Today my Granddaughter and I worked on another painting idea from The Usborne Complete Book of Art by Fiona Watt. We changed it up a bit, and added a watercolor wash to our paintings as well as a little wax resist but the technique with the acrylic paint came from her idea in the book. I highly recommend this book for anyone’s art library, young and old alike.
The first thing we did was to draw a ground line across the bottom of our paper (140 lb Arches coldpress) about one fifth up from the bottom. We decided to include a moon or sun in our cityscape and traced a circle using the bottom of a small spray bottle. We then colored that in, applying pressure, with a white crayon to act as a resist to the following wash. We then created our watercolor wash using two colors. We thoroughly wet the paper, first, with a one inch flat brush and then fed in two colors. My Granddaughter used diox violet and cerulean blue in the wash pictured above. She stroked in her colors one next to the other (one inch flat brush) and tilted her board so the two colors would run and mix together. We were careful to wipe up any water and pigment surrounding the edges of the paper so they would not run back into this wash, creating blossoms.
While we waited for this wash to dry we:
Cut out different widths of corrugated cardboard strips about 3 to 4 inches in length to be used as our brushes……
Chose to use our set of heavy body acrylics
and layed out the tubes on some paper towels with their respective caps above them so we did not mix tube caps when we went to store them away. She chose the colors brilliant blue, phthalo blue, diox purple and white.
In the next step, we squeezed out short ribbons of the four colors, in no particular order, along that ground line we had drawn earlier. We then picked up a cardboard strip and used it like a brush, dragging the ribbon of acrylic upward. We worked this way moving from the left side of the paper to the right to avoid getting our arm in the paint. Lefthanded artists may wish to work right to left. As we did this, we changed our cardboard strips from wide to narrow to create variations in the shapes and heights of our future buildings. We discussed things about light and dark, tall and short and if we needed to change a color or two in areas that looked too boring.
We also pulled some of the pigment below the groundline. This stage was then allowed to dry completely.
Granddaughter’s Finished Cityscape
The final step was to take black and white acrylic and paint with the edges and corners of the cardboard to furthur define our paintings. I was amazed at my Granddaughter’s creativity at this stage. She talked about what was the road and when she was painting windows. She created a walkway between buildings. When she saw me put in a streak of white at a diagonal she decided she needed one, also, and reached for a wider section of cardboard and did it. This was a fun and creative afternoon for the two of us and I can envision so many other scenes that can be created this way. The book gives an example of painting a castle.
Grandma’s Finished Cityscape
Grandma’s colors were bronze yellow, cadmium yellow medium hue and cadmium red light hue. The watercolor wash was aureolin and halloween orange.