Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 7... Falling out of love...

Suzi Blu taught me the beauty of watercolor pencils.... she taught me how to shade a face using a heavy hand and the perfect variety of pinks and yellows. Ahhhh... the perfect skin tone. I liked the technique, but didn't love it. Like I mentioned in this post, I sketch and paint on a un-primed/un-gessoed piece of birch plywood. However, it doesn't offer a great surface for a smooth application for watercolor pencil. Not to mention, the wood soaks up every drop of water, so blending proves to be a very difficult task. The colors bleed, but don't blend out like I want them to. I ended up spending more time, than I would have liked, trying to blend with multiple layers of acrylic paint. So... I stopped using the watercolor pencils, and they sat, sadly, at the bottom of a basket for a very long time.

That is, until I started Monica Zuniga's Mixed Media Faces class and discovered this wonderful product once again. She used the watercolor pencils with ease and they seamed to glide on the paper, and blended easily with a little water. I realized it wasn't the pencils that were the problem, it was my painting surface, the birch plywood. I tried Monica's technique on watercolor paper, and was instantly in love. The pencils went on smoothly, even with a light hand, and gave me a sooth, yet mixed-media feel to my skin tones. My faces had great smooth shading, but the little bits of yellow peaking through gave me the whimsical look I was going for. The greatest part was that by sketching with a light yellow pencil, Icould make mistakes that were easily blended out when the water and a light coat acrylic paint. I could make adjustments to the shape of the face and features as I used the darker pencils. It made the face look messy in the process, but the end result was just what I was looking for.

... messy but colorful...


...beautifully shaded with a touch of yellow originality..

But what am I going to paint on? It seems as though my days of painting faces on cheap plywood are long gone. Don't worry, I have discovered Ampersand has a variety of boards, including their Claybord, which I believe will be perfect for my work. Dick Blick sells their 3/4 inch 12x12 Claybord's for $13... not too shabby... crisis averted. I will be practicing on these claybord's in the coming weeks, and will let you know what I think. Ampersand also has a variety of boards, so you know what that means... lot of tutorials in the future!! Yay!!!

I'm so glad I gave my lost love a second chance. Has this ever happened to you? What did you do?

3 comments:

Laura Catherine Otero said...

How beautiful! You have inspired me (again) today!

Brandi said...

Isn't it great to find a solution to a nagging problem? I love that there's an alternative for you!

And P.S. - Messy's good. I like messy.

Jess said...

Thanks Girls!! Laura, I'm loving your watercolor pics, lately. Makes me want to take a watercolor class.
Brandi, I'm a fan of the messy too... it lets me let go. Loving it!!

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