|Nostalgia (in large format) work in progress 24 x 38|
This week I'm tackling full sheet painting. I'm working on a large version of the 6x6 I have in the Randy Higbee exhibit. I will admit I've been slightly intimidated with the size of it. Even the preparation for working at this size was more complicated. I stretch my paper, so the first step to this process was buying a half sheet of plywood. Once I had that polyurethaned both sides I was able to stretch my paper. I work out of my dining room and a half sheet of plywood is pretty much all encompassing. I could cut down the plywood, but I may want to do some even larger paintings so at the moment I'm leaving it as it. I am going to back up and tell you how I stretch my paper because I had a conversation with another watercolor artist last week and learned that we do things very differently. I wet my paper completely both sides in the shower. I just turn on the shower and hold it in the stream for a few minutes manipulating it to make sure the entire thing gets wet. I then lay this flat on my board and staple around the entire paper about 1/2" from the edge and about every 2 inches or so. After this dries, and it always looks scary during the drying process, full of waves, and every time I think that is not going to dry flat and it always does. It takes about a day to dry.
|my stretched paper on my very large board|
During this time I work out my drawing on another sheet of paper. I do my drawing to scale and after my paper is completely dry I transfer it using graphite paper. I make my own graphite paper. I learned this from a fellow artist during a workshop. Take a sheet of tracing paper, cover it entirely with graphite using a graphite stick (not a fun job) after it is completely covered wipe it down with a paper towel damp with rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid. I have used both and find rubbing alcohol to work better. After you've wiped it down, take a cloth or paper towel and rub it down again to get the residual graphite off of the paper. The paper becomes almost impregnated with the graphite. It works very well. I think it is worth making your own because any store bought paper I've used leaves a lot of heavy graphite on the watercolor paper while you're transferring the drawing. I like a light pencil line.
|my home-made graphite paper|
I also use a mechanical pencil to transfer my drawing, they are great, always sharp and very fine lines. As soon as the drawing is transferred I'm off and running and ready to paint. I paint section by section and mostly wet on dry. I do use wet on wet techniques in controlled areas. I like to complete one area at a time so I can see how it's going to turn out. I don't leave that area until I'm satisfied and it is in the final stage, of course at the end I may go back and tweak here and there, but for the most part I want it completed before I move on to the next section.
|My painting in stages. The blue stuff is tape, I tape off the edges so that I'm left with nice crisp border when I'm done. |
|A look at my work area/dining room|
I do want to give a shout out to the great and talented Julie Hill
who gave me some pointers on painting large scale and has been terrific moral support. Check out her work it's beautiful! That is just one of many things I love about blogging, the support and friendship is invaluable:)
Steven did do a painting this week. Should I be worried? Maybe he's in a black period, but at 4 years old!
Have a great week everyone!!
Wow, that's really interesting, Carrie. A lot of work goes into your paintings. Thanks for sharing your process.ReplyDelete
That is so cool Carrie! I am SO impressed with how this painting is coming along, and that you are so brave to even attempt it! You're just awesome. :) And I loved reading about your process, that was very interesting. Good luck with finishing it!ReplyDelete
Hola , descubro su blog, muy interesante y con unas acuarelas magníficas , enhorabuena.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed reading about the process you do to prepare your work surface for painting. Can't believe you make your own graphite paper! Since I know nothing about painting, why do you staple your paper onto the front instead of the back? Or do you remove the staples so they are not visible? Can't wait until one day, you hear the shower running and find one of the kids getting a piece of paper wet.....
Your painting is looking beautiful already. Please send some of your sunny, warm weather up here; I'm sick of the rain! Hope you all feel better soon!
I was so enthralled in reading about your process, and the great photo documentation,.....all the while cheering you on...that I was shocked when I got to the shout out!! thanks so much. I am so excited for you...this is a magnificent piece...and should be entered into one of the national Watercolor Shows (I think the next deadline coming up is Watercolor West). I so enjoyed our chat the other day...and look forward to many more. You go Girl!ReplyDelete
P.S....what's the deal with making your own graphite paper....it like you are pulling a "Martha Stewart" on us other artists! :)ReplyDelete
Exquisite so far!! And Steven's work is really taking a different direction.ReplyDelete
Carrie, what a great project! Thank you for sharing with us the steps in your process. Large formats are daunting, I agree with you. But with a large format, we discover many new things, we gain the trust and is a joy. I look forward to seeing the final result. Come on Carrie!!ReplyDelete
Steven : bravo ! Bises to you both.
Super job Carrie on the rustic-ness of the chair. It is so real, I want to grab it and sit on it with cup of coffee on the front porch :) Oh wait a minute I have to wait until it's done !ReplyDelete
This was wonderful to read and learn about the process you go through. I really enjoyed it and admire your work even more! Wow! This big piece is going to be beautiful and can't wait to see! Keep it up:)ReplyDelete
Hi Carrie!, you are not to have afraid:to do a small work is like the big one,only it needs a bit more of time...of fat, this remaining marvellous...ReplyDelete
It's great to see how you begin something like this. I can certainly learn from posts like this :0)ReplyDelete
Kudos on your painting! I can't wait to see the finished product.ReplyDelete
informative and inspiring post! Thanks for taking the time to give such detailed instructions.ReplyDelete
It is looking great Carrie. I used to paint on a piece of wood too. But it was heavy and over the years the water made the sealer ware off. I now use gatorboard to stretch my watercolors. The shower is a good idea to wet the paper. I use a large, narrow, plastic bin that is used for wall papering. It can be found at a hardware store. I fill it about 1/3 full of water and pull my paper in and out of the water until it is completely soaked. Good luck with this. I think you will like the large size!ReplyDelete
Beautiful work, Carrie! And I love your red glass chicken for the Chicken Challenge.ReplyDelete
i am stunned! this is going to be an astounding piece. i cannot wait to see this evolve. thank you for sharing your process, you are incredibly gifted. just astounding!ReplyDelete
So fun to see the steps in process, Carrie. Hope you have an incredible weekend! xxReplyDelete
This is amazing! Your work is beautiful and you've explained your process so well. Thanks for sharing it!ReplyDelete
Incredible!! I wouldn't even know where to begin. This is going to be an amazing piece. Thanks for sharing your process with us and look forward to seeing it finished.ReplyDelete