I’m finally getting around to finding a bit more time to resume following some on-line classes! Here I’m continuing where I left off with Juliette Crane’s Happy Painting Mini Course and now embarking on Project 2. This lesson is about making a mixed media painting out of a simple sketch.
For this painting, Bristol Paper was used due to its smooth surface and robustness. Juliette suggests starting with a pencil sketch from which we can trace over with ink. For her painting she drew a pair of cute characters sweetly huddled next to each other. I chose my version of that, depicting me and boyfriend together. Seeing that I had no pencil available at the time (left it at the other house), I decided not to stress and pick up instead a stick of charcoal! The drawing was then traced over using a bamboo pen dipped in India Ink in iridescent black (Dr. Ph. Martin’s).
A number of different mediums were used for coloring. Brown pastels (Julliette suggests Pan Pastels but I merely used sticks rubbed on my fingers), Winsor & Newton watercolors, Sennelier oil pastel in turquoise and Molotow acrylic markers in neon pink. It’s always good to discover alternative methods! For instance, Juliette suggested using green, blue and yellow for the skin. Just a light wash and a soft touch with the brown pastel. I have to admit though that the characters looked like ghostly zombies and got a bit worried. Rather than correct the coloring immediately, I decided to wait till the background was done and see if adjusting was in fact necessary. The effect was by then actually starting to grow on me, something that happens when working beyond your comfort zone.
Normally we paint the background first but for this exercise, Juliette wanted to demonstrate what to do if we were not happy with the existing painting and want to cover parts up. In my case, I was not sure anymore if that turquoise-colored doodle were necessary. Juliette suggested spreading white gesso on the background to cover up areas you’re unhappy with. Once dry, she rubbed on some cobalt blue oil stick and scratched some writing on top with a sharp instrument. I myself don’t possess oil sticks, unfortunately and hence replaced those with cobalt blue paint mixed with slow-drying gloss medium. That way, the paint wouldn’t dry too quickly for me to scratch some writing on top. And I just kept scribbling “love” all over! Unhappy with the bottom part of the background, I smudged in some Titanium White Paint for a blended finish. And here we are!
Now I see how the skin color works well with the blue background! I further love that pale washed-out look from the watercolor and pastels against the dark background, something I could adopt in my future paintings. And don’t we just look so cozy together? I love how Juliette’s characters feature tilted heads which gave me the idea to draw with such a different angle too. It makes us look so happy together that I even had to scribble love all over the background. Because we are hopeless romantics!
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