Sunday, September 30, 2012


On Friday morning, I woke up thinking I was going to continue painting my Halloween-kitten painting. Instead, I kept looking over at my watercolors stacked up on a supply shelf. It's been ages since I painted with my watercolors. I told myself it hasn't been that long, but then I thought back and realized that the last time was a commission that was almost three years ago! And before that? Well, let's face it: I'm a heavy-handed painter that likes vibrant colors. That in turn translates well to oils and acrylics, and that creates an easy gravitation in their direction (and makes it easy to forget that I used to like to paint in watercolors too.)

Still, I couldn't get it out of my head. Soon, an idea for a picture in watercolors formed in my mind which made it simply impossible to focus on the kittens. So, instead I dug out my gear and hauled it to a table. I ended up sketching out this Halloween scene with a witch on a hot press block:

It's not horrible... I'm not sure about the balance yet, but hey, I was just supposed to be playing anyway! At least, that's what I was telling myself. I keep reminding myself that it's important to play. Having a business that makes use of my art can create a loop where I feel like every single piece I create must be sellable. We must not have waste! But if it's never a risk, there's not a lot of playing to be had either. It's time to play.

Even so, I realized that it has been so long since I've painted in watercolors, I wondered if I still knew how. There's a rhythm to painting, and watercolors are their own special animal. They work in reverse of traditional painting concepts... tricky, tricky. I decided that even if I am playing, there's no sense in going in blind. I pulled out a piece of scratch coldpress just to test things out again.

Now, coldpress and I have a long standing disagreement going. While I like texture, I also like detail and the cold likes to make everything just a wee bit rough. Which is why I drew on the hotpress. And didn't have a scrap to mess with to test things out again. *face-palm* I know. Anyway, this is where I am at with the watercolors. I'm going to test a bit more, until I feel a little more confident, and then go for it. I realize my "go for it!" attitude kind of went without me if I'm doing all this testing, but since I'm playing with paint I haven't touched in years, I'm giving myself points for at least trying to play!

In other news, a box also showed up carrying some supplies I ordered. On a lark, I ordered a bunch of tiny-tiny canvases! Check these out:

Aren't they cute? I'm planning on all sorts of things, but first up is a moon and pumpkin-patch set:

That's a 2x2", and a 3x6" stretched canvas. I'm going with acrylics, trying to turn these around quickly.

I also bought a bunch of plain canvas panels (I always paint on stretched), to make myself play. The goal is to get me to loosen up a little bit, and also to find ways to speed myself up a bit. I'm a tad slow right now. I think I'm over-thinking my works. Of course, I tend to over-think everything anyway.

So, the goal is to create some nice things, but also? I need to loosen up! Good golly!


Introverted Art said...

Kira, I love little tiny things!!!! I think these will look amazing.

Fabriano was a huge surprise for me. I got hot press paper. The block is amazing, since it allows for the painting to dry flat and no pre-stretching required. Also, the quality is amazing and I found that I had a lot of control of the painting, which is so hard with watercolor... And the price was great ;-)

Cameron said...

Hi Kyra!

Thank you so much for finding me and leaving me such sweet comments! I'm loving my way around here, too!

When I started painting, I was exclusive to that I work in acrylics?mixed media styles, I find it so hard to go back! I tried recently and ended up covering it in oil pastels. I guess I'm used to being too heavy handed now....haha!
Your witchy face is gorgeous....quite a feat on rough paper at the size you're working with!

I wanted to stop by and visit, say HI and become a Follower so I can keep up with your artistic journey, too.
...and y'know we can always do our own mermaid swap....I still have to paint a few more for my overseas friends whose art is still in transit. I could easily paint one more :)

Just let me know!
All my best,

Kyra said...

I'll have to look into Fabriano and see how it compares (if I can get over this mess I'm in with my watercolors right now!)

Kyra said...

Cameron, I may take you up on that. I need to get out of my own head, and creating something fun like a mermaid could do just that! :) I really am having trouble going backwards too, but I figure the challenge should be good for me then... I hope!