Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fun with a mailorder catalogue - part two - watercolor girls

After I did those quicky sketches I showed you last Monday I wanted to take this mail order thing a bit further and challenge myself a little more. So I decided to get out my Studio Book (a real sketchbook after all), a drawing pen and my box of watercolors. I chose a few samples from the catalogue that I liked and I tried to emulate them.


Now, it was never my intention to do perfect likenesses or anything like that (I know my limitations). I just wanted to get the poses down and an impression of the clothes. I've never really done clothes in watercolor before so I found it quite challenging.

After those first two were done I did an experiment on a collaged background, just to see how scrapbook papers would affect the watercolor. Well, it was not easy to paint with watercolor, it reminded me a little of the moleskine sketchbooks, the paper is beautiful, but it almost resists watercolor. Still, it was interesting to try it and see if I could make it work. I think I did okay.


After that I really wanted to do a close up of a face. Again it wasn't my intention to do a perfect likeness, I just wanted to get the shape of a face as a reference for doing my own thing. First I did some writing and stamping and collaged the background with tissue papers and then I drew a face and covered it with gesso, so the papers wouldn't shine through too much.


It was an experiment again, this time to see how watercolor works on gesso. As one may expect it's not great, you need an absorbent ground for watercolor and gesso is anything but. Still, that made it extra challenging to try and get a reasonable result anyway.

I don't think I'll be doing watercolor on gesso again, but I do like how this picture turned out. It's a bit grungy and rough around the edges. You can see how the gesso resisted the watercolor. It did also make me curious about aborbent ground that are intended for watercolor and other wet media. If any of you have any experience with it and can recommend a brand I would love to hear about it.

And that concludes part two of my mailorder catalogue fun. More on Friday!  Have a good Wednesday!

22 comments:

  1. Caatje, ik vind ze super! Op gesso zou je ook verdunde acryl kunnen gebruiken - dat hecht beter en geeft toch het aquareleffect.

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    1. Dank je wel Annie. Ik weet inderdaad dat acryl beter zou werken. Maar ik had net een nieuwe hele mooie aquareldoos en die móest gewoon gebruikt worden. ;-)

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  2. Toen ik een online cursus bij Carla Sonheim deed moesten we ook met waterverf over gesso... Met een oude doek moesten we het er (na het opbrengen met penseel) inwrijven met een lap. Dat gaf wel een stoer resultaat!
    Ik vind je tekeningen heel gaaf geworden!! Mooier dan de foto's eigenlijk ;-)

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    1. Ja, zeker als de structuur van de gesso een beetje duidelijk is kan dat hele mooie effecten geven. Ook met dingen als waskrijt enzo. Krijg meteen zin dat weer eens te proberen.

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  3. Super! Ze zijn allemaal mooi gelukt! xoxo

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  4. Caatje, these are fabulous. Past fabulous. I get the feeling you're apologizing when you say it wasn't your intention to do a perfect likeness. I hope I'm wrong...because they are better than the real thing and I'm blown away by your gift. It is simply...fabulous!

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    1. Aww, thank you Annie, but I was not apologizing. I just notice sometimes that people when drawing or painting are looking for photolikeness. I prefer to do impressions or work a little of myself in there. I think that's important. If I wanted a photograph, well, I could have just cut the picture out and leave it at that, right? ;-)I also think it's important to know that not everything we make wil turn out perfect and I want to share how that goes with me. So, no apologies, just explanations.

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  5. Vind ze prachtig. Lijken wel tekeningen van een modeontwerper. Erg leuk

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  6. Great work and very creative. Wonderful your portraits, really marvelous.
    And indeed the watercolors will not work on gesso.
    De verf glijdt er gewoon vanaf, het wijkt op de gesso. maar ik lees net dat het wrijven met een doek mooi resultaat geeft volgens Anouska. het proberen waard.
    groetjes Marja

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    1. Hee, de winnaar van Lynette's giveaway! Ik wist natuurlijk al wel dat gesso niet absorbeert, maar was benieuwd naar het effect en eigenlijk vind ik dat vlekkerige effect wel leuk, al is het ook weer niet echt prettig werken.

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  7. These look so neat, Caatje! I love hearing about all of your experimentation in creating them. What a fun project!

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    1. Thank Andria! It was indeed great fun to do.

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  8. Inspiring! This is a great idea for practicing drawing people. I've done faces a bit, but the whole body would be a challenge for me. Maybe I'll give it a shot! Wonderful stuff!

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    1. Bodies are a challenge for me too. Faces I can pretty much do in my dreams (well, my version of them anyway), but bodies are more difficult. Practice practice! ;-)

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  9. Caatje I just love what you did with those catalogue cutouts, they turned out so well and you've given me something to think about trying. I also want to tell you that I love your blog and all of the nature photos you share. Your little island is like a dream and a place I wish I could escape to. Thank you for sharing all of this wonderfulness!

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    1. Thank you Dianna. I'm glad I gave you some ideas to try. Also thanks so much for you kind words about my blog. Who knows, one day you'll get to visit my island, until then I'll just keep posting pictures every now and then, cause I never get tired of that. ;-)

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  10. Your experiments are all a beautiful success!

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  11. Caatje, these are beautiful! I love how you used them for their poses, as that is how I like to use magazine images. But your likenesses are wonderful too!
    I have used Daniel Smith watercolor ground. I am not crazy about the odor of it, but I do think it works better for watercolor, than regular gesso. You can see a bit of my watercolor backgrounds made on the DS ground here http://rcscreations.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/inspiration-ideas-time-art/ I did notice the watercolor stayed true to colors...they seemed vibrant to me.
    Your blog always inspires me :-)

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  12. Nice work. Very nice indeed.

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  13. I am excited for you Caatje a beautiful evolution from sketch to coloured drawing.

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