More acrylic inks, you say?

There is a lot which has happened between my last post, and now.  Significantly, everything which was not already late was turned in on time.  I got the technical exercises out of the way first (including a botched Cataloging quiz — I’m not sure to what extent I’m concerned about this, anymore), then spent all of Sunday on my Literature Review for Research Methodologies.  The day after was mostly spent asleep (I felt like I earned it), though toward the end (my memory is fuzzy, but I think this is right), I started experimenting with the FW Acrylic Inks, again.  I think that’s what this was:

From 3-13-2017, lest I forget.

This was just mostly playing around with color.  I meant to post about it yesterday (Monday the 13th, I mean), but I didn’t have the energy.

You can see that I had started to make marks over the top of the acrylic inks with the colored pencils.  Those are my Progresso Woodless colored pencils…where the marks are bold, I was pressing pretty hard.  Anyhow, this was just me messing around with four to five colors.  (Crimson, Purple Lake, whatever they call Phthalo Green [I think it’s “Marine Blue”], Rowney Blue [Phthalo Blue] and a yellow which looks like Hansa Deep…I just checked, it’s called “Brilliant Yellow.”)

Of note, I have seen no evidence of an Ultramarine equivalent in the FW Acrylic ink line (which would make more vibrant violets) — and I just went to the art store, today.  It’s very probable that it isn’t made because they want all the colors to harmonize, and the palette of the FW inks leans toward warm tones.  (It’s really easy to make clashing colors when the original colors are not well-coordinated…)

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it causes the color mixing range to be limited.  With Daler-Rowney making so many of these colors, though, I can see where they would like to limit their financial risk in color production.  Especially since it seems like many have trouble mixing colors as it is, without venturing into “mud” territory (I may have said this before, but I think mud — dull color perceived as “lifeless” — can be rescued).  But maybe I’m just spoiled on the good stuff…

I have gotten pretty tired color out of Prangs (note that some people can make gorgeous art with Prangs — and they aren’t really bad for what they are — nontoxic, inexpensive colors that flow well and wet easily and have comparatively good color strength for the price range), but that just caused me to stop using Prangs for colors that Prangs aren’t strong in (for example, cool red).  The problem is that when one starts out with a dull color, it isn’t necessarily going to get stronger with other colors added to it, unless those other colors (or hidden hues in those other colors) dominate the first, or can mute a dominant hue and support a hidden hue.  (I can expect someone to ask me what I mean by this, and the truth is that my left brain [words] doesn’t necessarily know how my right brain [art] does what it does.)

Let me get off of that.  Anyway,  😉  playing around with this stuff caused me to go out to an art supply store and replace my two broken Progresso pencils — which, finally, they had.  $0.74 each.  While I was there (first time to the art store in a couple of months), I picked up some hot-press watercolor paper (I have been after this for ages, but this is the first time I actually bought any:  it requires a special trip, as I haven’t seen Blick to carry many inexpensive [read:  not Arches] hot-press watercolor pads or blocks), and I also picked up a variety of earth-tone FW inks, because I may be using these for cartooning, and in that case, I’ll want consistent color and color that doesn’t move when it’s re-wet.

Neither of these things are going to happen with watercolors, unless I mix large batches of skin tones and let them dry in a palette.  Even then, there is the risk of movement when subsequent layers of color are added, though I’ve heard this can be mitigated with the addition of clear acrylic glazing medium at the time of painting.  (I haven’t tried it, yet — but be aware, addition of acrylic medium will make anything mixed with it not able to be reused, after it has dried.)  The FW inks don’t seem as intense as artist-grade tube watercolors, but they feel more controllable, and more suited to reproduction work.

(I go back and forth as to whether these inks or watercolors are more intense…after some experience, I’ve got to say that it depends on how much you thin them!  When I first used these inks, I was thinning them way out because I didn’t want to waste them.  In short, I was skimping on them [you basically have to lay out all your colors before painting in order to have them quickly available for mixing and altering other colors — and you have to say goodbye to all of what you’ve laid out at the end of a painting session, with acrylics], and it is obvious when I look at my first attempts at using these.)

