Testing the Waters

I’m working on a project that required a new technique. If you followed my last several posts, you’ll know what technique I’m talking about. I did a mixed media illustration in which I completed the pen and ink portion, then soaked and stretched the illustrated paper.

Test sheet, pen and ink, watercolor, watercolour

Test sheet.

I didn’t do this without testing my inks first. I took nearly every ink pen that I had available for drawing and wrote with it on a piece of watercolor paper. This included some color inks too. The refillable inks used were Platinum Carbon Black in the Yuketake Brush Pen, and the Pentel brand ink in the Pentel Brush pen. I put down the brand and type/size as my test lines. Then I soaked and stretched the paper. I dabbed off the excess water and let the paper dry. All inks came through the stretching without running. You can see the process in https://theforesterartist.com/2015/01/25/steam-donkey-wip-update/

I selected three watercolor brushes to use for painting over the lines. First I applied Viridian with a 1/2″ flat brush, fairly gently. No problem with running here. Next I applied Cadmium Red with a #12 round. I swirled in the paint without incident. Finally, I applied Cadmium Yellow with a stipple brush. I scrubbed it in with the stiff bristles. I fully expected the ink lines to degrade. It didn’t happen. All the pens I tested proved acceptable.

You may wonder, why not just draw it out after the paper is stretched. It’s just my preference. I like drawing detailed pen and ink on a firm surface. I also like a drawing board I can handle wherever I choose. The stretched watercolor paper is fairly firm, but I like a firmer surface for drawing. I also like having all my pencil guide lines erased before soaking. Erasing can put more pressure on the paper and I don’t like doing it on a stretched surface. Also, soaked pencil lines are very difficult to erase after they’ve been soaked and dried. Once the ink drawing is done I erase the pencil. This is why I decided to try soaking and stretching after the pen and ink was complete.

The Misery Whip – The Final

Watercolor, watercolour, logging, historic, crosscut saw, misery whip, auction, art

The Misery Whip.

Here it is, the final painting.  I hope you like it.

Now that I finally have time to catch my breath, here is what happened since my last post.  I left work and rushed home. I had about 20 or 30 minutes of painting left to do.  When I finished the painting, we had about an hour and 5 minutes before we had to be at the dinner auction.  I cut the mat and framed it.  With that complete, we got ourselves ready and ran out the door. We arrived at the dinner, and presented the painting to the master of ceremonies so he could put it on display.  After an excellent prime rib dinner the auction began.

This auction is a fund-raiser for the Education Fund of the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference.  The money goes for forestry education for local students.  The money supports Education Day for local 4th graders to tour the conference, that is where Mary gave her presentation, https://theforesterartist.com/2013/02/08/the-misery-whip-home-stretch/ .  They also support the local college logging sports team, scholarships and a Spring woods tour, among other things.

Now back to the auction.  The painting was item 30 out of 50.  Not a bad place to be.  If it is too early, some folks are holding back, keeping their powder dry, so to speak.  Too late in the evening and many bidders start to leave.  The bidding seemed to be going pretty high during the early portion of the auction.  I was encouraged.  Finally, The Misery Whip was up.  Bidding started at $200.  The bidding was short and frantic.  Then, “SOLD” to the high bidder for $900.  I was very happy to see my effort contribute to bringing in so much to the charity fund.  I could not see who the bidder was.

Mary runs our booth at the conference, so on top of everything else we had been preparing for the conference and getting product ready.  As a result Mary and I were exhausted and were planning to go home after the painting was auctioned, but I had a ticket for a drawing at the end.  Since, we did not want to stay that late, I took the ticket to a friend from work who would be there for the drawing.  He was sitting in the area of the high bidder, so I asked him who it was.  He said “it was me”!  He told me when he saw it on display he was determined to buy it and it was his way of owning a piece of me.  I was flattered and humbled.  Thank you Ted.  I’m really glad he got it.

After weeks of getting to bed after mid-night, last night Mary and I were in bed by 7pm and slept for 12 hours.  The truck is unloaded.  Now it is time to fall back and regroup.  All in all, I would say it was a very successful conference.