I finally took and processed images in regard to the last two posts. Because I’m using GIMP 2 instead of Photoshop (the latter of which I’m relatively familiar with), I’m toward the beginning of the software’s learning curve. I can get it to work, but it takes a little while of looking around to figure out what I can do and where the tools are located.
Of course, that doesn’t help if you forgot that photographing something white against something black might mean that the white gets washed out.
Above is an image of the more-successful earrings I made, the other night. Of course, that’s way enlarged; the earrings themselves are only about an inch long. I’m thinking it’s evident how I could imagine these as drops from a chain necklace.
The next image (sorry, I can’t yet figure out how to insert text with an image in the same block) is the second pair of earrings I made. Apparently, I didn’t trim the cord at the bottom equally on each side, which makes one earring look significantly longer than the other one. It’s not noticeable on wearing them, though.
So the spherical beads are titanium-fumed crystal quartz beads. The metal vapor causes the beads to have a bluish-brown sheen. Without the titanium, the beads would be completely clear like glass.
I should have checked these more closely when I got them; one of the beads has a damaged edge along the drill hole, and possibly an internal fracture. However, using them in this way should minimize the possibility that the edge will saw through the stringing material. There’s not much chance of it moving.
The biggest issue I have with these earrings is that the macrame ring — because of its hue — reminds me of “blue ribbon” awards. I may have to cut this apart and remake it (again). The base ring was from a gold-plated chain. It’s easier to tie one of these, by the way, while it’s still attached to the chain and then cut it loose, than it is to cut a link loose and then put knots around it. The attached chain gives one something to hold onto.
The fire-polished beads below the quartz are from the same strand of beads I used in the first image. I’m not sure what the color is called, but it has what looks like an AB (Aurora Borealis) coating.
Right now I’m looking forward to dealing with the materials I have laid out for the necklace I was initially intending to make…while trying to figure out whether to skip to a different project (the one the first pair of earrings inspired). The second will actually necessitate some purchases, however; and I have confirmed that Size 2 Griffin silk will fit through the other pearls.
Yeah, maybe work on the silk one first. I still have to do some design work on it, though…
Earlier tonight I took some pictures referencing what I spoke about in my last (relatively cryptic) post. To recap, I tested out some differing brands of paints which have similar pigments, if not the same pigment. (They did have the same pigment code.) What I found, was kind of interesting.
My “new” paints were Winsor Orange (Red Shade): PO73, second from the left, compared with M. Graham’s Scarlet Pyrrol (also PO73); and Daniel Smith Permanent Yellow Deep: PY110, third from the left, compared with Holbein’s Isoindolinone Yellow Deep (also PY110).
I also tested out M. Graham’s Ultramarine Violet Deep, though that one…I’m going to have to think on. It’s naturally a very delicate color, especially when compared to Dioxazine Violet (which I didn’t include in these photos). It actually reminds me of amethyst.
I am thinking that Ultramarine Violet Deep may pair well with Payne’s Grey. Possibly the other blue-violets, too (Indanthrene?), and maybe Prussian Blue, but my (Winsor & Newton) French Ultramarine does overpower it, used full strength. Of course, though, French Ultramarine is more powerful than regular Ultramarine.
Below, see an image of the relevant test swatches:
It’s kind of faint here, but the Scarlet Pyrrol had a backrun which caused the paint to appear grainy. Winsor Orange Red Shade, however, although it seems a little less powerful in this treatment, is relatively very controlled in its dispersal. I have a close-up of the left two paints:
Hopefully, that’s a bit clearer. The top row is of each paint, wet-on-dry, whereas the bottom row is of each paint, wet-into-wet (I did accidentally touch the two squares). I mentioned quite a while ago that the Scarlet Pyrrol appeared “corroded” in my lightfastness testing, both above and below the strip to block out sunlight. In this test, the water on my brush ran back into the paint and pushed the pigment into what look like little rivulets of more intense red-orange color.
I didn’t obtain the Winsor Orange Red Shade until after the swatches I had made had been exposed to sunlight for four months, so I don’t know how it will fare in lightfastness testing. It does seem a little less intense than the M. Graham, though that could have been because I was using the M. Graham from a dried/rehydrated state and the Winsor & Newton color from a moist state. I also might just not have used enough of the W&N paint.
As for the Daniel Smith Permanent Yellow Deep, I’m very happy with it. It has better dispersal than the Holbein formulation (which just made a line at my last brush stroke), but then Holbein is specifically designed without dispersants. The Holbein is actually noticeably brighter, as well. At this point, I’m not entirely certain how to feel about that…a lot of serious watercolorists do use the more muted colors. (I’d…consider myself a hobbyist, at this point, with the potential for growth.)
I’ve just prepped an image of what PO73 + PY110 look like together, and it’s relatively pleasant! It’s just a little duller than Cotman Cadmium Orange Hue, but I found that the latter actually fades relatively quickly and significantly…which is something to keep in mind when painting florals.
Both orange squares to the right are mixes of PO73 + PY110, while the vertical and horizontal lines are Cotman Cadmium Orange Hue. I’ve altered the Exposure setting on this image to try and undo some of the low light conditions, but it feels pretty close.
I forgot to take “After” pictures of the lightfastness swatches I worked, I just realized; something I should likely record. (They were sitting in the window fading for four months, which showed me which paints not to use. Since then, I haven’t put them back up, pending photographs.)
I’m also seriously and sort of stupidly wondering if I do want to get a tube of Quinacridone Coral, now: I am going to try and get rid of my Grumbacher Deep Vermilion, which leaves a gap in the orange-leaning reds. (The majority of my reds lean violet, which is a pain when I want to paint something red-orange or any kind of warm orange color! [Violet-leaning reds typically don’t yield intense oranges.])
There is a hidden assumption here, for those of you who are new: I’m avoiding cadmium-based pigments (particularly, red, orange, and yellow). Hence, the hunt for safer alternatives. Pyrrol Orange is definitely one of those, as far as I can see, but it has a peach bias.
I’ve found that at this point, there are a number of colors I want to avoid using for serious work. The Grumbacher Deep Vermilion is one of those. I might use it out of its well just to avoid wasting it, but it’s terrible for wet-in-wet work, and it greys out a bit when exposed to direct sunlight.
And for regular blog followers and botany enthusiasts; I have more recent pictures of my succulents, but I’ll put them in another post. 🙂
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!)