11 May 2014

*POP* Photography

Mixed media artwork has always fascinated me. I've only dabbled a little bit in this realm of the art world but it's been in the back of my mind for sometime. Today I finally scratched that itch with simply a photograph + some Watercolors. I'm definitely not going to claim this idea to be my own as I had saw this technique that I'm about to show somewhere online a while back. I don't recall the website but if I had to guess I'd say it was probably Pinterest. Love me some Pinterest. Anyways I just really liked how simple this next little technique/project was + the results look pretty damn cool.

Here's what I did....

First things first I went huntin' for a photo that I had taken to use for this project.

Once I found the one, I edited it to make it a black + white picture. There were about 6 black + white options to choose from with the photo editor I used, but I suggest using the lightest one of the bunch so there's less ink which will make the image easier to paint. I opted to try the Sepia edit for my 2nd printed image (can be seen at the very bottom), which I ended up liking better than just the b+w edit.

Once I had my image edited it was time to print this bad boy.

You'll want to use a thick but flexible piece of paper. I used a piece of Bristol Drawing Paper but you can also use watercolor postcards. The main thing to remember for this step is you'll need the thickness so your paper doesn't warp from the watercolor, but you need the flexibility because this paper is going to go through your printer and you don't want it all wrinkled either.

Printed image in hand + watercolors ready it was time to get to the fun part...adding the color!

Now I have a couple of sets of watercolors laying around, the good ol' Crayola set + a nicer Van Gogh brand set. I love all of the colors that are included with the Crayola set, but they definitely are not as pigmented as the Van Gogh set. I decided to use the Van Gogh set for this project because I needed the extra pigment in there.

I of course wanted the muni to be the main focus of this photo which is why I highlighted it with the yellow. Once I had my yellow down I decided the piece still needed a little more *pop* so I added in the blue to the sky. Plus I wanted to box in the shape of the muni because the top of it is white + kind of blended in with the sky.  

Final Product

Since this was my first time trying this technique out I did make some mistakes along the way! Here are a few of my suggestions if you're going to try out this mixed media technique...

+ Don't use too much water when applying the watercolors!
Otherwise you'll find up with a watery looking mess...no bueno!

+ Don't even try to go over the white areas with white watercolor!
Otherwise you'll end up with a dirty lookin' greyish color.

Left side of trolley: Too much water applied
Top left: White watercolor on top of a white area looks dirty

+ Make sure you clean the brush often, by often I mean pretty much after each stroke. I was constantly cleaning the brush off + applying more paint to make sure I got the brightest most pigmented color I could. If you don't keep your brush clean you'll spread around the muddy colored paint! (Your paint will get muddy looking quickly because of the printer ink.) 

+ Use consistent non stop strokes when applying the paint!
Otherwise you'll end up with "jagged" looking paint strokes...unless that's what you're going for! In my case I was not going for this look, I wanted smooth lines that were all going in the same direction for a more consistent look.

+ Be creative with the colors!
Since this was my first try at this technique I just wanted to use "realistic" colors, which I was totally happy with. Buuuttt I played around with more abstract-ish colors for my 2nd piece + I like the way it looks a lot more!

Photo taken by Nelli on her European Excursion!

Totally love this techqniue + I definitely plan on creating some more mixed media pieces using it! I already have a 3rd photograph sitting waiting for me to add a little *pop* to it, so I better get to it! :)

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

<3 Noonie