Friday, March 22, 2013

The Art of Spring: Ducklings

The first spread in my Art of Spring journal was very pastel and sweet - this second spread is equally sweet, but quite a bit more vibrant. I love how it progressed and the final result is just as I imagined!

I started out with a bit of a mess. As is typical for me, I just slopped leftover paint from my first spread onto these pages. It was mostly bright phthalo blue and a bit of dark brown (burnt umber light) but it didn't look pretty. I was tempted to stick to just paint again for the background (as Junelle Jacobsen, the instructor, does) but collage is my thing. I love collage. So I gathered some blue bits of scrapbooking and tissue papers and went to town. Then I added some washi tape and doodling (white and silver Sharpies) for good measure. It was looking a little rough still, so I covered it all with a transparent blue wash (phthalo blue, cerulean blue deep and glazing medium).

Finally, I was getting somewhere. The blue was bright and glossy - a perfectly watery background for a duckling or two!
Next I sketched out the ducklings. Can you see them above? I used a blue watercolour pencil, so there's just a hint of them in the photo.

HUGE TIP: sketch using a watercolour pencil instead of a regular pencil when sketching on a painted surface. Not only does it erase completely without smudging, but if you use a colour similar to your background, you won't see it through your paint, no matter how transparent.

All that was left to do now was to paint the ducklings! I used a soft yellow (hansa yellow medium, Indian yellow hue, raw sienna and gesso) and orange (azo orange, gesso) then I added some detailing with darker shades (Indian yellow hue, raw sienna, burnt sienna, azo orange, burnt umber light, sap green) before finishing it with a messy doodle (Sharpie pen). I realized at this point that I hadn't added any texture with stamps, so I decided to do that with Sharpies instead (white, gold, yellow) and a splatter of orange India ink.  The result was slightly messy and oh-so cute!
So so SO happy with this page - it makes me smile big!


Heartwideopen said...

Amanda, I LOVED reading about your process doing this page! I fell in love with your ducklings on the FB group and I'm SO glad I signed up for your blog via email!!! If you haven't posted about this post on the group, you should!! Reading about your process and seeing the close-ups was really inspirational this morning!!

Sarah said...

Hi Amanda, just popped over from the fb page - where I loved your ducks. And I find this! The close ups and descriptions are just delicious, I love peering at the detail of your paint and penwork.