I’ve been playing around with this project – practicing the lettering in my sketchbook, playing with fonts on the computer. I even scanned my watercolor background and printed it with type I set up on the computer. I don’t usually do this. I create on the computer enough as a Graphic Designer and when I signed up for that first drawing class 7? 8? years ago, the point was to use anything but the computer. I like the lettering in my sketchbook the best. It’s ironic because that was my first try at it. Maybe I’ll scan it in and print that on the watercolor background. :)
Finally I remembered to tape my paper to a board (a palette did the trick) to keep the paper smooth and prevent the paint from pooling. I made sure to add paint to the “white” petals, because they aren’t truly white. Then, I added the base color of the background.
I added some outlines and details in ink. But felt the empty area needed to be darker. I had to add color several times to get it dark enough. Then, I thought it looked weird. Like the Montauk daisies were floating. Even my nine year old son said, “Maybe you need to add some leaves in there.” I drew some leaves in ink and then lifted the dark color where the leaves were. I added a little bit of green to those new leaves. I like the result and how those leaves are subtle. [See final painting in the first photo.]
If you have never “lifted” watercolor paint before, it is easy. Using a wet brush, you touch the area you want to lift the paint from. Wipe the brush on a paper towel (you’ll see the color come off onto it) and rewet the brush and repeat until you’ve achieved your desired effect. :)
I finally got around to finishing this. I started it back in the summer, when I painted the background for two signs. One sign became my “beach lover” sign, which I finished over a month ago. For this sign, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, what words to paint on it – Fall harvest? With Thanksgiving getting closer and closer, I decided on “give thanks.”
Two years ago Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning. My siblings, parents, cousins and my aunt were all affected by Superstorm Sandy. They all had major renovations to tackle and some of them couldn’t even live in their homes. Living 20 minutes away, our home was unaffected. So Thanksgiving 2012 was here at our house. We hosted around 40 people. I wasn’t stressed at all. I knew everyone would be happy, just being together in a warm, dry place. There was no need to sweat the small stuff. Although they suffered damage to their homes, everyone was safe and that was definitely reason to give thanks.
I used the same technique for the lettering as last time. Using the side of the pencil, I quickly colored on the back of my printout. Then, I flipped the printout over and taped it to my sign. With firm pressure, I traced the letters on the printout, using a Nintendo DS stylus pen. I peeled the printout off and, using the light pencil marks and indentation as a guide, I painted the letters. After the letters were dry I added a little white for effect.
I told you I was into trees! Trees and leaves! For this piece I started painting, very wet, with watercolor. After the painting dried (a little) I went back and added more color and some leaf shapes. When that was completely dry, I started drawing, in ink, the shapes of the leaves and the lines of the bark. Then, I added more color.
I love the style of this. It is so fun to doodle in ink. You kind of go into a trance where you are half paying attention. Sometimes it takes a little bit, but eventually I find my groove. I find it helpful to add the ink while I’m watching TV!
There were a couple of parts of this piece that were bugging me, so I did a little retouching in Photoshop. I don’t normally do this. I’m a Graphic Designer and spend a lot of time using Photoshop. I prefer to keep my art “handmade,” but I loved this piece and had to fix those nagging issues.
I need to start clamping down my paper to a board or taping it. My paper buckles and the paint puddles.
I am inspired by trees lately. It makes sense since it’s Fall. For this piece I started out painting with watercolor. It was just the idea of a tree. Then I added the ink. My tree looked a little too squat, so I made the branches longer. Then, I went back in and added more color and the splatters. I like working square. I think it adds something.