in which I use aquabord …

I tried something new!! And didn’t completely fail at it!

So let’s start off with some of the positives …

First and foremost … y’all. Stakiwi Colours is just amazing, and I will be using her paints as much as I possibly can afford. She’s based out of New Zealand, so be prepared to wait a little bit before your watercolors arrive, but trust me, it’s worth it. I may have gasped when I first applied Spanish Dancer to one of my sketchbook pieces, and I was just as delighted when I used Sunset Peach on the hair here. Just look at the sparkle in the second image. Look at it.

Second, I think I’m getting better at laying out my pieces. I’m still a bit lopsided, which I tried to balance out with the positioning of the hair, but I’m happy with the result! My symmetry is also improving, enough so that I actually commented to myself that they eyes actually mostly match.

Third, like I said in my opener, I experimented! Not a lot, mind you, but I tried something new and didn’t just give up after I messed up. This also got my mind opening a bit to trying other things, like maybe even adding some colorful inks to my work or playing with different colors on the skin and yet still making it look like skin or using white space just as much as black space. I’m actually inspired for the first time in a bit, and I want to keep this momentum going.

But, onto the … less than stellar.

I’m not sure I like Aquabord. It’s a good possibility that it’s just because of the media I use normally. I liked how the watercolors absorbed and how quickly it dried – which allowed me to work much more speedily than I do with paper – but I didn’t want to damage my ink pens on the rougher surface. Then the matte black graphite just looked a lot more grainy than I wanted it to – again, because of the surface – and honestly, it just looks a bit messy to me. Granted, part of that is because I just kinda decided, “you know what, I’m done with this,” so I may let this one sit for a while and revisit it, maybe make some changes.

One of the changes I’d make is to make the background more dramatic, maybe bring in some black, to really accentuate the hair. I went with grey initially because I got some graphite smudges on the Aquabord and didn’t want to damage the surface with an eraser, but now it just kind of makes the rest of the piece blend too much together. I wanted to focus on the hair because of the sheer gorgeousness of the Sunset Peach I mentioned above, and I think I missed the mark there.

I also really need to slow down and get the foundation of the piece correct. I didn’t realize until it was too late, but her ears are two completely different sizes; I’d been looking at them as two separate entities instead of as parts of the whole face. So I think I’m going to focus on getting that shit down in my sketchbooks, maybe even do some life studies at the park or something. Being a self-taught artist is really hard, y’all. Part of me wishes I was in art school instead of nursing school, but …

Speaking of which, I have a presentation and quite a bit of homework I have to do, so off I go!

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