Clay head model (Work in progress)

If your friends don’t want to pose for you – make yourself a new friend 😉
A while ago I decided I wanted to fix my chipped coffee mugs and after looking for the best option for patching them I decided that using air-dry clay would create the lowest risk of poisoning myself (and, if you’re curious, for sealing the clay on mugs I used Pentart Decoupage Varnish & Glue in silky shine variant).

Surprising as it is, you can’t buy just 3 pinches of clay (afaik anyway), so I was left with the whole package of potentially cool stuff I could make out of it. It was then when I remembered that a long while ago I bought a wig/hat mannequin that was supposed to be a head and face reference for my drawings but I’ve never used it because… well, let’s say I’d prefer a slightly differently shaped face. But now I had clay and I could actually fix that!

The work is still in progress but below you can see the pictures of how the work is going so far and I have to tell you that I didn’t expect it to be so relaxing (and frustrating at times!). And I’m actually pretty excited to see the final result and atm I’m just wondering if I should paint it when the model is done – that may help a lot with drawing faces but on the other hand I think the pure off-white colour of clay of the sculpture looks pretty good too. What do you think, to paint or not to paint? 😉 Let me know!

PS. I forgot to take the photos of the mannequin BEFORE I put it on the surgery table, sorry!


Colouring owl with markers and media summary

Colouring owl with markers and media summary
Owls coloured with 3 different media. See their separate posts: AcrylicsWatercolours – Markers (below)

So I finished the third and the last version of my little owl, which, this time, I coloured with alcohol-based markers (and coloured pencils). Finishing the project makes me really happy but I also feel kind of… empty? I think it’s because I was very excited to see each version finished and then all the versions next to each other, but now the excitement of anticipation is missing. I guess it’s a sign that I should make more arts with the experiment’s techniques (not necessarily 3 versions of the same drawing though 😀 ).

Back to the last version of the owl though. As I said before – this one was coloured with alcohol-based markers and I enjoyed the process a lot – it was quick and fun. But even though I specifically bought some additional marker colours that I thought would be great for this project, it still felt like they were not exactly what I wanted. I think with some adjustments (an additional marker layer changing the hue of the main colour and coloured pencils on the top of the markers colouring) I could get the right colours but it obviously was taking more time than using the right colours from the start would have been. Even so – I still have a feeling that the whole process was a bit faster or about the same time as the watercolours were and definitely faster than acrylics.

Below you can see the steps of markers (and pencils) colouring or you can SKIP directly to the media summary:


The experiment and media summary

I think it was a great idea to try colouring a simple lineart with 3 different media and mimicking the colours of my original, digital drawing. I didn’t only learn a lot but, because I tried media or techniques I don’t use often, I’m now less scared of them – on the contrary, I’m looking forward to trying them again so I can learn even more.

Watercolours were almost a completely new medium for me, I use them very rarely, mostly because I know they are difficult. Now after I made myself use them we are not complete strangers to each other anymore and even though I still have a lot to learn about them I can say I enjoy colouring with them a lot.

Colouring with markers was a nice learning experience, especially that I had a reference image that I was trying to mimic and before markers I’ve done 2 types of paints colouring so I could compare them all. Conclusions of the comparison came to me pretty quickly: with enough paints you can mix them until you get the right one colour, and with markers – you have to buy the exact colours you want or use some tricks to change the marker’s hues, which, in comparison to just getting the right colour of paints through mixing, is much more effort. On the other hand, the alcohol-based markers were definitely the quickest medium to use of the 3 I tried and they work great with coloured pencils, so there is that.

I normally use acrylics for my paintings so I just may know this medium better than the other media used in the experiment, but for me, the acrylic paints do feel easier than both markers and watercolours. I love the fact that acrylic paints are opaque – any mistakes can be easily covered. Also because of the opaqueness – the finished acrylics painting on paper looks like a print. It’s definitely worth mentioning that you can use them like watercolours too and you can (fairly) easily mix them to get the exact colour you need.

I think my observations of the media I’ve used during the experiment will be the easiest to summarise in quick Pros and Cons form:

Watercolours

Pros:

  • Relatively quick
  • Look awesome
  • Infinite colours
  • A lot of possible special effects

Cons:

  • not easy to use
  • pretty much unforgiving

Acrylics

Pros:

  • Infinite colours
  • Look like a print
  • Mistakes are easy to cover
  • Diluted can be used like watercolours

Cons:

  • Slow process

Markers

Pros:

  • Very quick process
  • Work great with dry media
  • Easy to control
  • If done well look like a print

Cons:

  • They bleed through paper
  • Limited amount of colours
  • Mistakes are hard to fix

So these are my thoughts on the experiment and media I’ve tried out (watercolours, acrylics, markers). Do you have different experiences with them? Have you ever done a similar experiment? Or maybe next time I should compare something else? Let me know what you think!

 

Same owl – now with acrylics!

Same owl – now with acrylics!

I’m continuing the experiment with colouring my cute owl with 3 different kinds of traditional “wet” media. In the last post I showed the stages of watercolours that I’ve done first, as I was suggested to do in a comment under my Facebook post. Since to do the markers version I need several more colours than I have (fortunately, they are on their way already!) – this time I’ve coloured the owl with acrylics.

