Despite a bit of a delay and not quite as warm as were hoping, Spring seems to be here again! Trees are starting go green and flowers are starting to bloom. The Netherlands is known for the abundance of beautifully colorful flowers like tulips, crocuses, dahlias and gladiolus, and fields and gardens are a stunning sight. And here I decided to make a vibrant painting using an old ghost print and introducing new mediums.
This painting starts with a ghost print when I was experimenting with Gelli arts a few weeks ago. In fact this is the second ghost print but still gives an interesting pattern on paper out of Strathmore’s Mixed Media sketchbook. The Gelli print was made using acrylic paint in pink, red and neon pink, incorporating a patterned stencil too.
Color the Background
I was careful not to cover the existing colors. Instead of paint then, I went for something that gives a transparent effect. Inktense by Derwent was a perfect choice as they are water soluble ink sticks, fully waterproof and mainly lightfast once dry. With some light and dark green and some yellow, I went about directly applying the colors on the paper, then gently spreading them with a wet brush. What I love about these sticks is that despite its sheer and transparent finish, the colors remain intense and sharp, complimenting well with the existing pink/red print.
Now time to paint in some flowers! I was reluctant to cover up the existing print patterns because they look so cool already. Thus I was again careful with where and how to paint the flowers. Gouache seemed a logical choice given its solid matte finish. After sketching the flowers with some white chalk, I traced the outline firstly with some Molotow acrylic markers before filling them in with gouache. The outlines were then retraced with the markers so they can pop out more. Fluorescent green marker was then used to draw in the leaves. And here we are!
I realise that painting on prints is quite a challenge because you don’t want to destroy the underlying print you like. That said, leaving it alone makes the painting bare. I may in future recolor the flowers a completely different shade, perhaps purple so they stand out more but for now, I’ll just leave it and simply consider the flowers as being hidden among the melange!