08 July 2012

Studio Sunday - Starscape!

Again the heat forced me to improvise... Still too hot for the attic, so I worked in my living room for the prep work and my husband's computer room for the painting, as it's the only room not carpeted yet!

Today I cut the watercolor paper I'm going to insert into the sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. To start, I just laid the open book flat on my watercolor paper and traced around it...

Then I cut just inside my pencil lines. It may not be exactly the same size as the sketchbook paper, but I can always trim that down after I rebind.

One page is going just under the cover, and the other will be my centerfold. I folded each sheet in half, using the handle of my wash brush to make a nice crease.

Then I used a decorative punch (from Fiskars) to give me more cleanly rounded corners and a neat little arc design in each corner. I also painted some lines and stars on the watercolor sheet with white gesso. It won't be a perfect resist for the watercolor, but it will let little stars and shapes randomly peek out from underneath. (I used to get a similar effect with white-out about a decade ago, but they've changed their formula since then; it will ruin your brushes and stick to your skin like super-glue now! I learned that the hard way a few months ago!)

Next comes the starscape... This is a very fast process, as you don't want any of the watercolor to dry until you're done, and I had a larger than usual area to cover. My old starscapes were much smaller pieces.

I quickly laid in a bunch of different colors in random strokes, with Prussian Blue being the dominant one. Once the page was filled, I took some Golden Iridescent Bronze & Silver, and loaded up my round brush with water and paint and flicked it all across the surface. The iridescent acrylic has a similar visual effect on the watercolor to throwing salt on it; it merges the colors together in shimmering puddles and also adds a metallic spattering effect.

And here's a close-up...

Next week, more watercolor starscapes! The other side of this page will need done, as will the centerfold and the cover, which I'll also be adding text to.

Stay cool! (Literally! I love summer but this excessive heat wave needs to end!)

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