Week 22: Botanical Change-Of-Address Postcards

Since I’m kind of just hanging with the cats a lot until the movers come next week I thought I’d create something a little bit special for a few close friends and family members to relate our change in address.

The beautiful flowers and foliage at our new home inspired me to create some botanical sketches that featured the lovely pale hues of the hydrangeas in our front yard.

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I began by creating the abstracted background with some very loose watercolor and a natural sea sponge (purchased, not collected) on dry paper. With 2 layers of this haphazard sponge application there was enough surface variation in the value of the color to create a little interest.

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I used a water-proof Prismacolor brush pen (a discovery during last year’s Inktober challenge) to free-hand the botanical drawings on the abstracted background. I’ve drawn these a lot in the past and I was looking at a field identification book as a visual reference during the process. The more you draw something the more fearless you become just winging it later on.

Once the line work was completed, I took a little white gouache and went back over the negative space around the line drawings, leaving the interior positive shapes of the stems, leaves, and petals alone to reveal the sponged color.

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I was careful to use a lot of water as the gouache moved further away from the forms so that there weren’t any harsh lines. The gouache applied closer to the forms was more opaque to make the flowers stand out a little more.

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And that’s pretty much it. In about 2-3 hours I completed a good handful of these pieces. I’ll spray them with a matte sealer on the front before popping them into the mail as-is.

I’m not too worried about them getting messed up in the mailing process – I learned early on from a mentor that the journey ads a lot of character and makes the tiny painting feel much more substantial.

 

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