I am still doing the Art-Ober challenge with my friend Ruth Inman. The Facebook page is called “Art journaling Secrets Unleashed” and there are quite a few folks playing along.
Some of the challenges, like “sea life” or “alcohol”, have connected with me, a memory or a place I love. But others are more generic, like “stars” and “circles”.
So, for those, I have been trying out new techniques, new ways of making pictures besides just painting with a brush. Tracing, splattering, sponge printing… these are new to me and I am figuring them out.
Tuesday’s challenge was “pumpkins”. I like pumpkins, but couldn’t think of any interesting way to paint one. So I made some stencils. First, I painted the night sky and some ground in watercolors.
Then I cut a pumpkin stencil and started layering on colors in acrylic. I used a brush, a sponge, and even that netting that is used to bag avocados.
The purple background kept showing through my orange, but I persevered, layering on the colors. Wanting to distract myself from the muddy looking pumpkin, I cut a stencil for the moon and laid down some white and blue with a bit of rubber mat. I liked how that turned out, because it was fine that some of the sky showed through.
Looking back at the pumpkin, I realized it was muddy from the purple AND flat. I laid in lines for shadows with acrylic and when that didn’t work, tried some micron lines and Posca market highlights.
But the darn purple still showed through! After a long walk to the market and lunch, Auntie Bridgett Spicer suggested an orange Posca marker to bring some really bright orange to the picture. It was finally good enough for me to stop.
If I were to do this same picture again, I would use the pumpkin shaped cut-out from the stencil to mask the paper way back when I put in the sky, so the pumpkin would have been painted on white instead of purple, which would eliminate the muddiness.
I still am not totally happy with it, but it is better. And better, every day, is all I can ask.