I tried the hint of mixing Quinacridone Magenta (W&N Permanent Magenta) with Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), and did indeed come out with something that looks very much like Indanthrone Blue! It was just a bit dilute because of all the water I added in order to rehydrate both of my paints, but if I didn’t skimp on it, I could probably make a full-strength mix.
I also painted out some Prussian Blue, which…I really like. I know it’s safe under normal circumstances, so maybe I can carry that knowledge with me. I’ve also decided to re-add Aureolin to my palette, though it doesn’t show in the image below (Trial 4):
…This is because I feel it might be useful in color mixing — particularly with cool greens — though it can’t really compete at all with Hansa Yellow for tinting strength. I would put Aureolin between the lightest yellow (Hansa) and Sap Green. I’ve also removed three colors (Cadmium Red Pale Hue, Winsor Orange, Cadmium Yellow Hue) due to multiple factors, varying with each paint.
The Hues are both Cotman (student grade) paints — from 2009 or before — and if I’m recalling correctly, they’re fugitive (though I haven’t verified that). Winsor Orange just tends to dull mixes, and I don’t need it if I’ve got Cadmium Orange Hue (a much more recent formulation [2016, I’m thinking] which may be less fugitive than the 2009 version [known fugitive], though I haven’t checked my memory against sources) in Cotmans.
This gives me six empty pans to work with (if I fill one with Aureolin)…
Anyhow, the Prussian Blue is really pretty (especially combined with Phthalo Green [Blue Shade]), and I’m trying to figure out whether to purchase the professional-grade paint. I know for a fact that the Cotman Prussian Blue (from 2009) doesn’t flow very well, but that’s to be expected of Cotmans — they’re really inexpensive.
I should get to bed sooner than later, but I wanted also to mention Cerulean. I have a Cerulean Hue, which I’m not too fond of. The only reason I mention it is that I’m not sure if I’ll need it for greens — I have Cobalt Blue, already, though. I’ve just been reading on handprint.com…maybe a Cobalt Turquoise could help and not be too similar to the Blue…or I could just swap the Turquoise for the Blue.
Cripes. Okay. I’ve just decided what I’m going to get. Prussian Blue and Cerulean Genuine. Tomorrow. Okay, brain?
Apologies for not having posted sooner; I have a feeling that I’ve been fighting off some sort of infectious microbe. 😉 I’ve been playing around with color chips for the past couple of days, and had to stay home today for a phone appointment, so it was a fairly good study time where it came to colors.
My last post got into the beginning of this. In the meantime, I’ve been toying with layouts and reworking swatches (my original set were not all that great, as I wasn’t using enough color). I still haven’t worked gradient swatches, but that wasn’t the point, this time. Using up the dried paint in my preexisting palettes may have actually been the point, but who can say? 😉
I have a feeling these may be basically self-explanatory. The previous photo, “Trial Three (1),” is missing the two swatches of black pigments which I didn’t notice were missing until very late in the game. These are Ivory Black (Cotman) and Lamp Black (Holbein), which have slightly different overtones. (Ivory Black is less blue than Lamp Black.) I have a photo with a Levels adjustment, here:
I’ve tried to render these as well as I can, but to be honest, reflected color changes depending on light quality…and the light quality isn’t so good right now! But in particular, I tried to match up the white of the palette to the white I recall.
I’ve included some paints in here that I normally would not have — for example, Winsor Orange (Professional grade), which is slightly duller than Cadmium Orange Hue (student grade, Cotman) and seems not to mix as well. But maybe there will be times when I’ll need one or the other of the mixing properties, and they won’t be interchangeable.
(While I don’t know that I’d actually need something to mix in a dull manner [it’s possible to do this just by adding a complementary color to neutralize aspects], I opted to include it. I don’t have that much experience with it, because I utilized Cadmium Orange Hue instead, in Watercolor class…but I still have a nearly full tube of Winsor Orange. I discovered this on going into my art supplies to look at all the Cotman tubes from vintage 2009.)
This is the same reason I’ve included Viridian, above. My parents were nice enough to snag a W&N Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) for me, which is like Viridian Hue in Cotmans (they use the same pigment), but I’m hoping it handles better. (I got some weird unintended effects — I think they’re called “backruns”? — with the Viridian Hue, but not with the professional-level Phthalo Green.)
