Marlys' Watercolor Projects

Negative Space Activity!

I think I did alright on the lines. But I was also trying to do a gradient at the same time, which, turns out, is not well suited for this type of activity. I struggled to keep wet puddles all over the page, as I was tracing lines and continually mixing paint, which did not make for a smooth gradient. And I kept trying to make the black darker at the edges. And then it wasn't blending well. So frustrating!

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I really liked the butterfly design I drew though. So when I watched the masking fluid lesson, I thought, perfect! I can take a second shot at this design!

I didn't want to draw it again from scratch. I wondered for a few minutes about how I could trace the original design. And then I realized I was sitting at a glass table. All I needed was a lamp on the floor, and voila, I suddenly had a lightbox!

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So here's my masking fluid activity. I purposely applied the masking fluid roughly, to take advantage of the texture I'd never be able to replicate with just negative space.

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I still don't love how the gradient turned out, but I think this one came out looking more intentional than the first. Ana, do you have any good tips for creating a smooth radial gradient?

Here's my White Ink activity, based off a photo of actual jellyfish. I also wanted to try the galaxy technique again from the beginners' class. Last time I was afraid to overlap the layers because I wanted to preserve all the cool texture details and colors. Ana's feedback was to overlap the layers more. So... TaaDaa. :) I like how this one turned out. A lot.

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Cloud Texture Activity!

Here's my painting:

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I didn't do straight-up white acrylic - I mixed it with some dark blue, some purple. Because here's the photo I was inspired by:

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Clearly I have some things to learn though :) Ana, any tips for recreating this look?

Final Project! Again, the galaxy technique that I love so much.

I started by tracing a cup for the moon shape (so I could cover it with the same cup later when I splattered!) Then I drew the letters very lightly, to get an idea of how much space they'd take up. Then I drew a little line above and below each letter, then erased the letters. I left the lines as guides for where/how big to paint each letter. Then I mixed some light purple paint, and made the letters. Then I covered the letters with masking fluid, and erased the guide lines. Then I outlined and started painting the cloud gradients. When I needed to switch colors, I used the extra paint left in my brush to start the galaxy layers! Which made for minimal paint waste :) When the cloud gradients were done, I finished up the galaxy, being careful to leave negative space for the moon, and for the words "The" and "Of." I almost biffed it right at the end and nicked a little corner of the E. Oops! Then I spent three evenings trying to get the white paint texture to show up over the clouds.

Negative Space: Moon, and the words "The" and "Of"

Masking Fluid: The rest of the words (I painted the words first in light purple). So tricky to work with! My gosh!

White Acrylic Texture: Clouds, stars, splatter

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In hindsight, I would have done a different gradient on the clouds (purple/pink on top, dark blue on bottom).

And for whatever reason, the teal in the clouds kept bleeding into my white acrylic like there's no tomorrow. I must have at least 6 coats of white acrylic on top of the teal, but you can hardly see any really white spots.

On to the texture class next!  :)

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