Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Supplies for Using Color

After working on collage for months now, I have purchased some various supplies using coupons from AC Moore and Michaels. You can download their coupons. Why not save 40-50% on an item instead of paying the whole amount especially when colored watercolor pencils can cost from $18.00 and up. Michaels and JoeAnne's takes AC Moore's coupons also so copy away and go to each store. All of these stores are on the same route for me so I go to all of them. Do be aware that the prices are a bit different between Michaelsw and AC Moore's.

Now, back to the supplies that I completely love to use for color. I have bought a couple of different brands of watercolor crayons and watercolor oil pastels. I highly suggest buying the "Portfolio" series oil pastels. They are soft and when applied on paper, they go on so smoothly. the watercolor crayons are harder and do not. They almost make an indent in the paper if you press to hard. I bought the Staedtler watercolor crayons and the Loew cornell type. Do experiment though to learn.

The portfolio oil pastels can be applied to all surfaces or can be applied by wetting your paint brush, rubbing the side of the pastel, and applying to your paper. Applying the brush to the crayon then to the paper helps you limit the amount of color you want to apply especially if you are working on a small detail otherwise go to town with coloring on your paper. Apply one color on different spots of the paper, then add another color. Be generous with color or colors. If you are in the mood to do only one or two colors, then do that. The colors blend nicely together and come out looking like a watercolor painting. You can reapply the color after wetting down with a brush and keep painting or rubbing with your fingers the color. When dry, it is a bit more hard to apply color to make the surface darker. Writing on the oils after they have been wet and dried is almost impossible. Still looking for markers that work great on top of oil. Bic Mark-It has come out with a beautiful color selection of markers that I bought at Staples. The names are fun too like "Horsey Brown", "Sunset Orange", "Hot Aqua", "Plumtastic Purple"....These markers are made to write on wet and oily surfaces.

Acrylic paint is a wonder tool to use for color on your surface. I suggest purchasing acrylic paints that are in the craft section of the store and not the fine arts section. You will pay $.50-$1.00 for a bottle and can have many different colors that way and blend and mix. They dry quickly and if you want your work dryer quicker, use a hair dryer. Do not blow the hot air too close to the surface. Once dry, you are able to work on your surface again. the oil pastels, watercolors and acrylics look similar when diluted and dried. Do a sample sheet with each medium next to each other and see what you prefer. You may chose one medium over another depending on the project you are doing.

Gesso is mainly white. Yes, you can buy black and grey in certain stores. I use the gesso to prime or "prepare" my canvas, cardboard, old book page or illustration board. Remember, you can use what ever surface you want. I was talking to my son yesterday in Michigan. He goes to school there and is taking a course that incorporates music, literature and art. Boy do I wish I was there with him taking it. We were discussing various mediums and how they can be used to do a project. He was preparing to work on a three dimensional project. What he did not realize was the time it will take to have his project dry and be prepared for a showing. (He is a pre-seminary student but loves art :) you never know)! Gesso when applied to make your surface nice and smooth, can also be dried with a hair dryer. This is great for when you are drying a piece of antique paper or regular watercolor paper. These are less porous and will dry quicker than a board. You can layer your gesso by putting down one coat, let it dry, then put another coat down. You can put your gesso down with a putty knife or painters knife and have it be textured and bumpy or smooth. Gesso also can be used to fix a mistake. If you applied color that you do not like or painted a mistake, cover it with gesso, let it dry and fix. The black gesso as you can imagine gives a very different appearance and is used differently than white. Brighter colors of paints or crayon are to be applied to black gesso. Grey gesso is to make a surface somewhat bland, less eye attention than a plain white bare canvas.

You would probably never imagine that for color I suggest papers: new, old vintage, magazines, mail, newspapers, childrens books and ephemera. Ephemera is fun stuff. It can be lace, doilies, keys, stamps, anything little that can be attached to a collage or canvas. These have color, and texture and size.

Tomorrow, I will talk more about gathering visuals for color and other mediums used for color.

Don't forget to check out the notebooking site if you are a homeschooler or a mom who is thinking of homeschooling. "Notebooking brings in a child's creative juices with collecting, drawing, painting, collaging and design.

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