A not so happy medium

The following are from my Valentine’s Day finds (see previous post).  They all date to early 1987 (except for the postcards which were done New Years day of 88).

I was looking for an easier way to add color than pencils and markers, and since I never actually went to an art store, I had always relied on either gifts or salvaging any colored pencil, crayon, marker, etc. that I came across in a junk drawer or on a floor somewhere.  My preference was to use simple pencil on typing paper, and perhaps ink that with a fine tipped marker. The problem with inking is that you lose much of the “character” that built up pencil marks provide, so I wanted to compensate by adding color.

I wound up using watercolors… you know those cheapo, dried, crusty fingernail looking tabs in the white plastic strip? The disposable kind you see bundled with coloring books for 3 year olds? Yeah, that’s what i used. Of course, never having planned things out I ruined a good amount of drawings (surprise! typing paper wasn’t meant to get wet!). I did occasionally find a large, thicker piece of paper, and used that (as seen below).

The first shown is Indiana Jones (from The Temple of Doom)… i rough sketched Indy at a pretty large size (@18×30) then smeared some color onto it. As you can see, I only had orange, green and brown paint, and a single ratty brush. Some areas came out alright, but my problem was/is that I use the brush as if it was a pencil- I do not actually paint. The second is another large piece of Jimi Hendrix- the source I believe was from the cover of his “Band of Gypsies” album, which is great because it was a blurry photo, and only used green, orange and yellow, just like my paint “set”! Thanks to having a model to look at, I was able to loosen up and let the changing of colors create edges and lines, instead of “penciling” them in with the brush. The last pics were done on the back of 3×5 index cards, which held up nicely when wet, and in which i simply used a napkin to wipe the watercolors into smooth solid colors.

What is sad is that today I have a decent set of watercolors and brushes that i have received as gifts over the years, but have no heart to use them. I have so little experience with paints, and even less patience to learn, especially since I have so many ideas for new penciled work and now digital drawings.

Maybe some day….


3 thoughts on “A not so happy medium

  1. These actually aren’t all that bad. I think the 2nd and 4th are the best. I think that if anything you’ve shown that being an artist doesn’t require the best materials. I think real artists are the people who can make art regardless of what they have to work with.

    • Thanks… but I should point out these are the better ones of the bunch! My painting skills are decades behind my drawing skills. And I agree about materials. People keep giving me sketch books as gifts, but i still prefer printer paper and HB to 2B lead pencils… clean, white background that is easy to smudge/shade, erase, and do precision work

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