Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dragon Illustration: “I Choose YOU!”

Dragon Illustration:"I Choose YOU!"
Approx 8x10 inches - watercolour-various brands, acrylic paints with paper cutouts 
on 140lb watercolour paper -Text added digitally

This blog post is about some watercolour experiments I've been doing over the summer. This time I've been experimenting with ways to treat watercolour papers while painting. My first goal was to see how much watercolour pours different watercolor papers would take. I decided to try out different ways to use watercolour on papers, and end up with a flat piece of art.....not the art.....but the actual paper!

The technique I started out with was one I've nick named “Soak and Slap”. It's quite simple take a smallish piece of watercolour paper 8x10 or 10x14 inches and soak it in water for five or ten minutes. Take out of water, drain slightly and slap it onto a slightly larger piece of plexiglass.....smoothing it down all around. The water suction holds the soaked paper in place and you are ready to paint. The paper is already wet so it will accept watercolor washes poured over the wet paper......mingling beautifully as the colour moves over the paper. It's as simple as that!

I let the paper get almost dry, while applying some salt blooms, then I peeled it off the plexiglass. By the time I had applied some misket on spots I wanted to preserve.....the paper had started to buckle. 

So I tried an alternate method to keep things flat. I spritzed the back of the paper and clamped it all down and worked on things a bit more. But the paper stayed buckled.

So I went back to the original “drawing board”.... the plexiglass. I heavily spritzed the back of the drawing and slapped it back down on the plexiglass. I added a bit of masking tape all around the paper.
I had decided that this piece would be a children's book kind of illustration. I sketched up a dragon and decided on the action I wanted. I worked on laying in the white acrylic “underpainting” for the dragon. While I was working on the dragon, the paper gradually began to dry.....but stayed FLAT!!

So.....leaving the paper where it was......I painted in the dragon in acrylic glazes over the white underpainting. On a separate piece of paper I painted a little girl in a pink pajama set. I cut her out and taped her down, placing her exactly where I wanted her, on the watercolor painting. Once everything was dry I scanned in the whole thing, took it to Photoshop, and put in the text.....”I choose YOU!” and was finished.
This time around I've learned that when I use the “Soak and Slap” method of painting on watercolour paper.....keep it there through out the entire painting process.
On to the next method......”Stretch and Staple”.

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