7/7/19 - First Nebula Attempt

7/7/19 - First Nebula Attempt - student project

I'm using Arches 300lb cold pressed, and W&N tube paints.  I have one quill brush and several round, but not sure if my quill counts as a "mop."  I just used what I had.  I'm not unhappy with the brushes, I'm just not sure that I really understood how to go about the strokes.  Laura explained well, but I think there's something to be said for having a class with a teacher there to tell you if your form is wrong.  I feel I could have used that kind of help. :) I definitely need more practice.  I'm still trying to decide if I'm patient enough for this. lol  I haven't done a lot of working with layers before, and I used a lot here.  Usually when I'm supposed to work in layers, I get impatient and start re-working before everything is dry enough, and then I ruin things.  I tried to hold back more this time. ;)


It's late and my painting is still "drying" a bit (it's basically dry, but I think the paper is still holding some water and is buckled big time) so I'm waiting for it to dry thoroughly and for daylight before posting a real picture of my finished project.  The one at the top was taken while still drying, and at night in artificial light, so I know I need some daylight to get a better shot.  However, my trademark impatience has me putting something down in the projects now so I don't forget my thoughts later.


I didn't have liquid watercolor, so I don't know if that made a significant difference in my black - probably not - but the black seemed to be almost too thick by the time I was done.  But I'm also still a slow painter, so things were drying quickly.  I also didn't have white chalk or a white pen, so I used my bottle of W&N white ink for the stars.  I used both the brush tapping method and a little bit of toothbrush flicking for the smaller stars.  I know she warned against overdoing it, but I like how the smaller and larger stars look together and give a little bit of depth as well.  I definitely have experience in overdoing it, so it was nice to hear that reminder.


I used a 9x12 sheet of paper, but taped off to a working size of about 6x9.  I struggle with the blending, I know... I am afraid to let the black in.  I want bright, light, vivid colors, and the black takes that away.  I know I should trust the process, but it's difficult.  I also find myself wanting to start off with wet-on-wet for my first layer.  Maybe I'll try that sometime.


I'm not giving up on this.  I'm not 100% satisfied with my first attempt, but I think I will practice and see if I improve.  Maybe I'll learn some patience too.  Here's my "day after" photo:

7/7/19 - First Nebula Attempt - image 1 - student project

I think this photo definitely looks better than the other, but my camera isn't quite capturing it accurately.  Things look a little brighter in this photo than they actually are.  My husband liked it, but suggested brighter colors in the future.  I think I agree. :)

Mandy Luhn
I want to learn all the things.