On cold-press Canson Montval paper.  Ink is from a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

The above image is something I was messing around with…as I realized at home that two of my colors (Yellow Ochre and Red Earth — neither of which are constituted as one would think they would be) were both rated as opaque.  Obviously, though, this is relative.  For example, with Payne’s Grey (though it may be due to the fact that it is blue-grey), you can’t really tell that it’s overlaying the black, here.  Pure Burnt Umber, as well, goes on and does not mask the underlying black drawing at all — you can see at center right.

However, you can see a tiny bit of overlap in the foreground here with the Red Earth (the only red used here) and Yellow Ochre overflowing their lines in the center swirl.  It also happened in the thing that looks like a tree trunk to the left, which I am fairly sure was a mixture of multiple colors, including red and yellow earth tones.  Possibly also white.  (I’m not sure, but I should add that last bit.  White is obviously not transparent, though be aware that the FW acrylic white, isn’t a dense white.  Daler-Rowney Pro[cess] White, though?  I’m not sure about that — I’ve seen it used as correction fluid and for highlights.  If I ever reach the finishing stages of a piece of art with this stuff and actually use the Pro White, I’ll let you know.)

What this means is that I will have to go back in and touch up areas where I have painted over lines which I need — if I use heavy coats of color.  (The colors being bound by acrylic resin, helps ease my concern of clogging nibs, in this regard.)  Pale washes, on the other hand, don’t really fade the linework noticeably (to me, at least).  One of the things I did realize, though, is that it is WAY easier to work with these super-fast drying acrylic inks on a small scale.  If I had wanted to, I could have avoided overpainting these lines, because my brush was that small and the shape was that small…but this was a test.

I’m not sure if it is the fact that I can see the colors of these inks through the bottles that makes me want to use them, but I’m sure it’s related to that.  I’m thinking of clearing out one or two of my small palettes to use for everyday watercolors (that is, not the specialty ones which I have to think about including, like freakin’ Aureolin).

Freaking Aureolin.

Okay, I’ll stop.

Oh, right.  I also have been trying to work on drawing people again, though they’re imaginary people.  I do have some photos of these, but to be honest, they’re pretty horrible (middle-of-the-night) photos, and I’m not even altogether that proud of the work anymore.  It was fun last night, then I looked at it again today and realized my character had Vegeta proportions, so…

Right.  I think I know what’s wrong, and it should be easily fixed.  It’s what happens when you draw the head before the body.  Still, though:  I would really like to photograph this in daylight, rather than releasing it to the wild and *cough* messing up my *cough* reputation *cough* 😉  Hehe.

We all screw up sometimes, it’s part of being human — and being an artist means you screw up OFTEN and REPEATEDLY until you can learn other ways.  😉  So the best thing to do is be gentle on yourself, and maybe not even call it “screwing up,” but “having a learning experience”.

(When is the Internet ever gentle, though?  SHUT UP ANXIETY BRAIN.)

Okay, I’m being told to get some rest now.  I do have to get up in six hours.  JOY.  JOY OF JOYS.

Eh, at least I should be able to get some (home)work done at lunch…

More acrylic inks, you say?

Acrylics: experimentation 1

I really should have written this post closer to the time in which I was experimenting, but various things (mostly the closing in of the deep night) kept me from doing that, then.  Today — well, today has not been an art day; nor was yesterday.  However, a few days ago I began experiments with my heavy-body acrylic paints, to see what the difference was — directly — between watercolors and acrylics.

High-key gradations

I’ve just done some Levels adjustments on these photographs.  The lack of good lighting was actually really noticeable on this first photo (it was, as usual, nighttime when I took the shots).

Anyhow, as I had been doing gradations in watercolor, and I knew I had a Zinc White which I had barely tried out, that top strip is Quinacridone Magenta, gradually blended with increasing amounts of Zinc White.  Zinc White (Chinese White) is different from Titanium White in that the latter is much more opaque than the former.  Thus, while both of these whites will fade out colors, the Titanium White will make a more opaque mixture (as you can see in the Payne’s Grey + Titanium White value scale over the black bar at bottom), while Zinc White will make a more transparent mixture.

