Tuesday, February 21, 2017


5 X 7 / Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle 4B on hot press watercolor paper
Since I love black and whites, I thought I'd try a graphite aquarelle pencil on hot press watercolor paper.  The black is deep - like ink.  Values are not my strong suit, so this pencil is made for people like me.  Some lines were drawn with a dry tip and then wet with a brush, and some lines were drawn after the tip was dipped in water.

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As far as journaling goes, I attended a two hour class on alcohol ink on deli paper over the weekend.  Deli paper is a thin translucent material, and is becoming popular with mixed media artists.  It will accept inks, watercolor, gouache & acrylic paint, and is usually used in collage, art journals, and altered books.

Per the teacher's instruction, we covered each individual sheet of deli paper with alcohol ink mixed with blending fluid using small pieces of felt.  When dry, the sheets were India ink stamped with a variety patterns (the teacher loaned us her stamps).

Here are a couple of pieces I did in class.

Deli paper / 12X12 / with alcohol ink & asst'd. stamps

All of the background papers can be stored flat in a box or kept together in a roll.  Our teacher said it was really nice to have a big stash of these printed background sheets so you're ready to go when you're in the mood to journal, but not in the mood to paint.  They can be torn in random pieces or used in one sheet.

I don't think I'll use deli sheets as backgrounds for every journal page, but making them is  relaxing - really a creative pleasure.



37 comments:

  1. I find them to be very pretty and calming, Chris! Thank you so much for sharing. And your watercolour is precious!

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  2. Great information. My husband and I had labs. That is an outstanding portrait.

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    1. Thank you, Helen. We adopted our second lab from a no-kill shelter. He's 13 years old now and still feeling good.

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  3. the inks on the deli paper does create some really nice textures :)

    Very sweet looking Lab :) and the pencil worked to get dark values

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  4. Hello Chris
    Your pencil-painted dog has become simply magical,
    these shades, I never get that.
    I also like this deli paper very well - very creative.
    Greetins from Austria
    Sadie

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    1. Thank you, Sadie. I'm unable to get those shades using watercolor paint, too.
      And the deli paper was fun. Great to do on an occasional basis.
      Stay warm in Austria!!

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  5. hello Chris,
    a very nice portrait of this dog and the prints as they are made is great.
    I like these interiors and you can use them when it is at the right time! There you have learned something again
    Nice day!
    Elke

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    1. Thank you, Elke. It's the learning that's as much fun as the doing.
      Have a really nice day, too!

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  6. It's adorable what you can paint with just one pen!!!
    Do you know this dog personally?
    I think the papers you made would look better without the stamps
    and you could draw on it better that on the stamped one.
    Are there time you are not in the mood to paint or draw but create?

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    1. Thank you, Beo, No, this isn't my dog, but my dog looks just like him (but with a bit of gray - like me).

      About the stamps, I like them but I wouldn't like to use them all of the time. I bought one with some pretty writing on it, and then another with an intricate circle pattern. I like the idea of drawing on the paper, too.

      Yes, there are a LOT of times when I'm not in the mood to paint or draw, but still want to do something creative. That's why I took the deli paper class. Our local craft store offers many classes on scrapbooking, card making, needle felting,... for people who love to create but have no interest in drawing or painting. They make beautiful pieces. And then there are a million ways to be creative everyday - cooking, gardening, decorating. I still want to learn how to knit & quilt. Right now, I'm really enjoying journaling. And I'm limited as to what kind of artwork I can do because we are living in a tiny rental house and looking for a house to buy where we can have some studio space. I think limits and constraints force you to be more creative. If it weren't for these limits, I never would have become interested in journaling and never would have found your blog.

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    2. Thank you so much for your answer!!

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  7. Hello Chris,
    A wonderful aquarel.
    So great how you've done this so well.

    Best regards,
    Marco

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    1. Thank you, Marco. I had to do this three times before it looked right, but it was fun.

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  8. What a beautiful Lab! Great looking background papers too. Looks like you have been having fun.

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. Yes, it's been fun!

