One more, this time the ubiquitous milkweed pods going to seed. It's a perfect subject for this type of surface because lifting is so incredibly easy. I created the fluff with nothing more than a 1/4" stiff bristle brush.
Another small work, this time on acrylic gesso coated 90# Fabriano watercolor paper. I really love working with transparent watercolor on gesso. The paints reacts very different on this surface and if I add texture to the gesso while it's still moist, it creates the opportunity for some interesting effects later on. This is a fantasy floral, no reference used. I find, while texturing the gesso, if I don't have any plan in mind beforehand and simply allow the resulting texture to guide me, I can get more spontaneous results.
Yesterday I played with my feathers again, coating them on one side with walnut ink and using them as stamps. Afterward I embellished with more ink, Quin. gold and phthalo turquoise watercolor. This one is also a small work, roughly 4" x 5".
I've been looking through some of my past work lately and came across some pieces I actually like. I can see that I've progressed in some areas, stayed stagnant in others. The bane of not attending workshops or the lack of any professional instruction, I guess. I also believe I have not found my artistic voice yet, whatever that is. I can't seem to find a comfortable niche but maybe that's a good thing. I've concluded that I'd rather continue the hunt than keep cranking out the same thing over, and over, and over. Still there's a nagging feeling that I need to land somewhere and find my own style. Can you tell I'm feeling a little lost today?
I've posted a cat (above) I painted a long time ago following an online demo by Jean Haines, the queen of loose style watercolors. I thought it was horrible at the time but now I can see it's merits. I had no idea what I was doing and can still remember how scary it was letting all that water and paint loose on paper. Somehow it all came together to form a cat. Maybe my naivety was my advantage. My fear, my friend back then.
I'm still at it. This time with a cluster of three feathers, new colors in my atomizer bottles(Phthalo turquoise, indigo and green gold) and more of my homemade stamps. I've got this 'thing' for metallics right now so I've been trying to find ways to incorporate them into my work.
Still working in a smaller format, this time with feathers taped to my working paper and atomizer bottles filled with transparent watercolor. I've also embellished each piece with splatters of metallic acrylic but I can't seem to get the acrylic to show up in photos. I even tried scanning but no luck. Colors are off too, unfortunately. Close but no cigar.
I did something I've never done before. I ordered a couple of packs of 8" x 10" pre-cut mats and mountboard and painted to fit the mat openings. I usually work the other way around. I also ordered the mats in black (I don't normally use black mats). I don't usually work this small either but I found a bag of 8" x 10" acetate sleeves I must have ordered a long time ago and wanted to use them up.
I played with my walnut ink, my metallic acrylics, gouache and torn paper collage. I dipped evergreen sprigs in masking fluid, I poured, I mixed walnut ink with the acrylics (with some interesting results) and generally played "I wonder what would happen if...". Some of my results were better than others but I'm going to post them all anyway.
Here are my first results. Speedball ink seemed to work best. The fluid acrylic, not so much although my stamp was still a bit wet from rinsing.
Here is my stamp, cut and mounted on a scrap piece of gatorboard. The frog is 2 7/8" x 1 3/8".
I went over my drawing on the styrofoam with a sharp pencil. Styrofoam is so soft this easily left an indented outline to follow.
A drawing, if one is needed. I made mine on tracing paper so if I chose to reverse the image(which I did) I didn't need to redraw. Remember, when you use your stamp the image will be reversed so please keep that in mind when transferring your drawing.
Supplies you will need: styrofoam plates, Exacto knife with sharp blade & glue. A self-healing mat is nice for cutting and some foamcore or gatorboard for mounting your finished stamp. Note: You may need to glue two or more plates together to get the desired thickness of styrofoam. For my project I used two plates.
I saw this idea somewhere but can't for the life of me remember where or I would post a link or at least give credit.
I've done a short pictorial demo of my first attempt at making a homemade stamp from cheap styrofoam plates. Stamps tend to be pricey and you can never find exactly what you're looking for anyway. Proper stamp making supplies also come with a price tag and, with no craft stores near me, shipping costs as well.