A Cool Way of Using Your Gelli Prints

The Gelli Print on the right is the original print.  I made a copy of the photo and enhanced it, on the left.  As you can see, it is just that little bit sharper.  I really love this image as it is so abstract and subtle.

I hadn’t been in the mood to paint since I came back from my holiday on Monday.  I spent that whole day doing laundry.  Thank goodness the weather was nice.  Doing laundry was all I could cope with, and walking the dogs.  Yesterday it rained, so I did food shopping (I have such an exciting life).  Luckily, we had a lovely walk on the beach in the morning before the rain kicked off.  No one in our house seemed motivated to do anything.  Not even the dogs.  I think we all had the post holiday blues.  I read some art magazines that came in the post and watched you tube videos from some really talented people.  I was mainly looking for videos on how to transfer images using an ink jet printer.  Then I came across the video below:

Such a clever idea, don’t you think?

The Gelli Print on the right is the original print.  I made a copy of the photo and enhanced it, on the left.  As you can see, it is just that little bit sharper.  I really love this image as it is so abstract and subtle.  I’m not ready to use the original piece yet, but I am happy to try the technique in the video one day and try out something I have in my mind.

Saying that, I am actually motivated to do some more printing today.  The holiday blues must be over. 🙂




Working on Backgrounds

It doesn’t matter what medium you paint in, backgrounds are always the trickiest thing for the beginning artist.  I more or less have a grip on painting acrylic backgrounds, but watercolor is a challenge for me.  Have I told you how much I love youtube?  I love it because you can learn so much from established artists.  I found two videos that demonstrated two different ways of putting in a background.

Here is the reference photo from the watercolor class I attended earlier this year.


We were meant to choose a photo and paint the image as homework.  I never got around to doing it until now.  I chose it because of the colors and I thought these flowers would be easy to paint!  Right!  Here is the first one I painted.

Anemone-Watercolor on Paper-A4
Anemone-Watercolor on Paper-A4

I modified my sketch to show complete flowers.  In this painting, the whole paper was wet.  Then I painted in the colors of the flowers and leaves and let them run, and added other colors.  I tried to keep the color scheme similar to the photograph.  Then I added salt.  I love salt.  It makes very cool patterns and you have no control over it, which is totally against any control issues I may have.  After everything dried, much lighter of course, I was able to paint the flowers and leaves.  This was challenging for me as I had a hard time getting the tones  in the petals right, but I persevered.  I think it is OK.

Anemone-Watercolor on Paper-A4
Anemone-Watercolor on Paper-A4

For the next painting, I decided to just paint one large flower.  I liked the shape of this one.  The paper was made wet all around the flower only.  I used some bolder colors and added salt, particularly around the leaves to suggest that lacy shape that Anemone flowers have.  I painted the flower while the background was still wet, hence the white lines. When everything was dry, I finished off the petals and only touched up the background a little bit.  I am much happier with this than the first one.  I suppose it is because I had a bit more practice.  I am going to try the technique I used for the poppies, but with actual watercolors this time to see how it pans out.

When is a Watercolor Painting not a Watercolor Painting?

When it is done with acrylics! After the success and joy of painting my cockerel, I had plenty of acrylic paint leftover and thought I would try using it as watercolor.  I found an online tutorial by Joanne Boon Thomas that looked pretty easy and decided to have a go at painting some poppies.  We saw many on the Camino and I wanted to paint some to remind me of our journey.  I have loads of photos of poppy landscapes. This is how they turned out. Sorry about the quality, taken with iphone.

IMG_1515Acrylic on Paper This isn’t quite how it was supposed to turn out.  They are supposed to be an impression of poppies, but not very good ones!  Although it is possible to use acrylic paint like watercolors, the properties are completely different.  Firstly, the acrylic paint is water proof.  Once it dries, that’s it.  In one way that could be a good thing as one could build up layers of color without making them muddy.  On the other hand, I had a bit of trouble with it as it wasn’t so easy to soften off the edges of vibrant color as the paint would make a hard edge too quickly and there is no way to soften it once it gets dry or starts to dry off.  Acrylic washes are often used for under-paintings for pastels.  I might have another go at re-working this completely with acrylics.  This is something that is going to require a lot of practice!