Even though I’m very used to acrylics – I paint with them very often – this was actually a double experiment for me, because this was the first time I’ve used acrylic paints on paper rather than on canvas and additionally, I didn’t use my usual paints, but completely different, professional ones that I bought to participate in Royal Talens’s international competition.

It’s always good to know your media before you start creating something ambitious and time-consuming with them in order not to ruin the piece accidentally, so since I was going to have this little acrylics exercise anyway  I thought it would be the perfect moment to learn my new paints too. Not to mention that I also got to test this new SM-LT paint paper I got recently.

Royal Talens Rembrandt acrylic paints, 10 tubes set, slightly modified

Overall I have mixed feelings after finishing the acrylics version of the owl. Don’t get me wrong – it was very fun and I actually LOVE the final result but… For some reason I assumed painting with acrylics on paper would be easier and faster than painting with them on canvas and… it is NOT. I don’t think it’s harder either, it’s pretty much the same and I don’t know why I assumed differently. Maybe there would have been a difference if I used a different style/technique of painting, for example, if I used the acrylics like watercolours – diluted them heavily with water, but if I do everything the same way I shouldn’t expect different results. Unless the paper had very different features than the canvas but except being very smooth, unlike the canvas, the paper worked perfectly with the acrylics – neither the paints nor water soaked in it and it didn’t bend at all, no matter how much water I used on it.

The Rembrandt paints I used this time were very different from my usual ones though, so it had to take me a while to get used to them. They are much thicker than A’kryl and they mix with each other and with water differently than what I’m used to. Also when dry they are shinier than my cheaper paints. I thought I’d mind this shininess but, even though you can’t see it on the photos, the shine does look very nice and aesthetic, for some reason.

The time consumption and some difficulties with working with a partly new medium are the only things I can complain about though. The process of painting itself was fun and exciting and the final result – very satisfying. If I had more time (8 additional hours a day, for example), I could say I’d definitely paint more pieces with acrylics on paper like this, but because it’s just as time-consuming as painting on canvas I can’t promise it to anyone, including myself. On the other hand, I love the way the finished owl looks and it’s much easier to put it in frames later than even a simple canvas board, so it would be great to paint something with acrylics on paper again in the future, hopefully something more ambitious.

For now though – you can see my process of colouring the owlette with acrylics below which is much more interesting than just reading about it 😉 Let me know if you have any questions!

~LW

 

Ulchabhan! …but with watercolours

Ulchabhan! …but with watercolours
Ulchabhan!

My little owl I’ve drawn to help me learn Irish was featured on Ko-fi’s art highlights and it made my evening! I felt and still feel very honoured and appreciated, especially since the art there is hand-picked, not based on likes or popularity. To think someone went to see my work and decided it was worthy of being FEATURED… I still can’t believe it, I’m so grateful, thank you, Ko-fi!

I drew that owl, Ulchabhan, to help me learning Irish but then I thought, Owl is a symbol of wisdom, so why not go a step further – with help of my little feathered companion I could also learn other art techniques and media. With the assistance of my awesome lightbox (If you’ve ever considered buying one – just do it, it’s so helpful!) on 3 various kinds of paper, I’ve made 3 sketches based on my original lineart. This way I was able to also test the 2 new SM-LT Start Pads I bought recently – one for watercolour and one for painting (I’ll use it for my acrylics).

I asked for help in deciding which technique I should try first on my Facebook page and I was suggested watercolors. And to be honest – I think I was excited about them the most because I haven’t used them since… Ever 😀 But I got this new watercolours paper in small size (A5) so it doesn’t overwhelm me and I revived my old cheap watercolours too, so I was ready to give them a try!

Acrylics version: HERE | Markers version: [post in progress]

Below you can see the photos with the process and I have to admit, as scary as it was, I enjoyed the watercolours a lot and even though I still have A LOT to learn about them, I think the result is pretty good for the first try with them 🙂 I’ll definitely colour and paint more with them!

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Pencil eraser or Eraser pencil?

Pencil eraser or Eraser pencil?
The sketch that made me discover the eraser pencil

So what’s the difference between a pencil eraser and eraser pencil?
Well, one is an eraser and the other one is… also an eraser. Just in a pencil form. And it’s pretty awesome! I bought one a while ago but never really used it seriously, only to test it out. But now as I’m trying to delve more into mixed media traditional art I needed to make a sketch and that’s when I discovered this awesomeness.

The eraser (in) pencil I have is the simplest possible Koh-I-Noor Era eraser which it’s super cheap and, surprisingly, super good. It erases pencils really well and is extremely handy when you have to erase only a small detail and your regular big eraser would mess up the other details around. You may say it’s a special task eraser for demanding.

I really have no words to express how much I’m in love with this eraser. I think though that next time I’ll get one with a brush at the other end of the pencil, because as awesome as it is, this eraser leaves some small shavings and brushing them off with hand may smudge the pencil sketch which I’d prefer to avoid.

Koh-I-Noor Era eraser pencil

So, to summarize this super super short (for once!) post – if you’ve ever wondered if an eraser in pencil is any good, if it’s worth it and if you should buy it – I can tell you that it is indeed very good and if you’ve ever struggled with erasing small details with big eraser then you should definitely give the eraser pencil a try, especially that it doesn’t cost more than a regular eraser.

I hope it was helpful to anyone but let me know if something was unclear or you’d like to know more!

~LW