Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Alaskan Fireweed

I normally work in my sketchbook, which currently consists of Strathmore Aquarius II paper, but I've been wondering about how hot press watercolor paper is to draw and paint on.  Many artists who do ink and watercolor paintings enjoy hot press because pens glide much more smoothly on it than cold press paper.  Years ago I bought a block of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb hot press (9x12) but only tried it once then for some reason put it away.  I got it out again, and indeed, it is a fun surface to work on!

My Platinum Carbon desk pen was a joy to use on this paper, and I found myself wanting to draw as precisely and neatly as I could, as I studied my reference photo of Alaskan fireweed from our 2009 trip to Alaska.  But I didn't want a "tight" painting, so when it came time to use watercolors, I strove for a loose and lush color.  Breaking "archival rules", I went ahead and used Holbein Opera in a mix with Cobalt for my flower petals.  A bit of Pyrrol Orange brought a touch of warmth to the nearer blooms.  My photo had plenty of medium-to-dark green bokeh for the background, but I aimed for more spring-like, brighter shades of green for this background.  I don't make a habit to finish with spatter, but I love it when other artists do this, so I incorporated some spatter here with my bristle (stencil) brush.

No comments: