Friday, November 4, 2011

Twinkling Hibiscus

I woke up this morning to 22F (-5C) temps.  Are you kidding me...I'm not ready.  My crazy head is still stuck in the warm glow of a tropical sunset, not the vast white frost of mid-west early morning. Hubby is beginning the winter-ization process of our house; cleaning furnace vents, removing window air-conditioners, bringing up boxes of winter coats from the basement. While I have my head buried in my Twinks, dreaming of the warm sunny sands of the Australian summer.

It's been a while since I've been up to my eye-balls in Twinkling H2O's or "Twinks" as they are affectionately known, but over the past week I've been swimming around in their shimmer and sparkle, and oh, don't I love it. In a recent effort to improve my technique and range as an artist (not always successfully I might add), I've spent most of my time in traditional watercolor medium. But in preparation for my upcoming workshop using these spectacular little pots of joy, I've got them spread from one end of the dining room table to the other.

Every time I put twink to paper I'm astounded at their vibrancy of color and their dancing shimmer. Not only do they sparkle, but the sheer range and intensity of color is staggering. You usually don't have to mix colors to get what you want, they have it stock standard, but there are a few colors in the range that are designed especially for this purpose.  There is a series of iridescent colors that when added to other colors in the range, give a beautiful light iridescent effect. There's also a delicious little color called "oyster" than has a wonderfully unexpected effect on colors when it's added.

They've been around for years and are a traditional tool of scrap bookers, card makers and stampers, but I use them in more traditional watercolor ways.  As some of you have seen, they are unbeatable on black background and make for some very moody paintings that just glow.  I've found the larger works I've done in "Twinks" are always the ones that stop people in their tracks. Not because the paintings are particularly good, but because the color effects are breathtaking (that's the Twinks...not me).

I've also recently been introduced to the wonderful concept of Artist Trading Cards or ATC's by some of my Facebook community artists.  Although it's not something I'm into yet, the idea of tiny little pieces of art about the size of a playing card, is wonderful for so many purposes beyond just trading.  They're perfect for additions to greeting cards, as ways of testing colors. mediums and techniques, or for holding color swatches and palettes. In fact, I've been playing around with my Twinks on ATC papers and just love the results.

So, this piece was done some time ago. It's just an experimentation done on standard watercolor paper. For this hibiscus, I scribbled a wax crayon resist under my Twinks.  To finish it of I lay down some brush strokes of "Extreme Glitter" and ink.  The intensity and shine are stunning, even if the picture is pretty average.  It took me no time at all as was really just a warm up exercise, but I love the warmth it exudes and today of all days, gives me that little taste of the tropics I so desperately need.

Thanks for checking in. xx