Tuesday, February 5, 2013


As I sat there Monday morning wanting to dig in on my peacock fairy, I found my ambivalence rising. I just couldn't do it. I knew the watercolors hadn't gone the way I wanted for the peacock on the little one, and that I was going to have to try the diluted acrylics instead, but I wanted a test-run. I was also feeling the pressure of my schedule a little bit, because it says "sketch out caterpillar" for Monday, too.

I huffed and puffed my way around the kitchen, but then I got down to work. I sketched out a super fast fairy on another 4x6 (same block), and then hit the acrylics. I tried out salt with them, because I didn't remember if diluted acrylics reacted the same way as traditional watercolors with salt:

I was really hoping it would dry with the swirls of color like that. It didn't though. I wonder how to do that... maybe play with some oil too? Has anyone ever tried that?

While I was waiting for the little one to dry, I pulled out my 9x12 stretched for my caterpillar and got to work. It evolved into something else than I had originally imagined:

The thing is, with watercolors you have to be very precise in your sketch, but with oils or acrylics, at least for me, it's about roughing it out and worrying about the detail when you get the paint on the canvas. So, it's a bit of a brain switch for me to look at the canvas sketch and see how much is missing, how much it makes it look like a cartoon. And... yuck.  He'll look better painted, his face less "smiley" because it's actual panels on his body (I had a reference caterpillar that I took some liberty with) and so on. I'm thinking puffs of smoke too, perhaps in the shape of a white rabbit, or a Mad Hatter's hat or something. I haven't decided yet.

I can't start painting on the Caterpillar until I finish my peacock fairy, though. With the techniques being backwards from one another, I'd probably short circuit my brain, and frankly it's pretty fragile anyway. *ahem*

I then went back to my little fairy and I managed to finish her today:

"Breeze" $50 4x6", acrylic watercolor on watercolor paper.
It was nice to start and finish a piece in the same day, I must say! Additionally, my goal was to make the acrylics work, to figure out the hair because it was giving me fits, and to see if I could in fact play with my iridescent acrylic paints in watercolor fashion! Turns out that I can:

See her hair light up and stuff? Gosh, I just love shiny things. Love, love lovelovelovelove them!

So, score for the hair, score for the iridescent paint, and mental note: take more time in between layers of paint for drying and making the fabric look more natural and highlights, n'stuff. In other words? Remember to chill out.

That's my goal for Tuesday. Deep breath, and chill out. Oh, and paint. Paint is definitely the goal!


Nadia said...

It looks very nice! You can try Toluene to dilute acrylic but its very toxic and I don't know if you get the effect that you want. I never tried it.

Magic Love Crow said...

Yes, breathing is very important ;o) I love shiny things too ;o) Your little fairy is beautiful! And, you caterpillar looks like so much fun ;o) Take Care ;o)

Gina said...

Just awesome! I use a hair dryer between layers when I am feeling impatient...which is always lol. :D XXX

Jess said...

I love the background and you've made a fantastic job of the painting! I'm struggling with acrylics today. After having worked small with watercolours for ages I feel my style is changing and I don't want to go back the way I used to paint with acrylics which was very vague with lots of dry brushing. I want to do detail and they're just not behaving themselves!xx

Kyra Wilson said...

Hmm, haven't heard of that. I've just been pulling it out with water, very thinly. :)

Kyra Wilson said...

See, now, I always think about that and then think about how with my luck it would catch fire or something. :)