Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Colour Gradients (and an upcoming vacation)

A little over a year ago I treated myself to a full box of the Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils by Faber Castell. They are absolutely stunning and wonderful to use. For some reason this whole range of pencils inspires me to do colour gradients in my watercolour sketchbook.

The principle of it is very simple. I set up a grid in pencil and then colour it in with a selection of the watercolour pencils straight from the box in the order they are stored. This automatically gives an interesting colour gradient. I try to vary the pattern inside the grid to keep it interesting and often just to see what happens. After colouring everything in I wash the colours and they really come to life.

Here are four gradients that I recently finished:

I think the last one is my favorite, but that could just be because it is the last one I did and I'm always most in love with a painting/drawing I just finished because it's fresh and new, haha.

Now before I wash them these look really quite interesting too, and sometimes I am almost in doubt if I want to wash them at all. Here's an example of what two of the above looked like before washing:

I find the way you can see the structure of the paper through the colours absolutely fascinating, but the colours definitely 'pop' more after washing. This does however make me think about doing some patterns in regular coloured pencil on a slightly smoother paper, just to see what that will look like. I'll keep you posted if I get around to that.

It's also very important to note that I could not have done these without the help of my furry assistant Spooky who usually lies on the left side of my workspace (an IKEA laptop stand!) while I work with my right hand.

From time to time he will look up at me like this to make sure I still know how adorable he is and then he continues to sleep. I melt every time he does this. The IKEA stand is a great tip by the way for those of you with helpful pets. Spooky does not like lying on top of it, so he no longer lies on the work itself while I'm drawing or painting, but can still keep me company.

And now it's time for a little blog break again, because I'll be going on another vacation. I know, I just had my wonderful staycation around the holidays, but this will be my almost traditional trip to one of the neighbouring islands, which is a thing I have done every winter for quite a few years already.

This time I will be visiting the biggest Dutch Wadden Sea island, which is Texel. I went there last three years ago, so I am looking forward to visiting again. I'll bring my feet and my camera as always and will no doubt have some slideshows for you when I get back, which will be at the end of January.

Until then I wish you all a wonderful and artsy time!