Recently I discovered how much fun it is to make my own stamps…using play foam sheets, and scraps of mat board. 🙂
I originally wanted to make a few to use in my mixed media paintings, because to buy stamps at the craft store requires a small fortune!! ugh!
Anyway, I had seen it done in one of my many art reference books, and being that play foam is about $1-2/package of 4 sheets at the dollar store, and I have loads of scrap mat board gathering dust, it was looking like a nice economical option.
So, I set out to make some swirls, and ended up making hills, a tree, flowers, hearts, peace signs, a sea horse, a sun, a dolphin, and even a whole mountain landscape(not pictured)! I couldn’t seem to stop…it was so much fun! I made a few more than one or two that night! lol
I just cut the shapes, used white glue to attach them to the mat board, then when they were stuck, distressed them with various metal tools, to get texture marks, and add interest.
They work well even with full strength watercolour! I am happy with how they turned out. 🙂
I also tried to make stencils with a glue gun. It was loads of fun to do, too! Haven’t tried them yet, though. I need to figure out how to make them lay flatter! 😛
Watercolor painting is not what I would call my forte. I have never taken painting with them too seriously, but I love to dabble in that medium from time to time. For me, they are just intuitive and delicate little studies…in color, shape, & mark making. Relaxing, to say the least. I can get completely lost, like I do when I am in “the zone” with my acrylics, but it is a different feeling…more like floating on another plane of existence, I suppose. lol
There is some delicacy with acrylics, like when I do extreme detail, but it is also different. With watercolors, for me, it is a very dreamy-like delicacy. My colors(not always, however) tend to be softer. The water takes care of that, although they can be strong as well, and that is one of the things I love about it. Depending on the wetness of the paper, the color can be as strong as I want, or as barely there as I want, while all still maintaining a sort of softness, that I can’t get with acrylics. I also love to play with masking fluid, salt, and other effects, to take it to unexpected new places, whereby then I try to see shapes, or whatever. I never know where it will take me, and that is part of the appeal of doing abstracts in any medium! 🙂
I LOVE my “water brush”! Except for the smallest detail work, or when I need a separate clean brush for wetting the paper with clean water, as I go, I pretty much just use it alone. It is VERY convenient to have that water reservoir! No dipping in water required! It came with my particular watercolor set, and I had no idea it would be so wonderful! 😀 Also, it has held its tip point remarkably well for being almost 4 years old! Sometimes, like today, I hold it in my right hand to lay down the color, while in the other hand, I have a brush for keeping the paper wet, or to blend as I go. I was thinking today, as I did this, how it felt kind of like playing an instrument. I know…I’m a little weird. 😛
I tend to like lots of delicate themes, as well…flowers, hearts, swirls, circles, and squiggles. My favourite tool for going back to add them, after the paint has dried, is a wonderful illustration pen with a double point. One end is a bendy, paintbrush like nib, and the other end is a very pointy, but stable nib. I can get super delicate black lines with it….perfect for doing dreamy little doodles, and the smallest of details! I learned early though, that it has to go on last, and can’t get wet(unless I want it to for whatever effect), or it just runs black all over the place!
I have a special table away from my other painting area, where I like to sit and play with my watercolors. I have my tea, and usually 60s “hippie music”, haha, or soft rock playing. Both inspire me….
It is also my sewing area, as once in a while I feel the urge to quilt. Yes…many interests, not enough time!! It is a clean area compared to my painting area, and the art desk where I make my jewelry. I don’t use my OTT light over there, just soft desk lamp lighting. The white, natural light of the OTT lights is a must for my acrylic painting, and I have two, since the room I paint in does not get enough natural light through its one window. For my watercolors, though, I am not as concerned with it. I like the softer , warmer feel of the “yellow” light, as it helps set the mood for the particular subject matter I like to do with the watercolors. Funny that they actually turn out! 😛
Anyway, I’ve been watercolor painting, here and there, over the last few weeks….late at night, sometimes in the afternoon…between trying to come up with inspiration to do another acrylic, and trying to just relax my sometimes chaotic mind! I bought a small watercolor sketchbook of sorts, and do it on a small scale, without ripping the pages out, or even sizing the paper. Maybe one day I will feel so inclined to take watercolors more seriously, and do larger pieces with a plan in mind, but for now, it is just a little side trip… a happy, delicate, and dreamy little escape….. 🙂