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Toner Transfer Secrets Revealed

I’ve had numerous requests over the past couple of months to explain how to create a toner transfer and offer insight onto the applications of this technique in mixed media work. I’ve compiled some information to share on the topic and hope that this helps address some of the questions that have been asked.

levacy - disperse - mixed media on panel - 8x20

M. Levacy, Disperse, 2008, mixed media on panel, 8×20 inches

First off, what is a toner transfer

A toner transfer is the transfer of an image printed with toner ink from one surface to another with the use of a medium that soaks up the toner from the print and adheres it to the secondary surface.

What is toner? How is toner different than ink-jet ink?

The key component in a toner transfer is toner… Toner is essentially ink but it’s uniquely different from the type of ink (or at least the printing process) used in our home printers. Toner is made of carbon powder, iron oxide, and sugar but when it’s printed, it’s heat fused to the surface of a paper with a bit of polymer (plastic) goodness. That’s why a toner print made on a Xerox copier or toner printer is hot when it comes out. Ink-jet printers do not use toner and do not heat-set the ink to the page. This very thing is part of what makes the toner transfer process work so only using toner copies is an absolute must.  The good thing is, you’re not limited to black toner copies. Color copies work too! This provides an extensive array of possibilities. In addition, many magazines are also printed with toner (specifically the more coated types of magazines, not the paper/rag variety) and can be transferred as well. Magazines put up a bit more of a fight (especially really heavy pages like Nat Geo or Veranda, etc.) but they can produce some really awesome unpredictable effects.

Do you need expensive materials to create a toner transfer? 

No! Toner transfers can be made inexpensively. You can make a toner transfer with a Xerox copy, a cheep foam brush (which is very important), and some matte medium. Xerox copies or toner print outs can be made at any copy shop so there’s no need to purchase a toner printer for your home.

Acrylic Matte Medium is essentially gesso without the addition of white paint. There are few differences between ModPodge and most commercially available matte mediums aside from price – ModPodge is the cheaper alternative. An 8 oz container of Golden soft-bodied acrylic matte medium is generally around $9-10 bucks while an 8 oz container of ModPodge is $4-5. Many artists have strong preferences one way or the other as to which brand of matte medium they use or whether or not they would advocate the use of ModPodge as there may be minor differences in viscosity, color when dried, and stickiness. Experiment and determine which you like best.

Yupo-MixedMediaStudy(2)

M. Levacy, Yupo Study, 2014

What surfaces are conducive to the toner transfer technique?

Any image printed with toner can be transferred to another surface like paper, panel/wood, fabric, plastics, or vinyl using acrylic matte medium. It’s important to keep in mind that if a surface is too slick the medium doesn’t always adhere well. If a surface is too flimsy or delicate, the process of creating a toner transfer may rip the surface. My advice is try it and then respond appropriately – if the surface is too slick, sand it a bit to rough it up then try again. If the surface is too delicate by itself, back it with something sturdier and try again. The image to the right was created on Yupo paper, a synthetic polymer “paper” that is very slick but also very absorbent.

And finally, how do you create a toner transfer? 

You can adhere your magazine clipping or toner copy to your working surface in one of two ways:

  1. You can spread the acrylic medium directly onto your surface and then lay your clipping FACE DOWN on the surface where you want the toner transfer to occur or…
  2. You can brush your medium onto the front of your clipping and then lay it FACE DOWN on the surface.

NOTE: Acrylic medium changes the surface of whatever it coats so if you want your image to act independent of the surrounding surface (like a sticker) then coating the front of the clipping may be more productive then laying the medium down first. The shape of the paper will also be visible so if you’re cutting around an image or text, keep in mind that this shape will be subtly present in your finished piece.