The colors I used in this experiment were all high-key (bright) colors, things I normally wouldn’t use by themselves, unless I wanted a kind of psychedelic effect.  What I found interesting:  I mixed a violet tone in the upper right of that photo with (I’m thinking, probably) Phthalo Blue:  Green Shade and Quinacridone Magenta.  Above that mixture is a line of straight Dioxazine Violet, though it doesn’t look all that great in this photo (I’d have to tweak the color adjustments more to really get that to come out clearly).  Here, I’ll try:

Mixed violet vs. pure Dioxazine Violet

What I realized is that though the two methods would each make passable violets, the mixed violet was more complex when observed because of the fact that there were two different light-scattering pigments in there (both the Magenta and the Blue), whereas straight Dioxazine Violet gave a more “flat” violet (though still modulated by paint thickness, which in turn had to do with the amount of water and paint in the brush).

By the way, those little bars at the bottom of this image are Ultramarine Blue (Red Shade) — which is what would have been used to mix an intense violet in my Color class.  Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) is much greener and more vibrant, producing a relatively muted violet tone.


It is, however, not as green as Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade) or Phthalo Green (Blue Shade), which are at the top left corner of this practice sheet, moving from left to right, respectively.  I had found it difficult to find things to use Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) with, as it’s so vibrant and intense.  On the other hand, I had also not known why it was that my prof had us get Chromium Oxide Green (top center), because it’s such a dull, muted color.

About half of the swatches above are paint straight from the tube, whereas the other half are mixtures made using those paints.  I didn’t really get into good territory, though, until I started mixing with Indian Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue (a bismuth salt which I had been trying to avoid until I realized how efficient it is), Bronze Yellow, and Yellow Oxide (a.k.a. Yellow Ochre), along with Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Chromium Oxide Green, and Emerald Green.  The last is a convenience mixture, located directly below Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade):  that is, farthest to the left, one down.  (Indian Yellow is directly below that.)

You can see how close these two paints are in hue…I have been collecting greens for a while because of really hating that Chrome Oxide Green:  unmixed, it is the hue of a pool table.  However, in Liquitex Heavy Body paints, most of the green colors available are convenience mixtures.

Bronze Yellow (bottom row, second from the left) is also a convenience mixture, but produces more complex tones when mixed.  Like Indian Yellow, it makes warm and muted greens (the swatch in the lower left corner was mixed with Indian Yellow, whereas the swatch at bottom center was mixed with Bronze Yellow).

I am trying to remember exactly how I reached that color second from the right, on the bottom row.  This was my favorite color of the entire mixing session; I know it was Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) with Indian and/or Bronze Yellow, and/or Yellow Oxide.  (By the time I had reached that point, things were getting complicated on my palette.)  I probably should have noted it down while it was still fresh in my memory…though I should be able to mix the modified version again, easily.  As long as I know that it was a muted bright yellow (now that I’m thinking of it, it was probably Indian Yellow) with Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), I’ll probably be all right.


In any case, that color makes up two of the blue-green center streaks in this plaything I made up.  (I was using a hog-bristle “Georgian” flat brush by Daler-Rowney which had already started to wear down from my painting with it on rough surfaces…so I decided to play with it while I could.)

By the way:  these experiments were done on canvas pad sheets.  These are sheets of canvas which are primed on one side and bound into a pad, like papers would be.  I’m not wasting stretched canvas on these experiments, that is.  And actually, the image to the left, here, is something I was messing around with on the back of the first experiment I showed you.  It’s really easy to just gesso this and then wait for it to dry, and then you can paint on the back of the canvas (though it may need weights to keep it from rolling up while it’s drying — I used a couple of tubes of paint).  As for gesso brushes, I was using a Purdy brush, which is available from hardware and home improvement stores.

Anyhow, the greener streak on the far left is mixed like the center blue-green streaks, but also with Emerald Green.  As for those other yellow-green colors, I honestly can’t remember how I got there, anymore; but am guessing it will be relatively easy (for me) to get back.

For some reason, this setup, in which I had gessoed the canvas myself and then waited for it to dry, seemed to accept the paint much more easily (and cleanly) than the part of the canvas which was designed to be used first.  I’m not sure if it has to do with the absorbency of the gesso or the grittiness of the gesso or what (I was using Liquitex Basics gesso, which is relatively rough).  I didn’t try laying down areas of color on this side of the experiment, either, so I don’t know whether my paints would streak with the Liquitex Basics gesso as well as the pre-gessoed front side of the fabric, or whether the streakiness is due to some quality of the pad’s integral gesso formulation (I still haven’t broken into the Fredrix canvas pad).

