Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Primarily Umbrellas - Class Work 1

Well, I could show you what I have on the umbrellas so far but it looks like a mess of colors and not much else.

I redrew it on 1/2 sheet hotpressed paper and then the first thing we had to do in class was misket the red and the 2 blue umbrellas (leaving the large dark and the smaller dark umbrella alone). We misketed completely, including the handles, of those 3 and then misketed the lights in the wooden deck floor and on the umbrellas that were left alone.

Then we wet the paper down until it was very saturated and poured our colors. I'm using only 3 colors of Da Vinci fluid acrylics: Yellow = Hansa Yellow Light; Red = Quinacridone Red; and Blue = Ultramarine Blue.

Because I used the Ultramarine Blue, I got a lot of texture. And that first pour was crazy!!! The paper was so wet that the acrylic just bloomed outwards and around the paper, running all over so by the time I got the 3 colors on, I was making a lovely brown all over!!! Anxiety!!! So I had to let the color just run off the paper and onto the towel and then I sprayed a bit of the color away where I wanted a lighter value. After some anxious moments of not knowing what to do, I let the paper and paint settle in and do it's thing and it worked okay.

Then the hard part: waiting for it to dry enough to go back in with drops of clean water to make blossoms. Then again waiting for it to dry dry dry - but not completely dry - just dry enough to have the sheen off all around (and there were lots of areas that dried before other areas because there were rivers and puddles and valleys that stayed wet a long time).

But you have to wait!

Then - the fun part - and the part you have no idea how it will look until you do it:
Taking a spray bottle and with a strong stream of water, shooting the water across the paper and, by doing that, lifting the acrylic paint that has not dried to the paper. That causes the batik look.

Then you can pour more paint just like the first time, getting more darks in certain areas (after that first crazy pour, you learn to relax a bit and know you can control where the runs go if you just don't panic and tilt the paper the way you want). Then wait some more, more blossoms (if you want), and more waiting and then spray stream of water to shoot off the damp color = more batik look.

You have the freedom to do this pouring, wetting, spraying because you have misketed those areas you want to leave pure = the 3 umbrellas and the whites in the deck.

And if you've read this much, you deserve a treat (if you want to call it that! haha) so I'll share a photo of what I came home with today. Much more to be done but this is what it is with the misket still on and the 2 pours done.

The grey is the misketed areas = 3 umbrellas. You can see some large pale areas I don't like so I will need to do another pour to tone that down - this time without blossoms and sprays to lift off paint.

Next step, we do "trickles of water and drizzles of paint" which you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see and I'll explain.

I do love the texture of this - hope it turns out but if it doesn't, it's still learning and practicing.


Vicki Greene said...

This looks like fun. I am certainly enjoying watching the process.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...


You are such a brave girl for even trying this! Anything that starts with this much chaos just defeats me, must be I have a closed mind or something. While I read that first part I thought I could hardly wait until you showed us what it looked like tomorrow (today now) and then you included the photo. Wow. Thanks for letting us see it at this stage, I cannot imagine how this is going to eventually look like the ref photo! I have faith in you though, so keep on sending the WIPs...I'm holding my breath for you here and will need to take a breath eventually!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Vicki and Susan - glad you are enjoying it. Susan, not brave, just crazy enough to try anything once! haha And that first pour where the acrylic paint was going everywhere did seem pretty chaotic.