Friday, 17 February 2017
Hello all! I'm going to try to get some more posts up over the next couple of weeks. I'm feeling very neglectful of Words and Pictures and Craftyblogland generally.
It's partly being busy with work, and partly my usual January/February hibernation tendencies which, this year, are being exacerbated by an ominous sense of the world unravelling.
My solace has been some obsessive watercolour experimentation. The learning curve is steep enough to absorb my whole attention and distract me for a while from an outlook which, to me, seems bleak.
You've seen a couple of dabblings already, and I plan to offer up a bit of a "watercolour intensive" next week, sharing my journey. But first I'm going to leap ahead to the most recent bit of watercolour exploration.
So today I'm sharing a journalling page inspired by a pin I found of a piece by Mandy Pattullo.
Regulars will know I'm addicted to meadow grasses, and I've been doodling them for a while now so, when I saw her beautiful work, I immediately wanted to try my own version of it.
I've had a play with pen and ink a few times in the past (check out Putting Pen to Paper for instance), and over the last few days I've also been creating a pen and watercolour tree series (more of that very soon), so this was a sideways step to combine several past experiments in a new way.
I haven't used real ephemera for my version. My embarkation card is created with a stamp, a pencil and some paint. As you can see, I've got some more lined up for future pages...
I'm rather pleased with the effect and, of course, it means you don't lose the lovely watercolour paper texture for the rest of the inky drawing and painting.
Even though my ephemera isn't real, I do have some other papers involved. There are some strips torn from preserved teabag papers.
I think they add extra interest and detail to the page (and the Chai Spice tea is delicious too!)
For the architecture of the grasses I used my dip pen with a bottle of Dr Ph Martins Bombay ink in Sepia. It's waterproof, so once it's dry, you're good to go with the watercolours.
Initially all the stems were very spindly indeed, but then I clumsily allowed a big blot to form on one.
A happy accident, as it turned out, so I extended it to the other stems. I ended up with much more interesting stems, knotty and sturdy enough to hold up the large flower heads.
I like using the dip pen. It's pleasantly unpredictable, so you get less uniform results than with a highly controllable new-fangled fountain pen!
I used some Sennelier watercolours to add the tiny flower heads on all the stems. There are various shades of brown and grey... fairly reflective of my general mood at present.
But I like the overall effect, especially with the tiny splatters added over the top at the end.
And watery washes around the page give depth and allow the imagination to fill in shadowy details.
Can't do without a WordBand, altered with some alcohol ink and paint and then glued down, but also "attached" with some fine twine.
And I mounted the page (torn out of the watercolour sketchbook) into my kraft nature journal with a framing wash of Vintage Photo Distress Stain just to help it pop a little more from the kraft background.
So there's where my watercolouring has arrived at so far. Nature has been at the heart of much of this journey - another great solace in turbulent times. Over the next few posts, I'll aim to take you through some of my steps along the way.
As always, it's mainly so I have my own record here on my virtual scrapbook. That anyone is here to join me for the ride is a wonderful and uplifting bonus. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you out there very soon.
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.