Intro: I think it is good to on a routine practice certain techniques especially in mediums that you use most often. So I am going to dedicate time to practicing with Watercolor as it my favorite medium to work with. I wanted to work on some exercises that are perhaps productive but mainly relaxing. The first exercise I focus on is texture... you'll see many posts in the future that cover this exercise in different medium. I'll move onto another one once I feel more confident about creating textures.
What I created: So I used this as an excuse to get started on the ATCs that I have discuseed in a past post. I thought it would be a great exercise that is relaxing and productive at the same time. There are many things that could be created while working on an exercise such as booksmarks, gift tags, placeholder cards, greeting cards, etc. I find ATCs are the better ones to work with as they come in handy for personal use and can even be used as gifts. Bookmarks are great as well but too many readers are getting away from traditional books to digital books... so the audience is very limited.
Using masking fluid in some of the ATCs as foundation I then used these three main texture techniques:
1. The first type of texture I made was using paper towels. There is a bit of variation in texture when you use clear wrap/cling wrap... I tried both just too see how much of a difference there is.
2. Another texture technique I used was done using table salt. This same idea can be completed using sea salt and rice grains to give bigger shapes to the pigment cluster.
3. The last texture type was created using rubbing alcohol.
Final touhces were added to the textures once the bookmarks dried using markers and pens. For a cleaner edge you can create a borderline all around the edges using a marker or pen... or even get fancy and use embossing powder.
You can purchase stickers online to place on the back of the cards.. or purchase stamps. I just wrote everything by hand using the same felt tip pen I used on the front of the card. I might look into investing in a stamp in the future or create my own as I do have the rubber canvas needed for creating your own stamp.
Materials used: I purchased a Canson XL Foldover Watercolor Pad for doing some portraits but decided that I needed a spiral type journal for that. I have instead decided that I am going to use this watercolor pad for creating my ATCs and perhaps other things like tags, bookmarks, cards, etc. I kept the traditional ATC size of 2.5"x3.5" and had a variation in the numbers of cards I got depending on how I divided the page. One way produced only 6 cards...leaving a big chunk of paper at the top that I first thought could be used for bookmarks. Then later I decided to go ahead and divide the page out the opposite way and got 9 cards from the page with zero leftover space. Just enough space is left to allow clean edges to be cut. I used regular masking tape to divide the page into sections. I also used Reeves Watercolor and a mix of Chinese Watercolor when painting this... pretty much whatever happened to be on my pallette already at the time. I also went over the cards (once the paint had dried) using regular sharpie marker (brush tip).
Final thoughts: I do plan on keeping the information section of the cards the same from here on...whether I create them in polymer clay or watercolor. I wanted the back to have detailed information and thus did not purchase the stickers or stamp. Just enough detail for the card on it's own to be informational but not too much so that it looses the interest of the readers if the information is placed inside a guidebook.
I think for my first exercise this turned out quite nice...I was expecting more of a disaster. I have decided that it may be time to invest in some better quality watercolor if I am to keep creating watercolor works. Better quality versions of the ATCs can be viewed here: ParadoxSketchbook Gallery at ATCsforAll.
I wonder if this same texture exercise can be studied using other mediums...?
I used to be a digital artist but switched back to traditional art as I feel more connected with the art I create this way. Currently, I create art whenever I can for art trades and commissions. I have worked with clay (earth clay to modern forms like Polymer, Sculpey, even Air Dry clay) along with watercolors, acrylics, oil paints, pastels, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, India ink, Chinese Colors, wires, felt fabric, yarn, weaving, basket making, and the list goes on and on. I am currently working on exploring nail art, make-up, dress making, scrapbooking, and small canvas art.
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