Now, I normally can’t stand Viridian — I can’t get any concentration out of it — but there is a chance that I’m going to need a green like it, and Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) may not mix the way I need it to. It may be that Viridian works better in mixes than on its own, that is…but it’s basically a Chromium Oxide green…which I don’t even like unaltered in acrylics (it’s dull — the color of a pool table — and I don’t know why we were told to get it: Emerald Green is much more favorable to my taste), but Chrome Oxide Green can make interesting mixes when combined with unexpected colors. I’m hoping that maybe Viridian will turn out the same way.
What I did unapologetically cut out was the Aureolin. I really don’t like that pigment (it’s a green-leaning, pale, dullish, expensive, toxic yellow with low tinting strength which has been maligned online for low lightfastness), and with a light Hansa Yellow, I don’t believe I’ll need it. (The Hansa is far right, middle row on the previous image).
And while I was talking about not needing the full spectrum because things can be mixed, it’s really apparent that I was drawn to the warm spectrum, here. I am not entirely certain how such small differences in color can add up to such large differences in the quality of a mixed paint, but I know that differences in yellows are fairly consequential. I included what I had, regardless of student or artist quality. I’m not planning on my work lasting through the next two empires, that is, and I’ll likely need to refill the palette and mess up my color scheme anyway, so…
What I am amazed at (slightly) is how many different colors of red, there are. I tried to concentrate them to one side of the palette, though the overall numbers (breaking into three relatively cohesive sections) helped.
The two colors which I have thought of to add if I ever come to care that much (seeing how many colors of red and yellow I have, and that I have three blues), are Indanthrone Blue and Prussian Blue. I intentionally haven’t added the latter because of stability concerns…which I won’t go into, but Indanthrone Blue is one of those that just kind of makes me go, “ooh.” Prussian Blue tends to be muted and greenish, Indanthrone looks dark violet-blue.
Ah, well. If I keep painting in watercolors, it’s something to consider. The QoR brand of Indanthrone looks particularly appealing, though possibly mimicked with French Ultramarine plus Dioxazine Violet (though the swatch at Blick’s website is horrible). And looking at this, it’s possible Indigo (a convenience mixture from W&N, which I started to play with in combination with one or another Phthalo, yesterday) will sate the Prussian Blue bug. (Indigo leans greenish, and is also muted. It isn’t actual Indigo, though, possibly because Indigo dye is relatively fugitive…or so I’ve heard.)
I also added the new tube of Rose Madder (Mijello Mission Gold brand) which I got as a bonus with this new palette: it is similar to W&N Alizarin Crimson, but redder, if that makes sense. By that, I mean it looks closer to a straight red. It’s not really obvious in the photos, but it is on the lower left in the image “Trial Three (1)”.
I don’t know if this can be called a productive day, but it’s been a fun one, at least!
And yeah, I wouldn’t feel bad about filling this palette as it is, and not worrying about having “the right place” for Prussian or Indanthrone Blue. They can just go in the lower right corner. 🙂 I’ll know what they are. 🙂
Saa, but yeah…I’ve got to go to work, tomorrow. Yay for earning money! 😉 After next week, I shouldn’t have to worry about any more appointments. Maybe then I can take on some extra hours…I just don’t want to come anywhere close to burnout this Summer…
I’ve been taking photos of the last suminagashi batch so that if and when I cut them apart, I won’t miss them. 😉 (Part of the nature of suminagashi is that it never turns out the same way more than once.) This set turned out much more photogenic than the last — although that may also be partially due to my experimenting with the light settings on my camera.
Today was overcast, so I used the “Cloudy” setting on my camera, even though I was indoors with only window light. This gave me a batch of photos which appeared dim (all values were shifted towards the black point in the Levels histogram), though I was able to adjust how the computer read the files by using a Levels adjustment layer in Photoshop and hand-tweaking each color layer, which worked out more aesthetically pleasing than letting the computer take care of it through Auto Levels. I’m actually really amazed that it worked (for most of them, anyway):
Heh! Nice! Ah, right: I’m hoping you can click on the images to see a larger version!
Like I said in the last relevant entry, I changed my working pattern for this set. I can see where it would be useful to rinse off some of my papers after printing them — two or more got a weird haze of ink over the top (though I tossed one of them because it was so messed up); another got blotched by my not drying excess water, which caused a pooling effect. Overall, though…it worked!
I’m trying to fight an urge to go back and try this again…mostly because I don’t want to have to clean off the craft table again, but….
