I was feeling stuck, bought some watercolors, and found Katya…

I have been feeling kind of flat and uninspired the last few days, which is not surprising since it has been only a week since my father died.  I have spent some time in my studio, but not been able to “lose myself” in creation, which is when I make things I am pleased with.  Instead I have felt more like I’m pushing a car, trying to jump start it, but it’s not starting.

Two days ago my friend S and I took a walk to the local art supply store.  I am really lucky to have a GOOD art supply store only about 10 minutes walk away, and yet I still find it takes days of thinking about going before I finally GO, so I was glad to have S say she would go with me.  I bought some green-gold Liquitex heavy body paint, because an artist on a video tutorial I watched once raved about that color.  I don’t remember what tutorial or artist, but have been meaning to try that color paint.  I also needed some more india ink.  My “indulgence” was a set of 12 half-pan watercolors from Sennelier, which I am calling a birthday gift from my DH.  I also got a pen you can fill with water, and a small watercolor pad, and a new small art journal.

When I got home I tried out the watercolors.  I had read some reviews online that were complimentary about the transparency and brightness of Sennelier colors, and I was pleased with my test page.

IMG_0444The biggest surprise for me was how strong the purple is–I was trying to fade to very pale as I went down the page and still had quite a bit of purple color at the bottom.  So I will have to be careful mixing it because it will dominate anything I mix it with.  I was very happy with how clear and transparent the colors are though.

Yesterday I got an inexpensive fountain pen and some black ink cartridges from Faber Castell that say they are permanent, because I want to be able to sketch and use watercolor over the sketched lines.  I love my dip pen when I’m in the studio, but I wanted something I could take with me when traveling and use when out in the city.  I am hoping to try some “urban sketching” and other ink and watercolor wash sketches.

I also have been attracted to trying some faces.  Last year I did multiple studies of faces using my dip pen and india ink when I first got it, but I have not used faces on any of my art journal pages.  Since I have been feeling stuck at times trying to think of what I want to make be the point of interest on a page, getting more comfortable with creating faces seems like a good addition to my range of choices.  I started reading a book on creating characters/ faces on my Kindle, and decided to try my hand at making some in pencil.  Then I tried using my fountain pen on a few of those, and finally started adding some watercolor to those.

I’m not entirely sure my “permanent” ink is waterproof, but it’s not as watersoluble as other fountain pen ink I’ve used.  I will have to see if letting sketches sit a while before makes them more resistant to watercolor wash.  The most complete sketch I did was on small watercolor paper, maybe A-5 European size.  I used one of the smaller face studies for a model, and painted a cat-woman person.  I’m not sure what to call her, because Catwoman is already a well-known character.  Maybe I will name her Katya, which is a nickname for the Russian form of Catherine “Ekaterina.”  I think I will work on her some more and maybe use her character in some art journal pages.  I’d like to get more “furriness” in her coat, and perhaps narrow her eyes a bit, and adjust her mouth.  But overall I am still pleased with the paints.  I do think the black ink was spreading a little, but it wasn’t washing away, and I don’t mind the lines widening a bit with the watercolor wash.  But for her initial portrait, I’m satisfied.IMG_0445


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