Sunday, February 3, 2013

Little Bits and Twists

As I was getting ready to layer in my background for my bigger fairy, I realized I was going to need projects to distract me while the paint was drying or I was going to start messing with it. I think this is one of the things I struggle with most with my art; knowing when to walk away. It's even more important in watercolor because it's just so unforgiving. So, I sketched out a little child fairy really quickly, in order to have something else to occupy my meddlesome hands during drying periods!

Simple enough, right? So then I got started with the backgrounds:

Working at the kitchen table, because I can't seem to contain myself to my studio. I apparently need every available surface in my house! Oh, I also found a tube of paint under my pillow last night as well. I think I leak art stuff everywhere I go!

I ended up masking and salting the peacock fairy one, which made the drying time stretch even further, so I started in on more with the child fairy. I felt like it was a good practice run, since I really don't want to mess this bigger one up. As I got going, I started having some problems. My paints just weren't going where I wanted them too, the paper was shedding a bit (which was very odd) and I realized I was having problems seeing what I was doing.

I finally realized that the last part was something I should do something about. I got my first pair of glasses last year, and I don't like them. Every time I have tried wearing them while painting, they make me a little motion sick. I don't know how people wear these things! Still, because I was painting at the table, that meant less back-n-forth, so it should cut down on the motion and glasses should actually, you know... help me see what I am painting.

So I put my glasses on. Under protest.

You know, you really can see those little details better with these suckers. Sigh.

Seeing clearly what I was trying to do only helped part of the problem. The rest was a materials issue. The paper was shedding fibers. It's the hot-pressed 100% rag (cotton), and I normally don't have a problem with it, even though I'm a horrible scrubber. More, the paint was just... absorbing, not moving, not looking the way it should. In the end, I was not thrilled with the flow and that just made my ambivalence even higher in regards to the bigger painting.

I chose to focus on completing the little one, and seeing if it was just me. I did finish it:

"Little Bit" 4x6, watercolor

However, while I like it, I feel the materials aren't going to work for my bigger fairy. I've decided, I think, to go with diluted acrylics for her instead, in the hopes she'll turn out the way I want. I've used them before, but the difference between them and watercolors is that they don't reactivate and absorb pretty much immediately. In other words, you have to be darn sure you are putting the paint where you want it to be because you have about .003 seconds before it's set, and you can't take it back regardless. The upside is that the colors are more... hmm... smooth, maybe is the word I am looking for? Vibrancy isn't a problem with watercolors or acrylics, but I just want this fairy to come out right, and I think the acrylics is likely the way to go.

Here's hoping!


Manon said...

I just hope you keep sticking with it because it will work out good in the end. She is wonderful!

Stephanie said...

What brand of paper are you using? I have found from experience that different brands handle paint quite differently. My favorite is Fabriano Artistico. I really dislike Canson for the reasons you stated above.

She's beauty though!

Magic Love Crow said...

You look great in your glasses! I understand what you are saying! I can't see the little details anymore, without mine! LOL! Your little fairy is stunning!! I can't wait to see the other one finished!

Kyra Wilson said...

I'm definitely sticking with it! I'm loving the fairies! :)

Kyra Wilson said...

I'm using Lanaquarelle, because I like the blocks and I hate sizing and working with sheets, but it appears I may need to re-evaluate that decision. :(

Kyra Wilson said...

Glasses, boo! Why do we have to wear glasses! :)

Rita Juse-Cirkse said...

Maybe you can continue using the same paper, just put a (thin or thicker) layer of gesso on it before you start painting next time?

Kristin said...

LOVE! Love you in your glasses (I'm gonna make the move this year too - I need reading glasses), love your larger fairy and am IN love with Little Bit! Toooo cute and yes, I love the vibrancy you achieved. Now, paint under your pillow? (That was my favorite part!) xoxo

Kyra Wilson said...

Hmm, I've never gessoed the paper, I always thought that would cause cracking?

Kyra Wilson said...

Yeah, the paint under my pillow and the brushes in the toothbrush holder get an eyeroll from my husband every time! :)