Okay, so I learned how to use the scanner to upload some black and white drawings!
Alright, I’m working on that multiple-spiral form I mentioned to you all before, though it’s still generic enough that I haven’t played with it as much as I’ve wanted…so I’m not releasing my in-development toying-around, yet.
Yesterday I was able to turn in a couple of things (including an 18-page paper worth 30 points), which was a big weight off of me. I did just find out tonight, though, that one of my professors has something due during Finals week! 😮
I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay, though.
These sketches are from the little moments in time between studying that I’ve allowed myself to doodle. In particular, the mushrooms are from yesterday 😛 and the “30 mins” image (along with the two on the far right) is from that day when I was “mindfully wasting time.”
The far right image is just something that I did to show myself the difference between a Lumocolor marker and a black Copic…I’m fairly certain I used the 100 (Black) Copic marker right there, and then drew over the top of it with a Staedtler Lumocolor. (I haven’t yet tried the 110 — “Special Black”, with the Lumocolors.)
Similar things happen with Sharpies, though I try not to use Sharpies for anything I want to last. They’re pretty notorious for degrading/yellowing paper (among other surfaces — they’ve actually seemed to eat through some tape I marked on — not only did the writing seep through to the surface below the Artist’s Tape, but the plastic below yellowed; though that was over about seven years of aging), and fading. But pretty much all markers are notorious for fading; it’s just that some won’t damage the paper as much, or the ink will last longer (pigment inks are said to be more lightfast than dye-based inks, though I’ve never had an image on my wall in the sun long enough to notice).
I’m not sure what will happen with the Lumocolors — they were a gift from a family member. The pens say that they’re refillable, which is probably why my family member bought them. The Copic SP Multiliners are supposed to be refillable (I’m using the disposable version), but I don’t use them hardcore enough yet to have to refill them, replace the nibs, etc. (though it might not be a bad idea for those super-fine nibs like the 0.03 and 0.05 that can easily kink). Rapidograph (technical pen) is also an option, though I’ve never tried one, yet!
And, right! The varied-width lines in the mushrooms I drew (from imagination, it’s probably obvious) are from a Pentel Pocket Brush pen. It’s really sensitive to pressure and flicks of the brush tip, and is ideally held upright to take best advantage of this. The hatching and cross-hatching of uniform width is with a Copic 0.03 Multiliner, although there is very slight line width modification even with a fineliner. It’s just not obvious like with the brush pens!
The grey on the musubi/onigiri (rice ball with nori, or the triangular spiral, fourth from the left) is some kind of Copic marker (I honestly wasn’t paying attention to which one I used), while I’m pretty sure the linework was with a Fine-width Lumocolor pen.
And the lettering…was just me messing around! I have been trying to find ways of incorporating ideas from other scripts into play with English lettering, though I haven’t shown it much, here. The “for art” text in the lower image is in Medium-width Lumocolor, while everything else is in Fine-width (except the wavy line under “Lumocolor”). I find that because of the way this ink pools (and the tips may as well be felt), the two pens I used weren’t as good for varying line width. However, they’re good for consistent line width. One annoying thing, though: I found that the Lumocolor Fine pen tended to catch on the page and spatter.
Oh, right! and I wanted to mention the paper! I got the pad which these were drawn on for notes in a class. It was a really inexpensive pad I got from Barnes & Noble (the brand is “Piccadilly”). It looks like the MSRP is $12.95, but B&N almost never sells them at that cost. I’m sure it was likely around $5 or less — I got it because it was a cheap enough experiment.
There are issues with bleed-through — the inks (particularly the Lumocolors) can seep through one page and onto the next. (You can see this in my first Shiitake image, upper left corner of this post.) That wasn’t a large issue with the Copics or the Pentel; though Copic markers will likely bleed through given heavy enough application.
The reason I like this pad, though, is that the surface of the paper is very smooth and very white, kind of like opaque marker paper; and the proportions of the working area are interesting. It’s spiral-bound at the top, meaning that I don’t have to worry about compensating for binding issues. And — it was really inexpensive, so I don’t have to worry about destroying or blowing through an expensive pad of paper (which is sometimes something that can inhibit me).
