Playing with some new substrates

I have been playing with two new (to me) substrates by Ampersand: Pastelbord and Aquabord.

Aquabord is fibre board coated with an absorbent clay. The great selling point is that one can create a watercolour painting on the board, coat it with fixative and a spray artist’s quality finish and then display the watercolour without the need for a glass covering. I played with some 5 in x 5 in boards and then launched an ambitious work of  white-on-white peonies on a 20 in x 24 in board. WAY TOO AMBITIOUS. The clay surface is not nearly as absorbent as watercolour paper and the pigments lift off all too easily. I have put it aside to take some deep breaths and let frustrations fade. I still like the concept of creating a very delicate watercolour that will not need to be glazed…

Pastelbord was developed for dry pastels. It is coated with a sanded acrylic layer. It is a very aggressive surface for coloured pencils. In the interest of creating a little demonstration (for our exhibit of pencil work) of using a sanded surface with coloured pencils, I drew this water lily on a 5 in x 7 in dark grey board.

Water lily on tinted sanded board, 2012. Trish M Murphy

Peonies on synthetic paper

In an experimental mood a while ago, I acquired some synthetic paper, Yupo. It is a brilliant white and very smooth but I found it saturated almost instantly and would not accept colour. I could not build up layers of deep or brilliant colour on it and gave up on the stuff after several tries. The best colour I managed was with Inktense by Derwent. I had in the back of my mind that if I used a particularly vivid colour for a very pale and delicately coloured flower, it might just work. Well, I did  the experiment and here are the results:

Inktense on Yupo, approx 9 x 12 in, 2011.
Inktense on yupo, approx 9 x 12 in, 2011.

Brilliant colour in wood lilies

Native wood lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) are brilliant orange or vermillion. (Or yellow, on Manitoulin Island.) The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds and they cannot afford to by shy. Portraying that brilliant colour was my first concern in drawing these lilies. I used the same sketch in June in an attempt to use Yupo as a substrate and I gave up the attempt – Yupo is a brilliant white but I could not find a way to get it to accept a saturated colur built up from several layers. This week I returned to my lilies, this time using traditional coloured pencils (mostly Prismacolor) on watercolour paper. Continue reading Brilliant colour in wood lilies