In any case…I realized at this point in the experiments that I wanted to try pairing muted colors with high-key colors in mixes, because in that way it’s possible to get vibrancy from the high-key color, with temperance from the muted one.  This must be one way to use those psychedelic colors with which I started off this post, without looking entirely artificial.  Without Phthalo Blue’s intensity, that is, I don’t think I would have been able to reach that intense peacock blue hue.  Mixing a muted yellow, I asked myself what would happen if I added a greenish blue:  and I got that beautiful formulation.

I also realized just how close Indian Yellow and Yellow Oxide were, to each other (Yellow Oxide is in the lower right corner)…and have begun to realize that I can weed out some unnecessary colors (which produce repeat hues), once I figure out what I want my palette actually to be.

And, of course, that means:  more experiments!  Hehe.  I have found that I enjoy working with acrylics moreso than with watercolors…the paint is just easier to control, although there is the issue of needing to work on surfaces which aren’t paper…luckily, I have 17 pages of canvas pad sheets left.  🙂  And, if I’m not working on anything serious, I can buy more unstretched canvas (though I’m not sure it will work the same).

As regards that big painting I want to work on, that I’ve talked about before:  I am thinking that I am going to try jumping right to canvas without making a trial drawing of the succulent that I want to paint.  I’ll be using vine charcoal for an underdrawing, so any mistakes should be easy to wipe off with a wet rag.  My problem is that I put obstacles in front of myself to delay the work, and that isn’t good:  and, I mean, as long as I’m not using a textured media like gel media, I will be able to gesso over the whole thing and start again, if I need to.  Putting it off just reinforces the procrastination and fear mechanisms; and I do really want to start on this — before school begins again!

Acrylics: experimentation 1

Watercolor play…doesn’t look as bad on camera as it did to me last night…amazingly…

Alright, so.  I have been working on playing around in watercolor…though I think the better examples of this happened when I took my time.  The little squares here are underneath my transparency swatches…which are basically just an index of the colors I have.  Really, the biggest pain about any of this is that the earth tones tend not to stick in the lid of my palette and instead separate as little chips that fall when I try and close it… >_<  …right.  Whoever said that design would work, anyway?

Initially, looking at this, I was thinking that, because of what I had been doing with the brush to achieve smoother gradations (pulling each color into the other with small brushstrokes), maybe I should be working in gouache, instead.  However…now that I look at it, I just see someone learning to control their medium at a very early stage.

I have gotten out the gouache:  trust me, I’ve gotten out the gouache.  😉  I haven’t done any comparisons yet between the different effects achievable with each media, though.

Trying to play around with blending wet-into-wet

Sorry about the photo quality…I still haven’t gotten the hang of this, yet.

Dry brush merging into drawing-like marks…?

Although in the past I could say that I really disliked (my own) dry-brush effects, when I look at it here, it actually seems to work.  (Kind of like how I don’t like to use hard charcoal or graphite sticks, but they have their uses?)  I’m pretty sure the upper pink is Permanent Rose; and the one under it is Permanent Magenta (in Winsor & Newton brand), in many other brands known as Quinacridone Violet (though W&N’s “Quinacridone Violet” is a completely different shade, leaning more blue than red).  This is what I mean by irregular labeling of paints.

The grainy green-blue above it is Viridian; actual Viridian, not “Viridian Hue.”  I did try blending this Viridian with Permanent Rose, and now suspect that the beautiful mixed tone I got (mentioned in multiple places, earlier) actually may have been Viridian Hue (W&N Cotman Phthalo Green) with Permanent Rose.  Viridian Hue (Phthalo Green) plus Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) are together in the top central square in the upper first photo of this post.  What can Phthalo Green be used for?  Try!  🙂

One thing I can say is that natural hair in a paintbrush makes a world of difference in that brush’s performance.  I first ran across this in Painting class, when I started using Sumi-e brushes with my watercolors, because they retained water and color better.  This is not a traditional use for them, so far as I can tell — but at least the regular Western transparent watercolors I’ve tried (largely Prangs and W&N colors), don’t seem to harm them.

