Friday, August 8, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam and REALLY big koi!

We just returned from a lovely mid-week holiday with the family to London, Ontario. We stayed at the beautiful Lamplighter Inn and let me tell you, the Koi were so big and vibrant that I'm sure I'll be painting up some fish pretty soon!

Today, however, it was time to try and get back to work. I was dabbling with the idea of some lost and found seaside objects, or Flotsam and Jetsam if you prefer. Working from a fun little reference photo with low resolution had its ups and downs, and it took me 3 tries to get 3 different paintings. The first painting was done with no plan at all. I drew the basic shapes and then started painting willy-nilly. Obviously that didn't work in this case because I had no idea what the value relationships were between objects. I ended up with a wishy-washy painting that needed ink and gouache to save it:

2.5 x 3.5 inches

The second time around, I decided to ONLY focus on 2 values, for a fun little exercise. So I wet the paper and laid down a wet-in-wet mix of Aureolin (yellow), Opera Rose (pink) and Turquoise. Once that dried, I painted in some objects using masking fluid. I was working without a pencil sketch here - just getting a feel for the values.
When the masking fluid was dry, I laid in a final wash of dark blues and greens. When that was dry, I rubbed off the rubbery film from the masking fluid and this is what was left:

Flotsam & Jetsam
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches)
$8 at

Then I said (in my best Cher impression from Moonstruck) "Christy, snap outta it" and got to work. I liked the seahorse best, so I sketched it first. Working outwards I continued connecting shapes until I reached each edge of the paper. I painted the contrasting background first and then went back with the colors. A different approach each time around - and a great exercise in studying the relationship that darks, middle tones and lights have within a composition.

2.5 x 3.5 inches
$10 at

At least one of these paintings will be going to the client requesting the original work, and then the other 2 will end up in my Etsy store. I'll post a link when they are listed.

The first painting was the client's favourite (even after I did the lighter version in the next post) so that means I've listed the Masking Fluid/resist technique one for sale in my Etsy store along with the new version.
***The Masking fluid version sold at Etsy on Aug.10/08 so I've gone ahead and listed the last painting in the series so far - you can view and purchase it here***


Anonymous said...

Looks great! I love reading about your process and seeing the different paintings (:

Terry Banderas said...

Your little paintings are quite nice. It's fun just to play sometimes.

Christy DeKoning said...

Katelyn, thank you for visiting today - haven't seen you in ages it seems!

Terry, you're right about that - no pressure, just some quick fun.

I do think that what these pieces really need is a fresh eye, WITHOUT the reference photo - and maybe some crisp white paper as the contrast, instead of the dark stones that I was seeing in the photo. Yes, that's what I'll do today!