusively for a month but that just wasn’t to be. I often work away from home, sometimes in a café, and my palette’s just too large to carry with me all the time. I have a smaller empty palette at the ready; I just need to stop procrastinating and fill it!
I’m loving Mary Ann Moss’s OMG! class videos and she’s given us plenty of sketching subject ideas but so far my pages have been inspired by my fellow classmates. Case in point, one artist painted her favorite sparkling water… I joined in by painting mine!
Daler-Rowney Pro White… I couldn’t have lettered without it.
Oh No!!! I’ve misspelled the type of mango! Luckily, I had made a practice page before I lettered. The base is acrylic paint… plastic, right? Could I wash off my transposed letters?
Oh Yeah! …….. whew… a save.
Time for more experimentation. I’ve finished each of my sketchbooks with a self portrait, sometimes in ink, sometimes in watercolor, This time it was all about the gouache!
And then a favorite painting reduced from 8 foot square to less than 8 inches square in my journal!
I could live in this painting.
As long as I’m dreaming…
Twice a week we get more videos in Mary Ann Moss’ OMG! gouache class. She presents us with so many ideas and techniques it’s hard to know which one to try first.
Ya just gotta dive in!
Who knew there are yellow and red striped peppers? I guess we all do now. This little guy went through so many layers… ugly, ugly, ugly and then… Boom! Done!
But too much blank space… one of the ideas was to use gouache when lettering. But what if I ruined it? …and after all that work!
Sometimes you just have to go for it.
Btw… remind me what a pain it is to paint background around an object! I used matte acrylic craft paint from Jo-Ann. Cloudless. Yum!
I now have a small selection to use instead of wasting my good gouache on backgrounds.
Next I was inspired by a favorite batik pattern… ooops! The full tortoise in the lower right is the correct pattern. I forgot the second line on the shell for all the others. And yes, I painted the entire page first with acrylic before I even thought about gouache.
I thought I was brilliant but in fact I was too smart for my own good. I wanted to keep the paint nice and juicy so I kept a slightly dampened sponge in my palette and tucked the whole thing in a zip-top bag. It must have been way too humid because my M. Graham Sap Green seemed to be growing MOLD! A “science experiment ” as Roz Stendahl says. Ugh! Just a small square of sponge now and no more plastic bag! It must have been the honey M. Graham uses to keep the paint soft and moist.
Today was hot enough for me to pull out my mother’s old silk chinese paddle fan. As I cooled myself I admired the hand-painted bird and flowers. Could I do that someday?
I’m off to re-watch the videos to see what I might want to try next… I’ll just be here playing. Have a great day!
G! … as in Gouache!
I’m taking another Mary Ann Moss class… OMG!… this time it’s all about gouache, an opaque water media very similar to opaque watercolor only more so.
This first thing I learned was that it’s pronounced g’wash… rhyming with squash.
Fair warning… lots of photos ahead!
I bought a lovely selection of Schmincke gouache selected by artist, Roz Stendahl and to that I added a few tubes of M. Graham gouache. I squirted it into pans and arranged my palette.
When closed the palette latch is a little loose so I made a band out of 1.5 inch elastic. I love the turquoise!
I started playing first by adding white to get tints and then seeing if my pens would write over the matte surface.
Hmmm… I wonder what secondary mixes I can get with my selected primaries?
Ah… nice! But what do I mix to get the brightest hues?
I’m still finding it hard to judge how much water… or rather, how little water to use. My gouache blocks on this spread have lots of streaks. I wonder once I conquer the water issue if I’ll also get rid of the streaks, but for now I rather like the wabi-sabi look.
Great practice but now what? Well. I decided to draw my Friday. My black Uni-ball Vision wrote like a dream but my white Signo? Not so much. After a few issues with hard starts and skipping I learned to use a light hand. It’s a nice arrow to have in my art quiver.
I better get working on the next lesson or I’ll be behind my amazing classmates.
Thanks MAM… It’s my summer of gouache!
If you want to see more of Mary Ann Moss please check out her blog: Dispatch From LA.