Bird on a branchPosted: April 17, 2015
Last week I posted a card featuring negative painted leaves and mentioned a second card made at the same time. Both cards were inspired by gum leaves. This is the card I created using a negative mask cut from frisket film with the ‘happy news’ die. When I cut the bird and branch image out of the frisket film I used a piece that would cover most of my watercolour panel. I obviously didn’t think too much about where I was positioning it because I ended up with the bird balancing oddly on the diagonal branch. I think it would have been more natural if the branch was closer to horizontal but it still seems to work.
The frisket film works well masking watercolour paint but some does seep underneath. Fortunately on this panel the only seepage was around the leaves not the bird. I painted a layer at a time and let the colour dry in between to avoid getting the panel too wet. The paint is gansai tambi watercolour with some details done in watercolour pencils. I completed most of the painting before removing the mask. With the mask off I painted some extra leaves then worked with the green and blue seepage around the leaves to create the impression of more foliage in the background. Once the leaves were totally dry I scratched a spine into each leaf with a sharp knife.
At this point I wanted to create some contrast to make the bird pop a little more but I didn’t want to paint a fiddly background around all the edges. Instead I cut another ‘happy news’ mask from masking paper and positioned it directly over the painted bird (which was totally dry) I then sponged the golden colour using memento peanut brittle ink. Once I had good coverage I pressed a damp paper towel into the sponging to give it more of a watercoloured texture.
This is a technique I will play around with more because I have many dies and they make great outlines for watercolouring. Getting a negative and positive mask from each die cut means double the possibilities.
My dad celebrated his 80th birthday this week and hopefully this card has arrived in Australia and been opened by now. He and my mother check out the cards on my blog regularly and my dad drops hints from time to time that he would like to see some Australian scenes. I definitely had eucalyptus leaves in mind when I painted this scene but I can’t say that the bird resembles any particular Australian bird. (If the card hasn’t arrived yet Dad, you’re getting a sneak peak!)
Creative Dies: Happy News (PB)
Inks: Memento Peanut Brittle ink (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Natural White 110lb cardstock, teal cardstock
Also: Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, grafix extra tack frisket film, Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils