Sunday was an absolutely lovely day! I opened the windows in my studio, put on some music and immersed myself in my art journal. There was a delicious breeze wafting through the windows as I lost myself in work that felt like play.
I was browsing through my personal photo library when a photo I shot in Santa Fe on Canyon Road seemed to jump out of the screen at me.
I had an idea for how I wanted to paint it, so I opened it in Photoshop CS5 to play around with some possibilities. First, I applied the Cutout filter. The result sort of looks like a paper collage. From the Image menu, I chose Adjustments/Gradient Map and the light went on. I have hundreds of color combinations stored, and I started auditioning them. (That's the beauty of photo editing software - you can experiment without wasting pricey paint!) After going through about twenty different color groupings, one in particular stood out at me. I adjusted it a bit with the Hue/Saturation slider until I arrived at what I had in mind. I printed out the result and adhered it to my journal page with liquid matte medium.
I only wanted to use the image as a guide, so I toned it down with a thin layer of white gesso applied by scraping it across the image with an old credit card. If you want a thin layer of paint without the brush strokes, this is the way to go.
After selecting my paints - Jo Sonya's Artist's Acrylic Gouache, I began laying in color. I avoided rinsing the brush in water as much as possible. I wanted to work with a dirty brush to achieve some variation in color. Of course, sometimes I had to rinse to avoid making mud!
At this point I stepped back to take a look.
I did some tweaking and then I broke out the Sakura Glaze and Sakura Souffle gel pens. The glaze pens dry to a darker, shiny, slightly raised finish.
The souffle pens dry to a lighter, slightly raised matte finish. After completing the patterns on the walls around the window opening, I added colored tissue paper on the left side and brushed liquid matte medium over it. Once it is wet, the paper becomes translucent. You can still see the patterns, but they don't compete for attention with the courtyard in the center.
Next, using a white gelly roll pen, I added the quote on the left: "Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." - Og Mandino
Next I added a related quote using a black .05 Sakura Pigma Micron pen. I also added the strip of patterned paper at the bottom.
I wanted the black lettering to be more prominent, so I filled in the spaces with a black Sakura Glaze gel pen.
I drew the pattern at the bottom with the pigma micron pen and filled it with the glaze pen. I also added a wash of Process Magenta FW Acrylic ink on the right side of the window. Using acrylic inks, I deepened some of the colors in the painting. The white dots around the inside of the window were made with a white glaze gel pen. To illustrate the idea that whatever we give will return to us overflowing and running over, I used Yarka watercolors and allowed them to run down over the jar.
"Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be returned to you." - Luke 6:38
It gives me great joy to be able to share my art with you. Have a wonderful day, and God bless you.
Until next time,