May 21, 2014

"Not a single cloud"

"Not a single cloud".
Painted on Polypropylene watercolor paper with random brand craft acrylics.
And inked with Pass Color, Sepia Gouache.
And is for sale HERE.

dig that "real medium" shine.

This is my first time using Polypropylene paper.
The TLDR of it... It's a thin but resilient, bright white sheet of velvety smooth plastic. Meant as a watercolor paper it has a feather light tooth. Allowing for a wide variety of inks, watercolors, gauche and acrylics. And I love it!

To be frank, I hardly have any experience with watercolor. I love the look of the medium and admire those who can whip it good.
On regular watercolor paper I struggle. I didn't know what to expect and had no preconceptions of how it would behave. Therefore all I could do was pinch my nostrils closed and jump right in. And boy did this paper make the water temp a nice pee warm. First off one of the biggest benefits is that it's doesn't warp, wrinkle or buckle! After all it's plastic so there's no worries of water fatigue. You don't have to stretch or mount it. No pre-prep needed you can just start back handing it with all the water you want.
Which exactly what I need. I complain at the end of every year that I hardly have any finished work to show for it. And it's due to my own "every last detail" obsessions. Everything has to be planned perfectly before I make any large moves. Sketches trudge on for weeks as they are worked and reworked. Usually leading to the project being abandoned.
I've been rightly accused of over working an idea right into the ground.
But that's my own personal problem. And I've gotten off track...

This paper was super smooth to work with. I can imagine the lack of tooth may throw some off at the start. Brush strokes just glide over the surface. Like painting on butter with oil. The color medium sits on top of the surface rather than absorbing. Which can take more time to dry for larger puddles of color. Tread lightly if your going to use a hair dryer to speed up drying time. You could very well push any soppy wet color right out of its own brush stoke. Just like blowing ink spiders with a straw when you were a kid. Or heat scorch the paper, causing ripples. As plastic tends to do in the face of a heat source.
One down side is that you have to treat this paper like it's going to be dusted for fingerprints. Any oils on the surface will handicap the medium's ability to stick and can cause it to break off into tiny flakes when passed over again by your brush.
Also the color can be scrapped off if scratched heavily enough. I don't really see that as a con, really. Cause any paper surface can be scuffed, scared or damaged. I see it as a potential plus with this paper. I can envision taking an X-acto blade to it and scratching out intricate patterns or re-revealing white negative space.

In conclusion, a quick note about the inking of this piece.
The inking was done with a Hobby brush. Initially purchased for vinyl custom painting, but the long, slenderly tapered bristles make them great inking brushes. It doesn't matter if your hands are shaky. By the time the tremor travels down the bristles it gets dispersed and you're left with a smooth line. You also get greater control and comfort thanks to the triangular handle grip. These brushes are made for painting tiny details in tiny areas. And that basically my default work setting. I suggest you give em a try!

You can expect I'll be doing more with this paper.

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