  1. Make sure to smooth out any air bubbles and ensure that the entire surface is completely adhered together. If you spread your medium too thin (or it dries before your image is laid down) you will see brush strokes and you may have areas where the toner doesn’t transfer completely (or at all).
  2. DO NOT seal down the piece of paper or magazine clipping by coating the back of the image you just laid down with medium- this will collage your image to the surface up-side-down! 
  3. Allow everything to dry completely! This can be deceptive because it may seem dry on the surface but it may not be dry all the way down to the bottom. This process takes longer when transferring to paper or fabric than panel because of the absorbent nature of the materials. If your medium wasn’t too thick or your area wasn’t very big it could be dry in less than an hour but it’s better to wait an hour or more. I frequently wait overnight – to make this seem more productive, I work on multiple pieces at a time.
  4. When completely dry, wet the back of the paper and rub all of the moist fibers away to reveal the transferred toner to the now dried medium which is adhered to your surface. For the crispest results rub until no fibers are left – be careful! You can rub away the medium if you rub too hard, especially if you’re transferring to a non-porous surface or if your medium was applied very thinly. You can achieve some interesting effects by partially rubbing areas and then sealing them with medium – the medium will make the paper more transparent, revealing more of the image below the surface and intensifying the color and opacity of the image.
  5. Once your image is completely revealed (or you’re satisfied with what you see) you can choose to seal – or not to seal – the image. If you want to create additional transfers over the surface, it’s best to go ahead and seal it down evenly – you can immediately lay another toner copy into this sealed layer to maximize your time.

Here are some photographic examples and references that will help explain some basic concepts to keep in mind, as well as demonstrate just a few of the interesting effects and applications of this technique:

transfers - removal

The amount of medium that you apply before laying down your toner image is very important. Ridges in the medium caused by bristle brushes or working over areas that are too large may allow some areas to dry too quickly and will create unsuccessful transfers – the toner needs to adhere to the medium thoroughly (while it is still wet) in order to work as best as possible. Of course – this can be used for created effect if desired.

toner - bird and tissue

Try layering transparent tissues or papers in between toner transfers to create interesting layered effects and an engaging sense of depth.

toner - transparency

Adding other media in between transferred layers can also lead to interesting spatial and textural effects.

toner - magazines

Your imagery will always be reversed when you are done so make sure to flip your imagery if the orientation is important – especially with text! If you are working with magazines, the imagery from the alternate side of the print may sometimes bleed through – magazines are tougher and more unpredictable to work with than a toner copy or print but they can create interesting results.

toner - media experiements

If you wish to work back over your toner transfer with certain media you should do some tests to see if your media will work over a sealed surface. Sometimes it is better to leave your surface unsealed before going back into it with other media.

Here are a couple of additional works in which I’ve used toner transfers: 

Levacy-Evaluate-20x20in-mixed media on panel

M. Levacy, Evaluate, 2007, mixed media on panel, 20×20 inches

In Evaluate, I used joss paper (orange and tan boxes to the right of composition) as a collage material and then layered photocopies of imagery and words on top. I intermittently applied additionally glazes of white acrylic paint and at some point applied a layer of dressmakers pattern tissue.

In Vessels, I started from a black background and transferred color photocopies on the right (the couple in bed seen from above) and copies of my own sketches (top left) in layers. I’ve used the dressmakers paper again here. The areas that are white were painted first, before I laid down a toner transfer, so that the black ink would show up. I simply laid my cut photocopy down where I would later transfer it and traced the shape. I then painted inside my traced lines with white to create a higher contrast when the transfer was applied.

Levacy-Vessels-24x24in-mixed media on panel

M. Levacy, Vessels, 2008, mixed media on panel, 24×24 inches

As with many of my how-to or experiment posts, I’ve created a PDF handout to compliment this post for anyone who is interested – all you have to do is email me and request the “Toner Transfer Handout”.

Technical pen love – More small pen and ink bestiary drawings

Booooooom Dragon

After breaking out the technical pens in service to a small sticker competition for www.booooooom.com, I’ve begun working on multiple little pen and ink drawings in preparation for a couple of large paintings for one of my favorite local restaurants.

Owl Drawing Pen

I haven’t created a large acrylic painting since… I don’t know when… it’s been awhile. I am a little excited about it though. I just have to settle on a couple of compositions and work out some ideas. I’m looking forward to holiday breaks and will be experimenting with a couple of new media possibilities – there will be lots more to come.

Happy Halloween! Totoro costume tutorial!

I had an excuse to make a Halloween costume this year and happily took advantage of the opportunity by making a Totoro costume for the occasion.

The lecture series I co-chair helped out with another clubs costume contest yesterday on our campus. To support the event (that’s the only reason, I’m sure) I brainstormed costume ideas with my students and then used my efforts to encourage student participation (and it totally worked – two students walked away with prize money even!).

Totoro Costume - No Sew

I’ve created a tutorial for the t-shirt on Snapguide – I also created a cute headband. It was so much fun. I got asked to take a billion photos with students (for proof that their teacher dressed up, I’m sure – that, or blackmail) and I totally plan on doing it again next year just because it was a blast.