I have at various times had three different types of Asian calligraphy brushes, though one of them (I think it was a Mao “Little Ying”) eventually died from irregular expansion of the handle.  That is, I think I left it in the water too long, and the bamboo split.  >_<;;  Because of the way it was constructed, about the only thing keeping it together at the end was probably a piece of string, and probably some glue.

The other bamboo-handled brushes I have are all Yasutomo (for some reason, it’s hard to find other brands than this in brick-and-mortar stores:  excepting Asian stationery stores), in a couple of different styles.  I have no idea what the different styles are actually intended to do, but they work for watercolor.  The ones I have all have a core of stiff hair, surrounded by a ring of soft hair.  They don’t keep their point well — you have to shape the tip prior to each stroke — but the touch is much softer and more delicate than with a synthetic.

Most recently, I picked up a little tiny #2 Robert Simmons “Sapphire” flat, which is maybe 1/8″ wide, and it’s so much easier to use than a full-on synthetic with watercolors, that it’s kind of weird.  In tiny sizes like the one I have, they’re actually affordable…

The Sapphires are a blend of red sable and synthetic fiber; but the amount of natural hair in them actually does make them handle differently when it comes to watercolors.  Laydown and color retention is smoother than what I’m used to from my completely-synthetic brushes (most of the rest of them, that is), which I’ve read have a tendency to dump their pigment load all at once.

Now that I look up this company online, I find that they are also the people who make the “Signet” hog-bristle brushes that I like for acrylics!

Hmm.  Wonder about that…

I’m not sure how natural brushes would fare with gouache.  Gouache has a tendency to get heavier, stickier, and stiffer than transparent watercolor.  I’ll give it a try with my synthetic brushes before I attempt anything with the real-hair brushes (the color-load-dropping thing may be a bigger issue with watercolors which are close to the consistency of water), though I’m thinking that maybe my heftier intended-for-acrylic brushes might be better off with those paints…

Watercolor play…doesn’t look as bad on camera as it did to me last night…amazingly…

Finally uploading some of…what I do naturally, I guess?

Why…can’t some things be simple…?

In any case, I’ve just spent the last hour or so figuring out how to avoid having a browser program which I dislike, open immediately without my prompting.

On the bright side! — I have for you a page of scribbles.  (Sorry about the lack of focus.  Well, mine; and in the photo, let’s say.)

Ah, yes. the scribblies.

This is fairly…well, random, but I was trying out inks and brushes, and it came to my mind that this is a fairly good representation of the acrylic inks I was playing with the other night (before I decided that I really should look at my homework pile, again).

Speaking of which, I have less of that (homework) than I thought.  I’m not entirely certain how I convinced myself that I hadn’t actually read what I had read…but right now I’m on the last reading for last week, and it doesn’t promise to be long.  I did, however, have to find a way to lock my screen so that I could read it in landscape format…

Well, anyway.  The black and grey marks on this page are Yasutomo non-toxic liquid Sumi ink.  I guess…maybe it would work alright for comic layouts?  Given, that is, that it shows up clear enough, here.

(I keep having dreams about xeroxing and displaying comic layouts, for some reason…)

The colors are all FW acrylic inks by Daler-Rowney; and I’m certain that light pink tone in there (and some of the violets I mixed with it) has shimmery bits.

I was just trying to see what I could get out of these inks, though it should be noted that I didn’t use a midtone or cool yellow here (as the dropper for my Process Yellow ink was still gunked up).  So everything which is mixed with a yellow is mixed with…I think they call it “Deep Yellow.”  It looks really similar to a yellow I got for watercolor painting — one of the deeper Hansa Yellow variants.  Though…that’s all from memory.  Don’t bet on it being true.  😉  The FW inks do come with pigment codes on the bottles, though; I’m just being lazy.  If anyone wants me to look it up, I can.

There are a number of interesting bits that I can see in the play above…but maybe I’ll get to describing them, another time.  (I’m almost ready to get back to studying.)  The one thing I did want to note, though, is that my use of negative space seems to be improving.  And the black with white showing through, glazed over with color…that’s a really interesting effect.