I am hoping to get what I need to get done, done sooner rather than later — though I’ll try for getting everything done in a week, I can’t guarantee it. After that, I will have plenty of time to play! Well, until Summer School starts. 🙂 But actually, I do think I do better with something to do. It’s amazing what I can get done when I focus! (And yes, focusing does involve, sometimes, taking five or 10 minutes to draw mushrooms! Or lying down for 15 or 20 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, I know that now…just so long as I can concentrate…)
😀 😀 😀
(And before anyone says anything: Yes. Yes I am thinking of working in black and white and scanning it. I don’t know if it will be a comic…but it’s fun!)
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:
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.)
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).
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…
However, I was able to take some photos before the sun set, today. I’m not sure how many of them would actually be interesting to anyone but me, but…well. I just took a shower and am waiting for my hair to dry before going to bed.
Earlier, I did what homework I could…until meaning stopped coming out of my reading. At that time, I got out the cabochons to see if I could pair any with the lacy pink thing. What I got was this:
…which was kind of interesting. I realized that I might have some Czech seed beads which matched the cabochon exactly. Because I recently reorganized things, I knew exactly where to look:
These beads, I got a long, long time ago, at a store which closed down for (likely) good reasons. I’m not sure of the name of the color, but they have a rainbow coating on them like the above cabochon (called AB, or “Aurora Borealis”), and they’re pretty close in color. I’m fairly certain they’re size 11º.
I’ve wanted to use my cabochons in bead embroidery before, but haven’t, because I haven’t had the beading foundation you see in the background of both of these images.
Beading foundation is like stiff interfacing, and in some cases can be literal normal interfacing, like the kind used for sewing (usually it’s called “Pellon,” for the brand name, at least where I live); however, what you see above is called “Lacey’s Stiff Stuff” and is supposed to be really good, in terms of holding stitches and not stretching. It can be hard to find in person and expensive once found, though. This piece is about 8.5″ x 11″ and bought on top of bulk discount pricing, so it wasn’t …individually, that expensive. 😛
I do have Pellon interfacing as well (at one time I was trying millinery), which has a bit more give to it and is much thicker. I had heard not to use it, though, in one of my books (Dimensional bead embroidery, by Jamie Cloud Eakin) because Lacey’s is supposed to be better for this specific task (i.e., bead embroidery). As a consequence, I put the idea aside…for too long.
The photo to the left displays two hanks of Czech size 13º seed beads…I think. The pink ones may be 15ºs — which will help in bezeling cabochons. The coppery ones are likely actually glass coated in copper (there is a term called “Galvanized” which might apply to these, but I’m not sure because of the circumstances under which I got them [bead convention]), and are called “Charlottes” because one side of the bead is ground into a flat facet. (No, I don’t know the origin of the term.)
The triangular thing is a stackable bead tray, here with some of the Czech 11º seed beads you saw in the hank above — only here, they’re loose and ready to use. Of course I came back into the house today and promptly accidentally overturned the (entire) tray onto the floor…with a jacket cuff or something. Hunting stray beads happens frequently, here. And it doesn’t help that they bounce, roll, and scatter on linoleum, and can get totally lost in carpeting. Though holding a light parallel to the floor helps to find them, at least when they’re shiny.
This, to the right, is a photo of the beads I am fairly sure to use in this project…the exception being the copper beads (unstrung from the above hank) in the lower right vial.
I did some work taking inventory and found that altogether, I have 80 of the “Peaches and Cream” dagger beads (upper right) and 96 Fuschia 4mm Czech firepolished glass beads (far left, center). Each inch, about, of the pattern I made uses four dagger beads, and maybe 5 firepolished ones.
Given this, I have enough beads for a 20″ necklace…at least, in outer diameter. The three long center vials are Japanese seed beads (typically sold in vials); the two on the right contain size 11º, while the one on the left contains size 8º. I’m pretty sure that the far right vial of these center three contains dyed glass, however, meaning those beads are unlikely to stay that color forever. Everything else, though…I think is relatively stable (though I’m not sure about the size 8ºs…which came from a different supplier that doesn’t give marks for lightfastness).
Oh, and: the little short vials on the far left and far right, did not come with these beads. They’re the “tiny” vials I mentioned in earlier post with regard to storage. I got them from a store which specializes in plastics and fiberglass, for about $0.20 each. This is kind of crazy inexpensive, when I see that there are smaller clear containers (the AMAC tiny ones) which cost 4.5x as much and are less secure. If they weren’t $0.90 each, I would buy them to store crystals, but seriously. That’s kind of a splurge, for storage. (It wouldn’t be, however, if I were selling gemstones or crystals — as I’ve seen those boxes used before.)