Check out How to Make a (No Sew) Totoro T-Shirt by Megan Levacy on Snapguide.

Happy Halloween!

Playful Experiments: CitraSolv & National Geographic Magazines

CitraSolv-BlogBanner

Hello everyone, I’m so excited to share some really amazing stuff with you today involving a cleaner called CitraSolv and good old trusty (and easy to obtain) National Geographic magazines. I even created an actual tutorial video for you (where I talk and everything) .

I apologize for being absent for a while after promising to be more present in the last blog post. I hurt my back badly about a week after that post and have still not completely recovered 3 1/2 months later. Despite this, I’m seeing a great specialist now, am going to Physical Therapy, and am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (and am fairly confident that light will not be a surgical lamp). This past weekend was the first time I’ve really felt up to really spending some independent time in the studio and so I decided to do something playful and fun to reawaken my creative brain.

I also (mistakenly) thought that I would only spend about an hour playing around with this technique…

I’ve found that this process is not really as quick as some of the videos you’ll find on the internet will lead you to believe… well, at least if you’re like me. Personally, doing this technique with one magazine takes about one hour from start to finish. I strongly recommend that you only start with one magazine at first as you’ll learn more from the process and will feel better prepared the next time (I promise there will be a next time, it’s addictive). When I did this with three magazines it took me about five hours (which was about 3 too many for my poor back!) and was a lot messier, required a LOT more drying room, and was altogether a little more stressful than I’d anticipated.

 

CitraSolv-bloglinkimage2

(So, now that I’ve inserted the obligatory Pinterest-ready image) I’ve created the following three videos because I found that, while there was a great deal of information online about this technique, a lot of what you unearth can be contradictory or a little too vague – in that way that artists get when they feel overly proprietary about a cool discovery. And, I’m an HD snob and a lot of the videos online are older and low quality (which drives me nuts).

I’ve created the type of video I wanted to find as well as what I would like my students to have should they want to experiment with this technique.  In these videos I’ve explained the technique, the materials, and some of the things I’ve discovered along the way… oh, and the results! Afterward I’ll give you some more info about CitraSolv, a few more examples of outcomes, and some myth-busting tips to help you get started.

CitraSolv & National Geographic (Part 1 of 3)

 

CitraSolv & National Geographic (Part 2 of 3)

 

CitraSolv & National Geographic (Part 3 of 3)

 

So – I hope you enjoyed my utterly non-tech-savvy video efforts! Before we part, I’d like to share a few more things with you… let’s do this myth-buster style for the heck of it since I ran across each of the following claims in some way, shape, or form, multiple times during my research…

  • Claim 1: You shouldn’t use concentrated CitraSolv
    • Malarkey! One blogger (claiming to run workshops on this technique) espoused that you cannot use concentrated CitraSolv which is not the only time I saw this “fact” repeated. Actually, the opposite is true – I’m not sure what these individuals were talking about in these instances – perhaps it’s just a misunderstanding of what concentrated or full strength means? You have to use the concentrated CitraSolv if you want results. I tried the multi-purpose spray and it was a giant waste of time. On the bright side, it’s nice when cleaning the house. :) CitraSolv is NOT tested on animals which means they totally get our vote as a good household cleanser.
  • Claim 2: You can only use really old National Geographic (like, pre-1980!)
    • Utter crap! Several bloggers (like me) prefer the magazines AFTER 2000 and you’ll even find multiple people stating that the really old magazines either just fall apart or don’t work at all. I’ve had success with all magazines from 1980 onward – the most recent one I tried was from 2012. I did not like the magazines prior to 85-86. And, the newer mags don’t have staples in them – BIG PLUS!!! I can’t help but feel that this was some kind of statement perpetuated by someone who heard someone say that they just happened to be using old magazines and then interpreted this as “old magazines are the only ones that work” – thing is, this info is repeated a lot and it’s uber-irritating. I wonder if people are so ready to jump on this band-wagon because it makes it sound as if this technique is in some way more unique or harder to do on your own (again, the proprietary “peeing on trees” stuff I mentioned earlier…)
  • Claim 3: You can only get results with National Geographic magazines.
    • Really? No. CitraSolv.Com even provides examples of artists who have success with not only National Geographic but also the New York Times and Cathy Taylor discovered that you can often get similar effects with heavy glossy circulars and junk mail – National Geographic is not the only fish in the clay-coated print material sea, but you will have unquestionably more success with these magazines than other readily available magazines.
  • Claim 4: CitraSolv is completely natural so it can’t harm you.
    • Not exactly true but not false either: CitraSolv is an “all natural” cleanser but it has a chemical in it called C10-16 Pareth-1. My husband (who is a chem lab tech) believes this is the chemical responsible for eating away at the inks on the National Geographic pages. It’s derived from plants (so it is technically “natural”) and in the quantities used in the CitraSolv it does not appear to be of any concern; however, it’s always a good idea to work in a ventilated area, use gloves, and keep away from pets (and eyes)… and you know… like, not drink it and stuff… On a side note, I have extremely sensitive skin. I have a reaction to CitraSolv! It makes my skin itch and burn! I use gloves and it’s not a problem, BUT – the smell and fumes after about two hours start to make my skin feel sensitive and slightly irritated (but not bad). I cannot use scented detergents, soaps, lotions, make-ups or anything with dyes or perfumes in it anyway (I even sneeze when shopping for new clothing) so it’s not like I’m surprised. I’m obviously not normal, but I do recommend that you take precautions just in case.
    • Here is the safety data sheet on this chemical (courtesy of my husband): Safety Data for C10-16 Pareth-1

