Saturday, 24 July 2010

aceo / atc watercolours - return to roots

Well almost. It was aceo's that got me involved in atc's and mixed media collaging. My experience must be familiar to many of my friends but here is a quick re-run. I came across aceo's by accident on Ebay and as a painter who loved sketching in a "small" format I decided that, "I could do that". hey presto, my first 2.5 x 3.5 inch painting was created and posted on Ebay. It sold. I was off! Over the next few months I sold around 65 aceo's and  some 20 larger paintings, these were mostly watercolours which I had collected over time in my studio.

My problem was that for everyaceo I sold, I bought one. No profit in that then and with the postage and paying Ebay/Paypal their cut I was left feeling slightly out-of-pocket.

Searching sold aceo's on the site one day, I sat up and took notice of the other formats, including mixed media and collage. Again I thought I could do the same and played around with a few magazine images and felt happy with the results. But the acronym ATC kept popping up - so of course I googled this to find out what it was. BINGO! I found out and found some interesting sites. On one of these, I was reading a forum and came across a question which I could answer by giving a refernce which I had just found. Silly me, not knowing I had accidentally posted the answer in what was a chain swap. I was surprised when asked for my address and of course soon realised what was going on. I complied and traded my very first atc. In fact it was a waterfall card. I tentatively posted more of my cards on the sire and soon found I couldn't make them fast enough to cope with the demand - BUT was I enjoying it ?

Painting became a second string to the mixed media approach and my whole world turned upside down. I was addicted. Since then I have traded with artists and crafters from all over the world ( well at least a good part of it) If I haven't traded with you yet, take a peek at my available cards on Flickr.

I now paint infrequently and have even been thinking of starting 3-D assemblage projects very shortly. I wish there were more hours in the day! But I have created a few aceo paintings ( I still don't think of them as atc's) over the past two weeks. I have been pastelling quite a lot in my painting group of late and moving back to watercolours is always a struggle. The first few are usually difficult to do, the very real difference in the media means whenever I change it is always two steps forward and one back. Regular practice is a wonderful thing. Anyway here are four pieces for your delectation.

I was fairly happy with this one, although the scan doesn't really show it in a good light. The wet-into-wet passages in the sky and the mountains look much better in the original. I have written about issues with scanning watercolours before in my original blog.

Again this image is spoilt by the scanning process. It is also a no-no interms of its composition, two of anything is bad! Always use odd numbers, it introduces a slight tension and makes the painting more interesting.

Better? I quite like this sort of composition and aaing the wet-int-wet passages are much better in the original and the high key areas have the colour washed from them. MAybe this is a consequence of the light used in the scanning process - just a thought.

Now this one I do like, took three attempts but i finally got there. Trees often feature large in my best compositions, they are so versatile and I do love painting them, Should have used a finer brush for the fence however.

OK there you have it. Back to my painting roots, thanks for staying with me

Saturday, 17 July 2010

cupcakes and watercolour pencils

Wow, time flies........................

At the art group we had a demo from a professional illustrator. Carol hasn't got a web-site so I can't offer you a link this time. Thru a personal intro from one of the mebers of the group she came to give us an introduction to this media. Watercolour pencils is not something I have used before ( although I do have a small set) but I am open to anything which gives me a greater understanding of different media. I have to say I was enthralled with her description of the capabilities of these pencils but for her hyper-realistic images ( she has illustrated many books and magazine articles) they give her a very close control during drawing and have a set of techniques that can be used for colouring, and adding texture.

In the second half of the evening ( about an hour) she took us thru the painting below. In order to get things moving she supplied us with a printed sheet with just the bare outline drawing and then led us thru the techniques she had used to produce the coloured version.

these included:- laying on the pencil dry and then adding water to create a wash effect. Adding a thick pencil line and then using water to drag out the colour on one side to produce a 3-D effect seen in the cases. Adding either dust from sharpening the pencil on a sand paper or using shavings from a pencil sharpener to produce texture. Using multiple colours to mix colour on the paper. Here I give you the partly finished piece

and now you understand the title of this post. Maybe I will try this medium again but somehow it really doesn't seem to gel with the way or the subjects that I paint. On the other hand could be useful for ACEO paintings. Thanks for looking.