Lighting up (Ps)

The work progresses on other pieces, but today is the day to work with the Pookah.

I have worked up an intricate border of spirals for this piece. I wasn’t sure how detailed I was going to be, as I didn’t have a clear view of this piece yet.

I’ve finally decided to work the Pookah in a crisper and darker fashion than originally intended. Rather than work with loose and light glazes of colors to create a more mystical look, I’ve decided to work with ink and crowquill nibs to render some rich details and spirals. Especially in the border.

I’ll add watercolors in oranges, reds and golds, and work in some highlights of gouche in copper to bring up my feeling of autumn. The central image of the Pookah will be a bit less stylized than the border, but maintaining a clarity of detail.

The first step is to transfer the design, laid out on a masonite board, to a heavy sheet of cold press 140 lb. watercolor paper. I usually use D’Arches blocks because I have a very limited storage space for paper, and I have three cats who get into things. Blocks store upright without warping any papers.

I would usually use hot press paper, to get in my details, but in this case, I wanted the cold press texture to come out in the central design.

I don’t own a light table, and wouldn’t have much room to install one big enough for most of my watercolors, so I use a vertical surface. After tracing the design from the board, I tape it to the large window next to my easel, and then tape the watercolor paper over it. It works well for large pieces, though it can cause some stress in the lower back if you work at it too long.

I use an H or 2H to lightly trace the design. Any harder and the pencil will dig into the paper and lines will bleed with paint. Any softer and the lines are too dark and smear too easily. I don’t always follow the lines exactly, so I don’t want them dark or deep enough to alter the flow of ink or paint.

After lightly tracing the lines, I will soak the paper lightly and tack it to my board with staples or tape. I may lose some lines in the soaking, but they are more of a suggestion, anyway. I’ll have enough to work with.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 11:20 and is filed under A Pookah Encountered (fin). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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