Some links to some of the better information on the web:

So that about wraps it up. You can find some examples of some individual gems on my Instagram feed (mlevacy) – I’m not sure if I’ll use these or not but I find them interesting, curious, and inspiring. I’m actually far more drawn to the abstract results in terms of what I have planned – BUT – more on that at a later date. Enjoy!

Please Note: I have no affiliation with CitraSolv, am not compensated in any way for my commentary, and am completely and totally an advocate of responsible image use and respectful copyright adherence – be smart, be conscientious. 

 

Long time, no art. Redefining myself as an artist.

Levacy-Mockingbird-(sm web)

I suppose the title of this post is a little overly-dramatic – but “long time, no art” is really how I’m feeling about things lately. The spring semester was intense for me – I overloaded myself at school with too many service activities and the huge energy suck essentially bombed my creative mind for a good 3 months and counting. I tried to keep things together for awhile there – pretending to be doing “this or that” but really, I didn’t do much that wasn’t also somehow tied to my teaching.

I was told that the first couple of years as a tenure-track professor are the hardest but now that I’ve successfully reached my two year mark I’m starting to feel like I’m out of excuses. Truth is – I’m just plain tired ALL the time. I can’t fathom how my colleagues with kids manage to do this and sometimes wonder if perhaps my diet is lacking some essential vitamin (like B12) which would help keep me out of my perpetually comatose state of mind.

Over the past few months I’ve been trying to re-evaluate what it is I want from myself in terms of an art career – what is it that is most important to me as a whole? There are a great number of expectations about what I should want – I have expectations from my peers and family as well as my job to do something and the view of what that should be can sometimes vary greatly.

I take the work obligations seriously but feel that I begin to fill these expectations in ways that do not always include actually making work (like speaking at conferences and such). These tasks take pressure off of my need to have a more productive studio practice but also take time away from that studio practice. While I enjoy such endeavors and do feel that they boost my “professional development,” I’m not quite sure if they are as helpful to me on a personal level as they are on an academic one.

My peers seem to project their own career expectations on to me and thus, I begin to confuse what they think I should be doing for what I think I should be doing. In my experience, this kind of projection – especially in academia – is so ingrained from graduate school onward that I’m not entirely convinced that I ever am really doing what I “want” even though I feel like I should want it.

Of course, this also is something that people pick up on because I’m “nice” and don’t appear to always “say no” when they would have said no – therefore, the assumption is often made that I naively take on things that I didn’t want to be a part of. While this would almost certainly be true until about 4 or 5 years ago, I have been actively working on this and feel that, in the past two years at my new job, 95% of all of the decisions I’ve made have been choices born of actual intent and desire and not from peer pressure.  I’m 31 years old for goodness sake – I’m not that vapid.

Soap  Box Side-Bar: I really wish people would give others more credit and stop making them feel guilty for wanting to be a part of things and participate fully in their commitments. When this happens to me, I tell myself that this response is not really about me and is actually more about them because my actions make them feel guilty or insecure about how much they’re doing at that time – the old “stop working so hard, you’ll make the rest of us look bad” criticism – but really – STOP, just stop. When you do this you shame others into feeling like they’re doing something wrong when you’re the one that is probably not doing the right thing. 

