Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yupo is bound for the flat file

... for awhile.

I did finish this last imaginary flowers painting beforehand (still using the flower assignment from Carla's class, "2014: Year of the Fairy Tale"):

I was hunting around my studio for "something else" to add color to the piece. I decided to use Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels for the background and to intermix them with all the other media I used on the ground.

I enjoy this kind of experimentation. And even though failures "happen" I find them to be valuable, truly an opportunity to learn. Admittedly I may not see it exactly and positively like that at the time though :-)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Surprise?...more imaginary flowers :-)

I am practicing with different media on Yupo adding pastels and colored pencil:

These flowers have a more solid feel than the earlier ones.

Oy, after I finished this painting I read that pastels on their own don't do well on Yupo.

Purely by accident these pastels are for the most part layered over paint and/or colored pencil so I hope they will adhere after I apply fixative.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Yupo-ing...with flowers

I am making Yupo into a verbal because for me the painting experience is one all on its own :-)

Imaginary flowers are wonderful to paint and draw so I was happy to dive into the Fairy Tale #2 assignment (2014: Year of the Fairy Tale online class) that centered on imaginary flowers (yay).

Dip brushes of various kinds and sizes into paint and begin Yupo-ing (some splashing of paint might have occurred too...)

Allow the paint to dry (well mostly) and then refine the images with pencil.

Et voici, first Yupo flowerscape:

Imaginary flowers

Monday, March 17, 2014

Yupo :-)

Yupo "paper" takes some getting used to mostly because it isn't made of natural materials; it's made entirely of polypropylene. Here are experimental paintings based on earlier graphite drawings.

Watercolor and graphite. Scratches made with sandpaper:


Only watercolor and graphite:


Yupo is a dream to draw on. And I love the smudgy effects I can achieve with a simple "B" lead. Watercolor can be wiped away with a wet rag even after the paint is dry...whoa :-)

Lots more to learn about and explore with this "paper".

Friday, March 14, 2014

One more green dog...

whose name hasn't come to me yet.

He began as monoprint2 - this one:

A starting point.

And now here he is:

Why green fur again? I have no idea :-)

This piece was a lot of fun - more watercolor, graphite, charcoal, pastels and colored pencil. There are three remaining dog-themed monoprints (I think one of them is actually done) but I put them away for now.

Why? Because it's way past Yupo time (Fairy Tale 2 catch up time).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Green Dog

Since my last post I did more work on monoprint 3. The little green-ish dog is even more green now so I caved and now officially call him "The Green Dog" :-)

Green Dog say, "Hello":

I was thinking about my dog, MacDuff, even though he was a Westie and had all-white fur :-)

I don't have much experience with Gelli Plate monoprinting so there is a lot of room for learning and exploration.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Messy work

Getting messy with paint doesn't bother me which is a good thing as I become a mess and make a mess whenever I  work with paint. It's the clean up part that I don't like - I'm sure I'm not alone in this :-)

And creating monoprints is such an opportunity to get really messy. I've been working on the ones I pulled last week (Lesson One of Carla Sonheim's "Gelli Plate Plus" online class*).

So here is the third monoprint from that assignment:

Remember this little guy?

It now looks like this:

Making progress; I like the background...

I have more to do...but I'm getting there :-)

* Note: This mini-class has ended.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I encountered an interesting abbreviation a few months ago - CFU. It means "colony forming unit"* as in there are 350,00 CFU/ml in the multi-probiotic I sometimes add to Remy's breakfast. So then what does that have to do with this photo?

Snowflakes :-)

The big white things on Remy's head are the snowflakes he came indoors with this morning. I was watching in amazement as the rain turned to snow and then the snowflakes became really big clumps...and the CFU - thing came to mind.

Remy didn't mind the big white 'CFU flake' on his muzzle and it made me laugh.

* CFU is also an abbreviation for Carbon Finance unit - didn't know that one either!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sharing "Un-Success"

"Oy", the word that comes to mind when I review my monoprints from a class I am taking (Carla Sonheim's Gelli Plate Plus). One consideration Carla noted on the class blog is that this technique has "a high failure rate". Fair warning.

Earlier this morning, a cartoon depicting my feelings about the prints I pulled yesterday would be of an acrylic paint splattered figure with a depression bubble cloud over my head. Yes, "un-success" in a big way...and I'd like to share that? Not really, but I had to post my monoprints on FlickR because it is something I use for accountability.

This is what I am going on about:

First attempt...

Soldiering on:
Third attempt
Best one of the lot - could be considered 'done'.

This one is from my slush pile and it actually is an improvement:

The more I look at it, the more I like it. Hmmm...

I have had some time to let the disappointment subside. I know that most if not all of these monoprints are in stage 1 - and I have learned a lot of techniques to transform them.

I am looking forward to getting into my studio today to do just that. But first Remy and I are going on walkies. Woof  :-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Take away

One of the drawing techniques I learned in Carla Sonheim's "Draw!" online class and then used again in the currently running "2014: Year of The Fairy Tale" is eraser drawing. It is great because it really shows the importance of paying attention to value (black and white tones).

I think of the technique as "take away" because your eraser is the "drawing" tool.

In the "Draw!" class I made my first attempt:

The eraser didn't feel like my friend at this point...

 So this time, I worked larger and because the technique had been altered slightly I was able to infuse the drawing with more intensity. So this is the eraser tortoise*:

I use all sorts of erasers; some leave behind a LOT of "crumbs".

It's a messy, smudgy technique but I enjoy it.

* Aldabra giant tortoise photo reference by Peter Chadwick