Hello again, it’s been sometime!
It’s hard to believe we are in October already and that my last blog was in April! In todays blog post I’m sharing my process of using watercolours & old book pages by using a special watercolour ground to prepare different papers.
Like many people I find my emotions and things happening in daily life can affect my interests, inspirations and my creativity. Following a family bereavement at the beginning of June I didn’t feel creative or excited about the idea of painting for several months. To start with I whittled I ought to be painting, writing my newsletters or blog posts as I normally would. However I realised I needed to give myself some time. If you’ve read my previous posts, newsletters or follow me on social media you’ll know how much I enjoy keeping a sketchbook or two on the go.
Getting Going Again
Once I started to regain my mojo I allowed myself to simply explore ideas in my sketchbooks, gradually losing myself in the creative process rather than working on full paintings.
One of the things I’ve been having fun with has been using different papers, such as old book pages or scrapbooking sheets as part of the base for watercolour sketches.
Ordinarily papers produced for watercolours have been specially prepared with a size to allow the paint to flow across the surface. However this isn’t the case with old book pages, on these I find the paint often sinks into the paper a little bit like blotting paper making it difficult to blend and move the watercolours.
To overcome this I first prepare book pages and other printed papers with a special watercolour ground before using them for a sketch or painting.
Watercolours & Old Book Pages
The first stage is to cover the back of the book page with adhesive, I use Bindex an acrylic binder, before sticking it on to a sheet of watercolour paper. The page needs gently smoothing down all over to make sure any air bubbles are removed before leaving it to dry.
Once the adhesive has completely dried I then carefully brush a thin even layer of the special watercolour ground over both the printed page and the surrounding watercolour paper. I tend to cover all of it with a thin layer of transparent ground leaving it to dry for at least a day before applying a second coat.
After the sheet has dried for 24 hours I then apply another thin layer of ground. For the second layer I use either the Transparent Ground again or I may choose to use a Titanium White Ground or a mixture of both.
Soft Hints Of Lettering
Sometimes I like to have lots of the text showing whereas on others sketches I leave just a hint of the base writing to show through the watercolour washes. I do like how the print give quite a different feel a watercolour sketch.
There are various different brands of watercolour grounds available. The ones I’ve been using are from Daniel Smith.
The process of preparing the different papers to use with watercolours does mean I have to plan ahead and be patient, something I’m not very good at when I’m excited about an idea!
I hope you’ve found this interesting and perhaps inspired to have a go yourself. I’d love to hear how you get on or if you have any favourite sketchbook techniques.
It’s great to be sharing my ideas, thoughts and inspirations again, I’ll try not to leave it so long next time!
I’ll be sharing more news about my art, tuition and future plans in my next newsletter including exclusive newsletter subscribers offers. If you’d like to receive my newsletters there’s a simple form on the homepage.
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