How’s everyone doing so far this year? Made some progress on a goal you’ve set?
As for me, I’ve been trying to experiment with new techniques for creating artwork, mostly in the traditional sense. It’s actually been a hot minute since I have created anything digitally. Recently though, I have been feeling spontaneous with my creative processes. I have been finding myself sitting at my work desk, then hit on the head with inspiration to paint, or sketch out an idea. Recently an idea appeared to me a few weeks ago. All that I saw was water, and bright orange goldfish. As soon as I could, I immediately took a piece of illustration board and did a painting:
Lovingly called “Merfish”, this painting was the result of a spontaneous burst of inspiration. I believe every artist has had moments like this. An idea strikes, and you HAVE to make it a reality no matter what. Sometimes they don’t translate as well as intentioned, but I found that “Merfish” may be one of my favorites pieces I’ve made in a while. I’m a fan of the colors; I used two complementary hues together (blue water, orange fish; red clothes and green hair), and used plenty of mixed media techniques. There’s gouache, colored pencil, white pen, and ink wash jammed into this little piece of illustration board.
Just so you know, “Merfish” is available on my Etsy shop if you would like a print, or even the original piece. To be honest, it may be hard to part with the original piece; I try not to get too attached to my art, but dang, I’m proud of this one.
Along with creating that piece, I have taken to painting with acrylics on scraps of cardboard lately. I noticed some saved cardboard from packaging that had to be painted on. As a result, I made this piece:
To be honest, it was more of an experiment to see how the paint would look on the cardboard. Seeing as cardboard is a mid-tone color, it’s easy to push darker values back and bring forward highlighted areas. Anyone who has worked with mid-tone paper knows how nice it is to make drawings using black and white charcoal pencils. It reminds me of a piece I made in college that I was really proud of back then:
Figure drawing was one of the classes in college that really helped me improve.
But anyways, watered down acrylic and cardboard might be one of my new favorite combos. Cardboard takes watered down acrylic surprisingly well, something I discovered after the experimental piece I created today:
I am a huge fan of building the layers of acrylic onto the cardboard; it almost looks like watercolor or gouache. When I used thicker layers, like on the wings, it creates this texture that looks nice against thinly layered acrylic. For this angel girl I painted, I did around 4 layers of paint for her skin and hair, making sure to change the water-to-paint ratio every time. For other places like her eyes and the wings, I thickened the paint. For a little extra flair, her top is the cardboard, which it’s a little hard to see. It was a fun experiment that opened the door to more ideas I have for acrylic and cardboard that I would like to implement in future pieces. Maybe I’ll actually buy some illustration boards to look more professional, but to be honest, I’m really feeling the scrappy, cardboard look. I even had someone come up to me and say I should continue making cardboard pieces.
Fact of the matter is, sometimes it’s good to let the creative spirit come out when it strikes. I don’t know where these spontaneous burst are coming from, but they are allowing me to learn and experiment with different techniques which I would have never thought of before.
Truth is, I could talk about art techniques all day. Art is truly my passion, and illustrating feels like the only thing I’m good at. If you all enjoy reading my rambles about art, let me know, I would like to keep the discussion going about different artistic techniques, and hear advice from other creatives. Artist grow when surrounded by other artists, at least that’s how it seems.
If you all would like to see my artistic journey, I have an Instagram, @allas_art. I try to post as frequently as I can, even if it’s just a little Insta story. If you’re interested in supporting me, I have an Etsy, AllasArtStore, where I sell prints, original pieces, and stickers. I would like to become a full time, self-employed artist someday, and even a little support goes a long way!
Coming up next, I have a few things in the works that I would like to share with you, but it’ll have to wait for a while. So keep up with me on instagram to see what I have cooking up.
Enjoy the warm weather, and have a productive April!