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painting

Speedpainting in MediBang Paint Pro

beach sunset

A summer night on a nearby beach, painted in MediBang Paint Pro. Trying out the watercolor brush a bit. MediBang is a pretty neat piece of software, very lightweight and responsive.

Experiment with masking fluid

window

It’ s always fun to try new tools, especially when they work well. This time that tool was masking fluid, also known as liquid frisket.

Masking fluid usually consists of latex, water and ammonia, often with some kind of pigment added so you can see where it has been applied. Put some on the paper, let it dry and then you can just pain on top of it. This way it’s possible to preserve highlights or other shapes that would be complicated to paint around.

After trying it out with this quick painting I feel like this is something that I will make use of a lot in the future. I enjoy using my watercolor with lots of water and my painting can get messy at times. It might be useful for other mediums as well, I´m going to look into that.

Keeping it loose

These paintings were done as a kind of personal exercise with the goal of actually completing something without over thinking it.

This was useful for me since I have a tendency to get caught up in the details and then abandoning my artwork when I can’t get it just right. So the goal here was to go rather fast and focus on the big picture. No erasing was allowed.

I did these paintings in ArtRage 3 studio pro, which is a digital painting software meant to emulate natural media. Doing it this way instead of using more traditional media has both pros and cons, but it does allow for experimentation without being limited by what materials you have available. It´s also nice not to worry about wasting anything or about preparation or cleanup. But it does  allow for near infinite reworking, which is something I try not to do right now.  Computing power is also a concern, my hardware is getting a bit old at this point. You can´t have everything I guess.

Either way, this was a very enjoyable experience and I was actually rather happy with the results.

Do you ever struggle with finishing your work?

Watercolor field

field

I wanted to do something quick and simple  to try out a pad of watercolor paper that i got some time back. When I get really nice art supplies I tend to be afraid to use them. I guess i don´t want to mess up and waster them. So they sometimes tend to sit unused for far to long.

Anyway, the paper in question was The Langton Prestige from Daler Rowney. It´s the 300 gsm (140lb) cold press variety made from 100% cotton. I usually go for the cold pressed papers. This is one of those pads that are glued on all four sides so you don’t have to stretch the paper before painting. It´s probably useful if you are painting outside. I found it to be very convenient, but I also found the finished painting got be a bit hard to remove without  cutting it up by accident. It turned out alright in the end, but it was still a problem.

The sky is painted wet on wet, one of my favorite things to do when it comes to watercolor. As for the color palette, I keep coming back to yellow ochre and olive greens. I think they go well together and there is just something about this combination that is really pleasing to me.

This was created with the help of a reference image from PaintMyPhoto, the photographer being Irini Adler

Do you have any color you keep coming back to?

Some space art

Space

 

I wanted to try something new and a video on imagine fx inspired me to try creating a space scene. Since it was my first time doing something like this, I went for a simple composition with fewer elements to be concerned about.

When I try to draw an unfamiliar subject I prefer to work digitally. That way I don’t have to worry about wasting materials and can be free to experiment. This time I worked in photoshop. My biggest problem was to get the finished picture to look like my photoshop document. It lost a lot of contrast and colour depth somehow. I most likely made a silly mistake somewhere. Do you ever have this problem?

Fenix in progress

fenix

I started this drawing of a phoenix some time ago, but I´ve had some trouble finishing it. I feel like there is some more work to be done on it, especially on the background. But I´m not sure how to do it. I guess you just get stuck sometimes.

This seems to be a frequent problem for me when working digitally. Sketching is fine, and I can see some advantages over doing it traditionally. But when it comes to doing fully developed artwork I just find it very awkward and time-consuming. I guess I need some more experience to figure out how I´m supposed to be doing things. What do you think about working digitally?

Digital dragon

Sea dragon

I have been a bit busy with school lately, but I finally managed to finish some art. I´ve always had a love for fantasy creatures, especially dragons.

This is a drawing made using Photoshop and a tablet. I don´t tend to finish my digital drawings, so I have a ton that´s stuck at the sketching stage. But I tried out a different technique with this one, and it went a lot easier.

There are a lot of advantages to working digitally, especially since I really don´t have any decent working space at the moment. But I always found it to be a bit awkward, and my work would end up looking lifeless and stiff. Maybe it still does. I tried to be less exact this time though. Instead of doing what I usually do and work on lots of different layers on a complicated sketch where every piece is carefully painted with base colours before I move on. Here, the sketch was very rough and the shapes and details were developed along the way.

I´ve had some trouble with the contrast here, as well as deciding how light to go with the colours. Since what I see on my screen might not be what it looks like to others. I do think my screen does a decent job, but maybe it´s in need of some adjustment. What do you think?

Landscape in watercolor

landscape

I´ve been drawing lots of landscapes lately. So when I felt like doing some watercolor painting, there where plenty of finished sketches to choose from.

I´m one of those people who almost always do at least one preliminary sketch.

This painting is made using three primary colors and two earth tones, mixed in various ways. Just like my previous landscape. I tried painting the sky wet in wet this time however, which I think turned out pretty well. Normally, i´m to scared of ruining things to work with a lot of water.  But there will be further experiments with this technique in the future.I also tried using a fan brush, that I bought at a local art supply store for next to nothing. Might have gotten a bit carried away and used it too much. Oh well, at least I learned something.

There where the usual problems with getting the photo to somewhat match the original painting. It´s not quite there yet, a lot of the more subtle shades have been lost. Overall, it seems very of. But this was the best I could do.

Maybe next time, I will make a landscape where there´s spring. I would need a different green though. What´s your favorite type of green?

Trying out pastels

pastel drawing

I got a set of pastels around christmas, and now I finally get around to post one of the first pictures I made with them. It´s a medium I have wanted to try for some time, but other things have previously gotten in the way.

These where pretty cheap pastels, and they did have som hard spots wich made them a bit annoying to use. But overall it was a nice medium. I liked how they blended, and the fact that you could cover large areas quickly.

It was hard to create small details using the pastel sticks, though some could be achieved using the edges. Pastel pencils could be an option. Avoiding those small details could be a good thing however. I guess it´s a matter of learning to use every medium to their advantage. 

I think pastels might work well in mixed media, maybe together with colored pencils. It could be interesting to experiment with that.

The major negative thing about these pastels are the dust. I have a pretty small living area that I share with one more person, and the dust quickly made it uncomfortable. Even though I avoided blowing the dust of my paper, I was soon coughing.

So maybe I will have to avoid pastels for the time being. Or do some brands create less dust then others? Or do you know of any clever way to deal with the dust?

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