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  9. You are a great artist and I am very enthusiastic about everything I see here! I especially like your watercolor batiks, fantastic pictures! I have to come back to see everything with more time.
    Thank you for visiting me ... so I have found you now too.
    Ulrike

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    1. Thank you, Ulkau. I will be back on your site for a long visit with a big cup of coffee.

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  10. I like the textural aspect of the top two ink samples, they remind me a little of the textures of your watercolour batiks and look like they would be nice to draw into. It made me think of Turner when you said about wanting to be creative but not in the mood to paint. I'm sure that is what he was doing with the 'colour beginings' he made in his sketchbook - precolouring pages before using them for sketches.

    Best wishes.

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  11. Thank you, Lisa. And thanks for sharing that about Turner. My friend and mentor always lots of canvasses lined up against the wall that she called her "starts" - similar to what you said Turner was doing in his sketchbooks. She was a big fan of Turner & that may have been what inspired her.

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  12. Chris, great job on the Lab. Jim (my husband)says he looks like our Rosie. She's 11 now and still acts like a puppy. I'm going to try the graphite aquarelle pencils.

    The deli paper journal pages are very interesting. This looks like fun.

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    1. Thank you, Candy. I'm happy you're going to try the pencils - slight learning curve, but fun.
      I wonder if a Lab ever grow up... I had a beautiful yellow Lab, Murphy, and now we have a silly black Lab, Cobie. They are such sweet souls.

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    2. They are definitely sweet. All they want to do is love you.

      Yesterday, I bought a 4B and an HB. Today I experiment:)

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    3. All right! It took me a while to get the feel of the 4B, but it finally worked.

      Another tool that looks really cool is something called the "Elegant Writer Calligraphy Marker." Artist Karlyn Holman made a YouTube demo about it. For some reason, I can't directly link to the video, but it's called "How to use the elegant writer calligraphy marker with artist Karlyn Holman." It's one of Cheap Joe's videos.

      Karyn Holman also wrote a book called "Watercolor - Making Your Mark." I just picked it up from the library & only had time to flip through it, but it's loaded with really interesting stuff.

      Good luck, Candy. Have fun with the pencils. This lab was the THIRD try AFTER I practiced with the pencil, so don't get discouraged.

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  13. I loved your art, the expressions of this dog are really good. he looks very cute and innocent!

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    1. Thank you, Ankita! I will enjoy getting to know you through you lovely blog.

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  14. Dear Chris - your drawing of the beautiful dog is awesome. I too struggle with values and pencil work really helps me as well. Your deli paper work looks great for journal pages. I had never heard or seen this paper - need to make a visit soon to an art store. Those alcohol inks seem to be sweeping the art community as well. Please have a great weekend. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! Yes, alcohol inks are really popular now. They're fun on deli paper and there are tons of YouTube videos out there to help - and you can use the inks on a variety of slick surfaces.

      As far as deli paper goes, I picked mine up at a place called "Cash and Carry." It is a type of restaurant supply company. Remember, this is not wax paper. It's the thinner stuff used to wrap delicatessen sandwiches (also comes in a variety of sizes). Bet you can find it online, but it might be pricier since it is becoming more popular with mixed media artists.

      If you can't find any, just e-mail me and I will be happy to send you some. I bought 1,000 - 12X12 sheets & it literally cost pennies a sheet.

      If you give inks/deli paper a try, hope you have lots of fun.

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  15. Beautiful work as always Chris....the dog is incredible... Enjoy the rest of the weekend!!!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Hilda. Hope you have the best weekend!!

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  16. This is such a beautiful dog-portrait, full of life and expression! And it is made with a graphite aquarelle pencil - so cool! I also struggle with values, and so I will try such a pencil next.
    The deli-paper-artpages are wonderful!
    Rike x

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    1. Thank you, Rike. I've always struggled with values and sometimes have to photo my painting in black and white to see the values better. I know I'm not alone.

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    2. Oh, that's a great idea to make a b/w photo of the painting to see the values, thank you!

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