Thursday, June 22, 2017

Framing Watercolour Without Glass - Revisited - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Watercolours have wonderful colours.  Watercolours are full of surprises.  Watercolours are versatile.

But . . .
Watercolours require a mat, glass and frame.  It seems so easy to work on canvas; when the painting is done, you're done.
Forest Trail - 4.5 x 6.5 - Watercolour mounted on Wood Cradle

I have looked at framing without glass for my watercolours a number of times but somehow it has not appealed to me.  I am not even sure I have a good reason. When watercolours are varnished they lose some of their texture, they become a little shiny, nothing dramatic, they are just different.  And that can be in a good way.  See what I mean, no real reason.

However . . .
Side view of Forest Trail mounted on Wood Cradle - 4.5 x 6.5

I find myself attracted to the block art and decided I should once again visit framing without glass. I already had wooden cradles prepared so I jumped in and gave it a try.  (Several years ago I used this method to finish the front and back covers of my Journal.  I must admit they still look awesome. You can see my Journal here)

Here is what I did and yes, it turned out great!

Mounting a Watercolour on a Wood Block

1.  Prepare the wood cradle: paint the sides with black acrylic paint (or whatever colour you want to finish the sides in) be sure and extend the colour onto the face of the block 1/4 inch.  This will ensure no missed spots when you put your painting on.  Seal the face, I used 2 coats of Golden GAC-100 Multi-Purpose Acrylic Polymer.  It can also be sealed with Gesso

2.  Paint your picture: In my case my wood block was 4.5 x 6.5 so my picture measured 5 x 7 so it could be trimmed to fit the block. I also had a 1/2 inch of white space around the edge so there was room to maneuver.
Forest Trail completed - you can see light lines just inside the edge of the picture that shows what will be trimmed off once it has been attached. 

3.  Use Matte Medium (Golden) to attach picture to the wood cradle: Using a foam brush I put matte medium on the wood cradle and then placed my picture on top.  I rubbed from the center out to make sure there were no bubbles and everything was flat and even.  Then I flipped the whole thing over and put a weight on it. This was left over night.

4. Trim picture to fit the Cradle: The next day I checked that the bond was good for my picture then I used an X-acto Knife, with a new blade to trim.  To do this place the block, picture facing down on a cutting mat and trim as closely as possible around the block.  You will have a bit of a rough edge, this can be sanded with fine sandpaper (600 Grit)  Remember to sand down away from the picture so you don't disturb your picture or pull it away from the block.
Picture mounted and trimmed. The white edge of the paper now needs to be addressed. 

5.  Paint Your White Line: Yes, you will have a wide edge of your paper left once you have attached your picture.  Use a brush or black permanent marker to paint that edge black.

6.  Varnish: Use a spray acrylic varnish to finish your work.  There are several on the market, use one that is for watercolour.  A Gloss finish will give your work a bit of a shine and will make your colours stand out while a Matte finish seems to dull the colours a bit.  There are many formulas for spraying but everyone seems to agree you need several.  I do 6 layers, allowing each one to dry before putting on the next coat.  With a small wood block the art is handled more, so I like a good layer of protection.

You're done. Add your information on the back, stand it up and enjoy.

There are several sites and videos on Youtube that will give you a more detailed step by step, one I found particularly useful was by Kelly McKernan.  She mounts her watercolour paper on the cradle before painting.  I kind of like painting first and then mounting, just in case my picture doesn't work.  But that of course is personal preference.

What do you like to do? How big a project do you mount on wood cradles? I am going to try a few more small pictures first but I am interested in trying larger ones as well.  Kelly used a 14 x 18 cradle in her example.

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!! 

Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your horsey family and friends will love them for any occasion.  See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, June 15, 2017

R U Afraid Your Travel Journal won't Come to Life? Drawing & Painting Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

You want to do a travel journal. The idea of setting up at a cafe, on a bench or on the beach and drawing a picture really attracts you.  You want a journal, something just for you.

But you are afraid to . . . .
 . . .work in front of people
. . . get started
. . .make a mess
. . . .be disappointed

I know what you mean. It's funny that little book you want to paint and draw in somehow feels you with fear.  It is a common feeling, I know, I use to feel that way too.
My sister, Maureen and I working on our Journals at breakfast time on the Royal Mile.  Sherry, my other sister, was staff photographer for the trip. 
Working on St. Giles Church - note the little designs on the top and bottom corners of the pages.  Those were put in as part of my prepping.  They make nice little 'treats' when you come to draw on the page. (See prepping your journal here.)

Those feelings can be beaten.  You can make your journal sing.  It will tell you stories of special memories.  Whether it was an afternoon in the park or a trek in the Himalayan Mountains. Those moments when you stop are when you really connect with a place.  Those pictures will be your  favourite mementos of the day.

I have just returned from my trip to Scotland and full of fresh ideas for how you can crack open that book and have success.

5 Guaranteed Ways to a Successful Travel Journal 

1.  Keep your equipment to a minimum -  You need to carry your book with you all the time so keep it light and portable.  My post on ideas for basic equipment is here.  My medium for this trip was ink, pencil and watercolour pencils.  When I was really pressed for space and weight I just had my book and a pen.  I was really pleased with how portable and workable this set up was.
This was a full day, sketching at breakfast then off on a day trip to Rosslyn Chapel.  I only took my pen with me and splashed on my colour late in the evening.  