So – here I am, almost exactly 2 years since moving to Atlanta, and I’m genuinely asking myself “what do I want?”.

I’ll have to see how this plays out over the next few weeks. I’m in the process of applying for promotion to the rank I really should have been hired at in the first place and thus – I have to develop a 5 year plan. I don’t want to spout some bullshit that I think someone wants to hear – I want to be honest about my goals and intentions. I don’t just want to be able to fill a page or two with some generalized expectations for the future, I want to have an actual grasp of what I really want for myself over the next 5 years, even if all of that data doesn’t make it into my actual 5 year plan.

So, what exactly that I’m ruminating on? Here’s a glimpse, for starters

  • Do I want to step down as chair or project director for some of my service obligations to allow for more studio time – am I comfortable allowing someone else to step in and take the credit for all the work I’ve already invested?
  • Do I want to apply to residencies or write a grant for the photo/painting project (Spirits Within) that I’ve been contemplating for 3 years now? Will I be able to have time if I happen to get the grant or residency?
  •  Is it okay to spend extra time on work (developing my courses) when I have time off for the summer and feel like I need to be in the studio and have spent enough time on work already?
  • Do I want to participate in smaller group or solo shows (at all) or am I content with (getting back into) submitting work to juried exhibitions? Would it be perceived as “enough” for work if I only did the later and would I be able to tolerate the judgement by my peers if I am actually personally okay with this being “enough” for me?
  • Do I want to start pursuing a more design oriented path instead of what I’ve traditionally done in the past? Do I want to work on an artist book or create an illustration portfolio in order to start that journey?
  • Will a return to painting make me happier or do I want to do more printmaking and photography for awhile? Do I want to recommit to the collaborative project I started with my friend (or finally suck it up and say – this isn’t going to happen, stop waiting on me to get my shit together?).
  • Is is “okay” to want to make things that are crafty when I feel like I am expected to make “Art” – should I feel guilty when I devote time to crafting?
  • Can I ever really let go of the guilt I might have if I fail to live up to the expectations others have of me – even if my choices meet my own personal expectations? (This is deceptively hard to do, especially if you’ve been raised as a “people pleaser”.)

It’s not like I expect to wake up one morning in the near future and suddenly have all the answers to these questions. I also know that simply thinking about these questions will not be enough – many of these require “doing” in order to bust through. At least I have some substantial time off over the next five weeks (the first time I’ve had more than just a couple of weeks off in over 5 years) to explore some options…

Better get to it.

 

 

 

Step-By-Step Watercolor and Pen & Ink Demo

For my blogs 100th post (WOO!) I thought I’d do something a bit special – an in-depth step-by-step demo of one of my paintings. I know I’ve done this briefly before but I thought it might be nice to show a bit more development – and – I even created a little video to go with it.

duck detail 4

The painting featured is 6×9 inches – I worked on it both at home and in the classroom over the course of three different sittings for a total of about 6 hours so the video is not a “watch me paint” kind of video that I’ve been asked to do before – I hope to do this at some point in the future though so stay tuned.

This painting was created with the hopes that I might be able to demonstrate to my watercolor students some of the more expansive practical applications of negative painting and masking but honestly, I also just wanted to make it for myself. I’m really quite happy with the outcome as it finally demonstrates a bit of the “look” I’m going for with a new body of work that centers around animal bones.

Here are a few extra images and several larger images from the video:

bones (small)

Here are the two duck vertebrae used as reference material.

set up (small)

This is my “in-class” set up on the opaque projector.

duck vertebra - 01

The preliminary drawing for the painting is actually a great deal lighter than seen here. I altered the contrast so the drawing was a little more visible.

After the frisket (the orange stuff) was dry I dropped in a good layer of wet-in-wet paint in a variety of ochre and sepia tones.

