I’m enjoying the heat under a parasol with my feet in the water. While waiting for the water to get to a nice temperature and the sun to stop being so aggressive, I got out my journal and prepared a page for today with a little sketch. These sketches of what I see around ne are lately all I want to do art wise.

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So, I saw the ‘Draw 100 heads in x days’ challenge going around & liked the idea, so looked it up. I was disappointed by the lack of diversity, and the inclusion of sculptures/sculpted mugs/3D renders in the collection.

So I started my own Portrait Reference pin board with a wide diversity of race, age, gender, expression etc. I’m going to do the challenge using my own collection!

I share the collection with you as a resource :) pin.it/4i6GIQS

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A study that I managed to squeeze into some empty moments the last couple of days: two eurasian magpies. Based of a photograph. The purpose of this study was to draw these high contrast creatures in dim lighting, because I wanted to practice to paint 3-dimensional objects without relying on strong shadows. The other purpose was to create color variety in apparently single colored surfaces. I've used a simple round brush with pressure opacity.

Today I learned that the authors of my Danish /German dictionary couldn’t think of a better example for using the verb “to kill” than “woman” 🥴

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How on earth does anyone shop for clothes online? I need to know the exact texture and thickness of fabric before I know if it's even worth trying on for fit. Why does nobody describe their fabrics?

Whoops, took an unintentional mastodon break for a few weeks. I kept busy making more pigments 😊
These are chunks of dried ochre pigment that I still need to grind into a fine powder again, but they are usable like a soft pastel stick like this 😍

Quite happy with my first lake pigment watercolors. Made entirely from scratch 😊

I got most of my information from Amanda Fan, through her very educational Instagram account Bouldercolors as well as her recently published book
bouldercolors.com/educational-

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Additional notes:
The process might change the color of the original plant drastically. I have yet to find a way to preserve the bright reds and pinks from flowers, they have all turned yellow or green, when adding the washing soda. Often the dye is already not the nice color of the blossoms anymore. Some plants will surprise you positively, like the bright warm yellow I got from the leaves and stems of lilacs.
Also, these organic pigments are not as lightfast as mineral Pigments.

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Once all the liquid is drained, you’re left with wet pigment goo. You’ll have to thoroughly dry this , before you can break the chunks up into fine pigment powder, that you can use like any other pigment and mix with a binder of your choice to make watercolor, gouache, oil paint, acrylic and so on.

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After that you add a precipitator. Again there are multiple options, the most common one is washing soda. This starts the reaction of creating solids that precipitate to the bottom. It usually foams quite a bit, so you wait until the reaction is over and let it settle a bit, then you strain it through a coffee filter, which should capture all the pigment. The liquid will be either clear, or at least less strong in color.

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Once you have a colorful liquid, you have to strain out the plant parts, so you’re left with only liquid. Organic material might introduce mold or just be annoying in the pigment later on.
To turn this into pigment, you need a mordant, usually a metallic salt. Most commonly used is alum, which is reasonably easy to find. You dissolve a few spoons in water and add that to the dye: rule of thumb 2tsp alum dissolved in 50-100ml water on 250ml dye, more or less depending on how strong the dye is.

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Matter into pigment it is.
I don’t have many photos about this process and don’t have a current process running, so I will try to share about it more in depth in the next days.
In the meantime a short overview over the steps:
First you extract the color from the plant. An easy way to do that is boil it, or blanch it. Some plants like red cabbage give you a lot of color very fast, others you might want to boil or soak in cold water for a couple of hours/over night.

Quite a few people said they wanted to know more about turning plants to watercolors.
There are two big steps involved: turning organic matter into pigment and then using that pigment to make watercolor. Which one should I elaborate on first?

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Painted another birdie on stream yesterday. Got some additional gouache colours for my limited palette and just had to use the Cobalt Turquoise for the background.

I also got more of those wood ornaments to paint on. Delicious! Imagine a Christmas tree covered in these!

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Look at that beauty! It's a handmade wooden watercolour palette filled with delicious QoR watercolours. The lid has plenty of mixing space and there is a place for brushes too. 15 wells are filled with a range of colours for great mixing possibilities.

From black beans to pigment to watercolor. Learning how to turn plants into watercolor has been so rewarding 🥰

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Mastodon.ART

Mastodon.ART — Your friendly creative home on the Fediverse! Interact with friends and discover new ones, all on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free. Admin: @Curator. Currently active moderators: @ScribbleAddict, @TapiocaPearl, @Otherbuttons, @Eyeling, @ljwrites