I've just put the finishing touches on or completed the outstanding lessons from this year's Sketchbook Revival videos. When last I showed you the above work which was the last lesson of the sessions, I noted that I'd be adding more to it (see the before version here). I did add another line of ripple between the green lines of ripple, but what you can't see is that I did it with a blue metallic gel pen. Just can't capture the sparkle in a scan. The green around the border is also metallic gel pen, a layering of the green and the blue that I had on hand so it would more closely match the blue/green background of the quotation. Then I used one of my own stamps to add the spirals in the background where I penned some ideas for kind acts. This is one of those times when I had a small aha moment as I added those extra ripple lines, I've been so stuck in my head regarding the quilting of water ripples, especially on some of the leaf cluster prints that I saw as floating on water. What I did here is nothing like I've been doing with those, and the fact that I worked two different colors with one flat and one shiny was also a new idea.
I didn't add a lot to my owl, mostly going in darkening areas with watercolor and making feather-like marks with a dark brown colored pencil (see the before picture here). Also used a prismacolor verithin colored pencil in green over the plaid lines in the vest but green over red, even though the mediums differ, did not leave me with the bright green lines I had wished. Still, I've grown to very much like my stodgy owl.
While the watercolor paints and brushes were out, I added color to my cupcake drawing, and my oh my did that get away from me on the whipped cream! My strokes turned out to be too broad and wet and before I knew it, all the white of the cream was gone, not exactly what we were to be going for. I did better on the cupcake liner which is supposed to be an exercise in painting reflective shiny surfaces. If there's a next time, I think I will just add sprinkles to the whip cream and not worry about painting in shadows on the swirls! Rather like how the cherry came out though.
Next it was time to put away the watercolor paints and work with some acrylic paint. This is that doodle sketch exercise that I had yet to paint, stencil, collage and mark. I'll be the first to admit that this kind of thing is not my forte. Plus all my acrylic paint colors are rather dark so subtle this is not. I actually worked on it other way around, but after I was done, I did the turn turn turn thing to see if it looked better in a different orientation. I decided I liked this direction slightly better than the direction I'd been working. I do see some flow to the overall picture, and started enjoying working with it more when I started adding marks to it in white gel pen and black felt pen.
One last acrylic exercise needed doing and this one went south pretty quick. I blame it somewhat on the size of my portrait sketch because we were not using brushes here but a finger to dab and spread and blend the paint. Even using my little finger, I couldn't put down small enough bits, and the toned green paint looked black when it hit the page, only lightening when I could spread it thinner. Very frustrating. Probably less so if I'd been working on a sketch twice this size. If the painting was to show my mood on the day, as the teacher said hers did, then I was in a gloomy unhappy one. Not when I started, but by the end of this, yeah, pretty much! Doing that light sketchy coloring in the background around her head and then along the bottom which took on the look of a draped blouse was the best and redeeming part, although I have to admit, I like how the hair turned out too. See the ready to paint sketch and the teacher's sketch in two stages here.
Never one to feel comfortable wasting things, I expended some of the paint on the palette by brushing it on a piece of paper which might come in handy in future collages. Then it occurred to me that my last lesson required swaths of paint over the spread before gluing things to it. That was the one suggesting the use of gouache but the color I wanted to spread on one side was more like what I was mixing up on the brush from the leftover green, blue and white paints. So the rest of the expending was done in the sketchbook. On the other side of the spread, I did get out the gouache paints for a wide vertical stripe each of red and yellow. Once dry, I started cutting from the teacher's sheet of vintage images and arranging them around my key "portraits" of dog and lovely vintage lady painting. This was the teacher that I felt gave such a poor presentation but I did decide to stick to her general instructions of background painting and even added a bit of paper ribbon, lace and braid as she suggested. I really enjoyed putting this one together, from the beginning knowing there's be reference to the dog's ball (which I'd thought would be shown on the opposite page but ended up being an unseen lost ball that the lady could see so very far down the slope). Working on this collage was a wonderful way to end up my studies with Sketchbook Revival.