19 January 2010

Skull en Plastique

20" x 26", watercolour on Yupo, 2009

I wanted to try something different with this one by employing an ink outline as I would if I were painting an ink painting. The sensation of the brush gliding smoothly across the surface was pretty amazing, considering not only the roughness of my usual watercolour paper, but also that I'd done quite a few paintings on Yupo by this point. Normally on Yupo, if I lay down some colour in watercolours that I don't like, I can wipe it away easily as though I'd never done it at all, but I didn't know if the same would be true for ink, so (rather than experimenting on some scrap) I tried very hard to control the brush and not make any terrible mistakes. I did experiment on some scrap in the initial R&D phase to see if the ink would dry completely and allow me to paint with watercolours over top.

I really like how the erasure of the paint helps give definition to the cracks in the skull --and the spatter technique helps give it a nice texture. The background is dark to provide contrast for the lightly-coloured skull, but I still wanted the ink outline to remain visible so I didn't make the BG too flat and dark.

Pen and ink sketch.

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