As regards markmaking, I used a small flat brush, an angled shader, and a small-to-medium-sized filbert (which is the one which made the marks which look rather blunt).

And one other thing to note is that my Sumi ink didn’t move much at all with the quick application of acrylic ink over the top.  I am not sure if I can always expect it to hold up this well, though?  🙂

Finally uploading some of…what I do naturally, I guess?

Self-gifting (>_<);;

Hello everyone!

I did make it to the art store, today, and it was incredibly easy to find what I was looking for (a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen), which works amazingly well.  I’m really…sort of shocked, given the performance of the other brush pens I’ve used in the past…this one has waterproof ink which comes out of a nylon-bristle tip (as versus a rubber or felt one, which are mostly what I’ve seen pass for “brush pens” in ages past).

It’s actually kind of making me want to get back into learning Japanese (and/or, English calligraphy), because my kana look awesome with it.  I also realized, after reading about sparkle brush pens which also use bristle tips, that I could use shimmering ink or shimmering paint, and by this I could utilize multiple types of brushes, as versus the one style of brush nib which comes with, say, the Zig pens I was looking at.

So, it is close to Christmas, and I am not betting on many presents this year.  I had a 20% off coupon plus a Web Match Rebate plus bulk pricing, so I finally splurged on Daler-Rowney FW acrylic inks.  Holy **** you guys, they’re beautiful!

I do have to go back and replace one of my bottles, because the eyedropper is gunked up, but I tested the others, and they all work fine…

They’re beautiful.  I’m just…amazed.  I got a split-primary palette (one cool and one warm of each primary color) and four optional colors.

I also started experimenting tonight with mixing colors experimentally again (orange + violet makes brown; adding blue makes greenish black [?]; adding red to greenish black makes rich brown…or is my memory messed up?  I’m not sure–).

And even the neutrals which I did mix (not many, but) — they were still vibrant.  I was actually aiming to try and mix black, as I did not purchase a black, because I knew it was possible to attain with three primaries.  It would be more interesting, and would push my skills more.  And holy ****, is it more fulfilling…

I have, however, accidentally laid down some permanent color in the cups of a cheap plastic palette…

Oh, right:  and it’s water-resistant once dry, and more lightfast than dye-based inks!

I also picked up a replacement flat brush, a small filbert, and a brush with an angled tip…which is what I was playing with earlier tonight.  These were all under $10, each — to my surprise, because one of them actually has sable mixed into the hairs.

I do kind of wonder if this is why my art teachers have all said to experiment with new media…it makes things fresh again…

Self-gifting (>_<);;


I’m so tired that I can’t really think really well, right now.

I am about a week behind in classwork, due to the system failure and my own freezing up during and after the system failure.  The good part is that I completed the work I needed to do…what is left are all the readings…and assorted other stuff.  I’ve decided just to let the two 2-point discussion prompts go, for this week.

Otherwise…I did make it out to pick up paints.  The store I went to was out of Holbein Flame Red; so I got Winsor & Newton Flame Red (which looks much more vibrant than any of the color swatches I’ve seen…not sure why, except either fading and/or resolution quality).  I also got Holbein Peacock Blue and W&N Intense Blue.  It came to me later that maybe I should have gotten a Phthalo Green instead of Peacock Blue, as the latter shade is a mix of Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, and Titanium White.  That is, if I got Phthalo Green, I probably could have mixed some variant of color close to Peacock Blue…and mixed a bunch more other colors with it, as well.

I did just get the one I did because it was gorgeous, though.  Plus, I needed a decent green-leaning blue to make intense greens (Intense Blue is also a Phthalo color, but apparently there are different shades of Phthalo Blue, even when it’s unmixed.  Thus you get Red Shade [which competes with Ultramarine], Green Shade, etc., for starters).

I haven’t gotten the chance to try these out, yet, though it might be a good thing to do when I’m too tired to do much, as now.  I could be working on my reading, and I don’t know exactly why I’m not.

I have showered already, though.  Maybe I should just get ready for bed.  I want to stay up, and I haven’t been up for that long.  I’m just sleepy, though.

Maybe it has to do with getting into the first actually cool Fall days…

And, I nearly forgot to mention:  I did reach out to a couple of people working in Information in a nearby Museum.  I don’t know why it occurred to me to do it today, but I took some time out of reading and just drafted a letter and sent it.  Yay me.