2.  Start off small - Drawing the entire Edinburgh Castle is not a good starting point.  Better to pick a section to focus on.  As you get your sea legs you will feel more confident and knowledgeable, in tacking the big stuff.
Adding little symbols,  maps of 'where you were', small street scenes builds confidence, are fun and inspire you to do more. 

3. Focus on the most important thing and then add the details - Start with the boat, dock or building area that caught your eye.  Put it in the middle so there is room for details on all sides.  That way the most important thing is captured and as time permits you can add more.  What I find surprising is that once my focus spot is drawn the little extras on the side can be quickly suggested.  After all it is the focus spot that needs the detail anyway.
The coloured picture was done on the train.  Catching the lay of  the land and adding colour made the landscape come alive for me.  The trains all had chairs around a table which made it great for working. 

4. Add stuff later - Not everything needs to be done on site.  Later in the day you can add or finish up things: make colour notes, rough pencil sketch for later inking, spruce up your darks, . . .
It was raining as I huddled under the overhang to draw my gravestones.  Maureen and Sherry were searching for our ancestors. I added a bit of colour later to get them some context.  

5.  Pick up Brochures -   When visiting an area pick up the travel information, it will help in planning  ahead - what you might capture and where you might set up. They can also help later in adding the  final touches you didn't have time for.
I also love brochures for adding special pictures in my book.  I really wanted a bagpipe player in full regalia in my book. But there is no way anyone is going to pose for me but with the help of a brochure I was able to work on my 'man'.
I finished up 'my man' on the way home on the plane.

 Also brochures will give you ideas for symbols for the area which are fun to add as you decorate your pages.
Looking out the airport window, flight delayed 2 hours so lots of time to draw. 

 Your paintings are for everyone but your Journal is your own special way of celebrating your art, it's just for you.  Don't let your fear stop you.   Oh, and if you are worried about the people around you hanging over you and bothering you.  Turns out you are not as interesting as you think.  Most people are in their own world and will pay you no mind.  In fact, when I was working away on my 'grand drawing' of a section of The Royal Mile in Edinburgh and someone stopped me to ask where the train station was.  They never gave my work a glance.

 ***Last Drop-In Drawing session until Sept
 Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing:   Drop-In and Draw Sessions, Monday,  June 19,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.
Heads up, I have only 5 Drop-In Sessions scheduled for September, October and early November.  Space is limited.  Be the first to sign up.



 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
 

Father's Day is Coming Fast
Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your father and horsey male friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Full Scotland Travel Journal Report - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Yes I am home!
Had an awesome time in Scotland with my two sisters.  Every day was full of fun, adventure and Scotland.  Edinburgh is an easy city to get around with transit and their rail system makes it grade to move from place to place.  And with our Scot Rail Passes we could hop on and off as we moved around the country.

Here are some of my sketchbook pages:
Sights of Portree on The Isle of Skye
The little town of Portree on Skye was fabulous.  All of Skye gave us a sense of the villages in the Highlands near the water.  There was a picture at every corner.


Journaling in Portree.
This part of the harbour was known as 'The Lovely Muck'.  I think it was because when the tide went out it was a mud flat.

Yes we found the Inn in Lauder and had lunch there!!  Our Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather was manager there and his son was a clerk in 1840.
Must have a Highland Cow in my book!
Tried my hand at a Major Street Scene - Windows, gables, chimneys and roofs made this a nightmare.

Loved having the thistles already on the page - really inspired me to draw more. 
Got my sisters drawing too!  Me, Sherry and Maureen
Tried my hand at people while we were flying.  Some people can sleep on the plane but not me.
I am really pleased with my journal, I have lots of great memories from each page.  I hope this inspires you to get your journal started.

FYI - New Observations on Journaling from the trip: 
 Finding time to journal is always a problem; so much is happening and there is so much to see.  My list of ways to journal with a group started with my May post here.    Here are a few more ways to add to the list
- divide and conquer: while your partners find the information for the next leg of the journey, you pull out your book
- work in the train, boat, car.  I found the bus a bit to bumpy but everything else is a go.  Not your detailed stuff but certainly the lay of the land and the big picture can be captured
- waiting; When you travel there is lots of waiting.  The obvious things like trains and buses but also things like lunch and your turn in the shower and with the blow dryer
- put them to work; my sister's did many photo shoots for me so I would have shots for blogging.  They scouted things out, collect brochures, picked up things and watched the laundry while I worked.  It really helped to give me a little time and not slow them down.
Of course not every picture turned out - that is Sherry doing a Photo Bomb!

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for June are Monday,June 12 & 19,  10-12pm, or  1-3pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.  Less set until September. 

***THIS SUNDAY**** June 11- Art on the Farm
 
Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills. Join us for an Awesome ART Filled Day - sketch on the farm, join in hands-on drawing and painting sessions, see the sights.  My Hands-on Sessions will be at 12 & 2pm.  We will be drawing one of my flower favourites, Blackeyed Susies.  Have coffee and fresh pie afterwards at the cafe.  My personal favourite.  No registration, cost site fee only. 



 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!
 

Father's Day is Coming Fast
Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your father and horsey friends will love them. They are great for any occasion. See the story of their creation here.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)
 Have a great artful day,
Wendy