Pens, inks and myriad papers would be the first things I would allow myself to collect in years. I stopped collecting anything many years ago when I realized how much I loved buying things. Just after getting my degree in University I realized I had acquired huge amounts or superfluous stuff. I had a dozen Crabtree & Evelyn candles and candle holders, tons of makeup I never used, several collections of cute mugs, etc. When I realized that I really didn't have the space for all this stuff. I had purchased it all on a whim, gratified at the time but now I just felt burdened by it all. So I threw it ALL out and decided I would never "collect" stuff because I am an acquisitive person and I have to guard against my need to surround myself with pretty, sparkly, adorable and lovely things.
Maybe that's why I loved drawing all my current favorite things! I started out with a pencil line drawing, getting the scale of everything right. I decided to paint in the parchment paper first. I did a test using a couple of blank bookmark papers to see how the thinned out sepia ink moved over the paper. Using a flat brush worked great. I then started in on the actual parchment on the drawing and disaster was obvious. I guess since I had to go around other pieces in the drawing, all the pausing and switching directions made it a wholly streaky mess. But I've learned to persevere and not let an obstacle stop me from continuing. Many things are fixable, don't give up, Jenn. I finished laying down the streaky medium sepia wash and hoped I could correct it with watercolor pencils and markers.
So, out came every brown, taupe and ochre I had in my arsenal. I slaved over that parchment for two days, layer upon layer! I now think that I probably couldn't reproduce this parchment paper loveliness if I tried a thousand times! Ok, on to the other bits. I used watercolor pencils on all the other elements. Whether I wanted the texture to be "rough" or smooth depended on whether I added a colorless blender over top or not. I found that the Copic colorless blender kind of liquifies the watercolor paints and lets the color sink in to the crevesses of the paper without streaking too much. And the bonus is that the paper doesn't warp at all from the addition of water!! Cool discovery!
(Commercial Break: I use Faber-Castell watercolor pencils, actually, all my favorite supplies are in my sidebar. If you want to purchase any art supplies, please click through to Dick Blick from my site, it keeps me in Hazelnut coffee! Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.)
...I found that using my french gray Copics to add shadow was really helped along with a muted sepia watercolor pencil laid down close to the object then "liquified" with either the W3 or W4 gray Copic. It really added depth. I had to be careful though, that shadow technique "lifted" the color on the parchment, probably because it was such a mish-mash of media. I found that a gray-sepia colored pencil worked great there anyway. I did my usual background with a layering of French Gray Copics (W0-W4). I was surprised when I held up a scrap of paper with "cool" gray copics on them that it just didn't work. I'd have thought all that warmth from the parchment would have needed a little cooling down from some cool grays. Nope, looked horrid, thank God I did a test bookmark to hold it up to first. (I'm ending up with a bunch of half done bookmarks with their backs painted because I use them as test pieces, lol. It will work out great in the long run though, no need to do backgrounds or the backs, just the fronts!)
Finally, I masked off all of the bits that sat over top of the parchment (including the lower paper curl) and used a new background stamp I purchased for just this kind of thing. It'll get good use as backgrounds for more modern art painting, kind of like painting over old dictionary pages but you get to use better paper, lol. So, finally, here's my finished piece. It's the longest I've ever spent working on any one painting. I have to say, I love it. I'm naming it "The Poet's Desk" because the script is actually a Biblical quote from 1Corinthians 13:4-7. It's actually one of my favorite quotes although shamefully I had forgotten it was from the bible. I try to live this quote daily, give the benefit of the doubt, lead with compassion and love thoroughly and without reservation. It's kind of my motto or my "way of being" in the world. Here's my piece...
|Title: "The Poet's Desk"|
Talk soon, K?
If you're looking for this week's APR just click here and you'll go to where you can link up your beautiful art about ink, parchment & pens!!