P L A Y !
 I love experimenting when I'm working on projects, especially when I want to introduce a new texture or paint layer. By creating your own textures your work has a unique feel to it that many digital illustrations are lacking.  I often use layers of ink, paint or watercolor and other mixed medias all in a single illustration to add to the depth of the painting.

Lately I've been obsessed with using graphite and playing with graphite and water on top of Yupo paper (my favorite). Here are some examples of my own experimentations. Some of these work for my illustrations and some of them end up just being fun play time for me to loosen up and let my mind wander. Either way by creating and discovering new possibilities you gain and so does your work.

Above is a sheet of Yupo paper that I had wet with water and then sprinkled with graphite powder, letting the water carry the graphite thus creating interesting water patterns within the powder as it moves, shifts, and dries. When it dried I poured a self leveling gel on top of it so that the I wouldn't disturb any of the loose powder that had dried.

This was an interesting technique for me to attempt. In this one I wet a brush before dipping it into the graphite powder and coated the Yupo paper in this manner and let it dry. Then simply using water to lift up the graphite that I had laid down earlier I created different strokes on the left side. On the right side I wet my fingertips with water and lifted the graphite by tapping on the paper. 

This is an example of using graphite powder and a dry brush on bristol paper that is a great easy way to create smoke like textures. I love love this technique and its wonderful for achieving a grainy background texture. (As you can see this scan was a fail, as a big clump of cat hair got stuck to the paper during drying after I sprayed the paper with clear spray). 


While this isn't graphite its another fun use of the Yupo paper with ink. This was an experiment using a watercolor technique called "wet on wet"and dropping ink pigment and water into pools of already saturated paper. Very Rorschach test. 

Dura-lar is a clear acetate usually sold in sheets that you can use wet mediums on that will dry (eventually) much like Yupo paper. I've used Dura-lar for many projects, its great for experimenting with layers using watercolor and acrylic paint. It's much like painting on glass or plastic which makes it very interesting and very unpredictable.  


 Odd materials are also fun to play with, for example you wouldn't think to paint ink or watercolor on linen canvas (at least I wouldn't). But I recently tried it and was pleasantly surprised by the results. It was much like ancient paintings on raw silk. You could also try other materials like glass, metal, or wood. I would use something flat that is you're able to scan and lay flat. Try unusual pairings: watercolor with metal or wood, ink with glass, glue on glass, ect. The possibilities are endless. 

This is a simple example of mindless play at work. I do pages and pages of these in my sketchbooks just to see what happens. This was with rubber cement and different inks, which is why there are different pigments happing on the page. I don't know if its all that useful for my work but it is interesting tonally.            

I hope that you enjoyed my simple post about the productiveness of play and the fun of experimenting with different applications of mediums. By trying mediums in unusual ways you can surprise yourself with the effects that you can achieve.         
                        Don't be afraid, play with abandon!                                                                                                                                                                                x o x o

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All images are ©Melody T. Newcomb 2014
    I shouldn't have to tell you that you shouldn't use my images for your own work, not only because its not ethical or moral but because you should try this for yourself! Why rob yourself of the fun of making these textures by robbing me, when its so easy for you to do it yourself. So don't steal. 

1 comment:

  1. Melody I cant believe there are not loads of comments in response to your generous post here about your experiments.
    best wishes