Tuesday, January 19, 2016


"WIP" means "work in progress"...though if I'd had more time this week, I probably would have painted a whip.  :D  (Kinda sad that I didn't, actually.)

Anyway, this is pretty large, comparatively, 12x18.  It is a watercolor underpainting and I am putting pan pastel on top, which is a magical combination.

There is a lot of wc still showing here, but there is a lot of pastel to go on top.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mad Velour

We've switched things up in our joint themed project...it is now open to different sizes, though I only managed to finish one lonely little ACEO this week...it took longer than I expected it to, but that's because I was rather mesmerized by the surface.

We used velour, which is a paper that feels like velvet.  I used conte crayon and pan pastel and it was really cool to see how they responded to the surface...it's very soft and atmospheric.

So soft and atmospheric, in fact, that my scanner did a pretty crappy job in scanning this, but at this point, my camera is not going to do much better so here she is.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Japanese Watercolor

Here are my Japanese watercolors.

I was in the new (yay!) Hobby Lobby in my hometown the other day and found these.  Paint.  Color.  Japanese.  Had to have.

But really I had been curious about Japanese watercolor.  I'm not an expert, but Japanese and Chinese watercolors are formulated differently from "normal" watercolor.  They are like, but I believe still different from, gouache.

I have a strong tendency to put too much water into my watercolor.  So gouache is good for me, because it is "opaque watercolor" and thus thicker/more intense.  I've heard people say you can't reconstitute gouache, but that is nonsense because I don't have a problem with it.  But it tends to be about the same difficulty as watercolor (maybe slightly easier/faster)--as in, not difficult, but I'm not very patient or...something.  These watercolors, however, are a dream to activate.  They are, as best I can describe, *soft*.

I got to "create a color chart by painting the color onto the chart on the back side of a lid".

Here are my first charts.

And I made a new comparative one *just for you*.

I made an effort to activate the paint in the same manner for both types of watercolor, and along the outside I used some gouache.  As you can see, there isn't a massive amount of visual difference, though the Japanese watercolors are a good bit smoother and more consistent.  I wasn't trying to get it really dark or intense (I was probably slightly light handed with the Japanese watercolor, just to give the other a sporting chance), just a quick activation for each color.  Much more pigment came off my brush with the new paint.

As I said, these just feel so soft to work with; they are wonderful.

Also, I have learned some new Japanese color names, which is exciting, because it is strangely difficult to determine specific color names in another language, like "crimson" or "olive green", etc.

I may need to do more color charts.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mad ACEO: Pan Pastels

This was a fun week of experimentation.

I was going to do a post all about my delicious new Japanese watercolors that I found, but...well, I didn't.  I still should.  They are an absolute delight.

Japanese watercolor and pan pastel on Arches cold-pressed Artboard

Japanese watercolor, watercolor markers, and pan pastel on Strathmore Toned Gray

Landscape, Southeast Idaho
watercolor and pan pastel on Arches cold-pressed Artboard

Great-Grandma's Backyard
oil pastel and pan pastel on aubergine Colorfix primed cardstock, mounted on mat board

Snow Magic
pan pastel on transparent oil pastel on blue mat board

The pan pastels on the transparent oil pastel were wonderful!  And I loved using them on the other two landscapes, too...they were very subtle, but contributed a nice softness and additional subtlety in color.  The zebracorn may not be done yet...the background could use some attention.  And again, the Japanese watercolors are wonderful.