When working with watercolor pencils, you don't have to draw directly onto a blank white page. Sometimes a colorful vibrant background can work beautifully behind even the most complex of subjects. The key is to mix up the media, creating a kind of dimensional distance between the subject and the background.
Painting a sketchbook page with matte acrylic can be an excellent surface on which to draw with watercolor pencils. The matte acrylic creates a grainy tooth on which the pencil can hold. It also creates a strong surface for other media.
This page was done in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" Series Sketchbook. The background was painted with Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint. These are more of a craft paint than a fine art acrylic, but they work beautifully for this kind of sketchbook treatment.
When the page was dry, I sketched the flower using watercolor pencils, then used more acrylic to block in the main colors and shapes. When it was dry I added shading and detail with more watercolor pencil. I blended the pencil with water and this also enabled me to capture some of the acrylic underneath, thus creating some lovely color effects.
Just for fun, I added some sweeps of gold leafing over the stems, and Silks Acrylic Glaze over the flower petals. It was a fun simple sketchbook page that looks more complicated that it was.
I often paint several pages with blazing acrylic color and let them dry, then I take my sketchbook out into the garden, or somewhere else, and I sketch. It's a wonderful way to shake up your sketching experience by breaking away from the standard white page...give it a go!!
I am scheduled to present a 90 minute live broadcast as part of 21 Secrets LIVE in June of this year. I will be working through this technique as well as offering some other very simple, yet effective art journaling tips.
Unfortunately, 21 Secrets LIVE is sold out, but you can still sign up for 21 Secrets SPRING through Dirty Footprints Studio. Click here for more information.
Keep your eye out for more opportunities to catch me presenting live creative sessions over the coming year.
Thanks for checking in. xx