The thing is, I’m still not certain whether I should work as an Art Librarian or as a Cataloger.  Maybe they’ll be able to shed some insight…


Life. Planning to split the blog.

I am planning to either revive my alternate blog (the one I had to start for class in 2012, when I was acting insecure) or start a new one, and put my overtly school and career related stuff there, while this one is saved for art and life, with a more conversational tone than a record-keeping one (or one which is overtly reflecting on my job and readings).  I will link that other blog to this one, after I get it set up and presentable.

I did make it out over the past couple of days to replace or acquire five tubes of gouache — opaque watercolor.  (I also found I like Ivory [Bone] Black better than Lamp Black, at least in gouache…strange that they’re both carbon blacks, but they don’t look the same.)  This meant that I also had to take time out to test the ones I had — which was super fun.

I hadn’t painted in a really long time.  I pulled out a new brush that I’d never used before and had at it, just color-testing.  Most of my gouache was good, but I was able to get some new Holbein and Winsor & Newton gouache (the kind without the acrylic polymer added).  I got Lemon Yellow in Holbein because it was beautiful and just what I was looking for, and an Ultramarine Deep from them, too — W&N no longer makes that color.  I’m planning to use the opaque watercolors in combination with transparent watercolors, in making some new mandalas — and possibly in illustration.  With opaque media, though, I’m going to have to start thinking in terms of shape and blocks of color, rather than line, to describe what I want to describe.

And it isn’t worth it to denigrate mandala art and avoid doing it because it seems too simple.  I make things too hard for myself.  If I want to do mandala art, and that’s what is going to get me to do art that I want to do at all, I should do it.

I also made it out to a certain clothes store today, where I realized that the Mens’ shirts fit me better and were more comfortable than the Womens’.  In the past (when my hair was very short and I was overtly looking gender-variant), this would have been more troubling for me than it was (I have felt exposed there, before) — but fact is that when it fits, I look pretty good in menswear.  Not only this, but…it was OK, emotionally.

In the sizing of this store (which caters to a smaller-than-normal clientele), I wear an M in Mens’ shirts.  Right now, I wear something closer to an XL in Womens’, there, though I don’t appear terribly overweight.  The Womens’ shirts will make me look overweight, though.  They cling, and show more body and form than any of the menswear.  Showing my body is not something I desire, to be clear; I don’t particularly appreciate being expected to do it.

Then, though, of course you get the either very muted color palette or the screaming bright colors on the Mens’ side.  I (mostly) feel good with what I came away with, with the exception of one shirt which I didn’t try on, which was unlabeled…and so I’m not sure I know what I got.  It fits more closely, but won’t be a problem if it’s tucked in.  The Mens’ shirts have hems long enough to tuck securely; which is more than I can say for a lot of what I’ve had, previously.

I have had three days of what feels like not studying very hard.  I know it isn’t completely true, because I had to attend a group meeting, and I had to prepare for a group meeting (2.5 hours, yesterday); then I was doing readings today both before and after getting new clothes — which I needed, by the way.  I also picked up a book I needed for a project.  And, I was able to assist some family.

It isn’t as though I haven’t been productive, but, was I burned out at the end of Tuesday night, after writing 16 pages total the past two days before?  I didn’t want to do any readings at all on Wednesday.  I just didn’t want to have to think…especially not about the Library!  Though I have realized that I do still want to be an Art Librarian, and shouldn’t let fear of being a beginner keep me from holding an informational interview with at least one person.  My vocational program kind of depends on it.

Right now I’ve realized that I do need to get back on my studying so I don’t fall behind.  I have a lecture to listen to, two readings to do, some stuff to respond to; I just need to get on it.

The good thing is that the group project is off on a good foot.  We have stumbled a tiny bit, which I encountered last night while thinking about this; but it’s salvageable.

Tomorrow is Saturday; I should be studying in the morning, if I randomly wake up at 8 AM again.  Then I’m occupied for six hours, then I’m off and can work some more on my Master’s.

Working with the gouache on Monday night sounds good.  I want to see those new colors!

Life. Planning to split the blog.