Poppies in the Rough

Trying new things is fun. Very happy using Wallis and the occasional Art Spectrum paper in my KOOOL Binders, I didn't often feel a need to be creative with my paper surfaces. After having it for months, I recently dove into my UArt Sample pack from Dakota Arts; I used the 500 grit, results to follow. For my tastes, I felt that the 500 lacked the grip I'm accustomed to with Wallis, so it held fewer layers. I look forward to comparing the three other versions of UArt.

Because of beginning a new class at the Workhouse last week, I was reminded about making my own sanded paper, although I'd bought the supplies a good while ago. Lynn's syllabus has us creating a surface in a couple weeks, but I decided this weekend to try it out with the Golden's Coarse Gel I bought at Michael's. Fine gel is recommended for pastels, but I thought making the paper with what I had would be good practice nonetheless.

I used the coarse gel tinted either red or light orange with acrylics and applied it on several top pages of watercolor blocks. With a spoon, I spread the clumpy gel onto the papers and tried to distribute it around. I smoothed the orange pages with a 1" watercolor-turned-acrylic-turned-all-purpose brush dipped repeatedly in water and the red with a flat fuzzy house painting sponge pad thing. With the gel this coarse, I don't think the application method mattered too much and I'd choose the pad next time, particularly if I were doing several pages in succession, because it cuts a wide swath.

As you can tell, the surface is incredibly coarse and didn't like taking detail, but I could duplicate a photograph I took at Green Springs meaningfully in my loose style. I think the coarse gel makes sense for me, someone who appreciates impasto oils, but burnishes in pastel. This is a great compromise.

Soft Pastel on Red Acrylic-Tinted Golden's Coarse Pumice Gel on 140lb Lanaquarelle Watercolor Paper


ariel freeman said...

I love the texture Bonnie. Great work.
Happy Painting!

Jennifer Young said...

Wow that IS some texture. I can tell you really enjoyed yourself...it shows! Congrats on getting into WorkHorse.