I applied frisket (the orange stuff) to the drawing to protect all of the areas that needed to stay white. After the frisket was dry I dropped in a good layer of wet-in-wet paint in a variety of yellow ocher and sepia tones.

duck vertebra - 08

After the wet-in-wet layer was dry I added in an additional layer of frisket to protect the areas I wished to remain the color of the previous wash. This process was repeated multiple times (as seen in the video) until this point where the color begins to shift more toward the emerald tones of the final painting.

duck vertebra - 10

After each new layer – or glaze – of wet-in-wet color, I blocked out a bit more of the leaves so that I could build the visual depth in the foliage.

duck vertebra - 12

As watercolor dries lighter than it appears when wet (See below) I had to do quite a few layers to build up the rich jewel tones that were desired. This also created a bit of a problem with the masking fluid (frisket) as the darker pigment was more apt to lift when it was applied. I had to be very careful to apply the fluid as quickly and as gently as possible so as not to disturb the color too much.

dry lighter (small)

This is a good example of how much lighter the pigment becomes once it is completely dried.
(left) wet (right) dry

duck vertebra - 14

Once I’d built up the background enough I carefully took off all of the masking fluid. This can be tricky (see below) and in the end the “higher end” frisket that I used was a bit overly disruptive to the darker pigments. As a result, the “depth” that was intended wasn’t quite up to my expectations.

rubbing off frisket (small)

When taking off frisket it’s easier to use your fingers than most other tools but as you rub – even if the paint is dried – some of the pigment will rub off on your fingers. If you’re rubbing around an area that is supposed to stay white,  the pigment on your fingers will often “smudge” and contaminate your white area – I prefer to use a white vinyl eraser to remove frisket in areas that need to stay white.

duck vertebra - 15

Because the frisket “lifted” (removed) more color that I wanted it to in the deeper leaves, I decided to glaze over some of these areas with a darker value to further the visual effect I’d hoped would be created to begin with. I added in additional darker foliage around this as well.

duck vertebra - 16

Similarly, I added a lighter yellow-green glaze on the foliage toward the foreground. At this point the depth that I’d envisioned was much more obvious.

additive wet on dry

Here are several details of the progressive building of depth after removing the frisket, including the application of warm colors to the blossoms through both a reductive and additive process.

thumbnail

I then finished off the painting with pen and ink. Ink was used to render each duck vertebra, but also to create lots of tiny little circles that create texture and visual interest as well as a bit more depth in the background. I feel that this also helps tie the vertebrae together with the watercolor ground.

duck vertebra - finished (small)

And there you have it, the final painting (scanned and with more accurate color).

Painting a deer skull with watercolor & Daniel Smith paint-porn.

Royally iced in today – the sound of the sleet outside was actually rather nice.

icy

I’ve been taking advantage of the unexpected break from the universe by throwing myself into painting again. I haven’t been doing this nearly enough lately opting for the easier to pick-up/put-down convenience of graphite and pen and ink.

Today I started and finished this little deer skull painting – yep, “that” deer skull. My work schedule has been so screwy lately because of the whole polar vortex that I haven’t gotten much time to work on the classroom demo I shared a few posts back (though I have worked on it since then at least). Because of this I’ve been itching to work on it and entirely unable to do so… so, I did the next best thing. I started a new one. A smaller one though.

Here are some progression shots of the 6×9 painting that I started and finished today.

deer skull - progression

I started with a nice graphite drawing and by blocking in the areas I wanted to preserve while doing the background wash in Indigo Hue (Grumbacher). Once the frisket was dry I worked wet-in-wet with the Indigo all over the ground then went back in with white gouache mixed with Indigo in the interior of the medallion. When this was completely dry I scrubbed off the frisket (and then redrew some of the skull that “rubbed off” too) and went in with some chromatic grey washes (Alizarin and Pthalo Green) to create a nice grisaille underpainting.

Once this was completed I used a glaze of Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Da Vinci) and Yellow Ocher (Grambacher) over the skull and then went back in with a bit more of the orange and amped up some of the lighter areas with some white gouache – pulling up the watercolor to blend into the overall tones. Afterward, I touched up the skull with a few more areas of chromatic grey. For the medallion I drew in the design with pencil, touched up the haloed circle with more Indigo and a light wash of violet mixed with white gouache, and then back in with various mixtures of tinted white gouache for the flowers. I erased the stray pencil marks at the end and there you have it.

deer skull - blue

I’ve been so energized lately when it comes to watercolor that I went online last night and started looking for some nice reticulation and granulating paints. I found one of each and a nice greenish black (to compliment my favorite Indigo) from Daniel Smith. I ordered the following three tubes tonight and look forward to their arrival.

daniel smith paint order

And honestly, if you love color as much as I do you really should check out the Daniel Smith website and select “granulating” in the search options – the spread of beautiful chemical and gemstone based paints in their catalog are mouth watering AND – their descriptions read like a J. Peterman catalog (Seinfeld reference).

Cascade Green

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