Monday 22 April 2013

Inspiration is the sincerest form of flattery

The theme over on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is "Color Love".  Those of you who visit my blog regularly will know that one of my favourite ways to add colour to my projects is with Letraset Promarkers.  (For those of you not familar with them, they're alcohol-based markers, in hundreds of colours, very like Copics, though they have a nib tip at one end rather than the more brush-like Copic tip).

As regards colour inspiration, everything we've learned about colour, light and shade has come from the old masters and their classic paintings of the past, so I decided to pick 4 to use as my inspiration for this piece.

My first panel was inspired by one of Andy Warhols portraits of Marilyn Monroe.  I thought it was time to give Mona a bit of a factory-style makeover in the Warhol style.  I coloured her with Promarkers, but one of the problems in converting this image to be more like Marilyn is that on the original stamp Mona's hair is completely black.

I got around this by inking up the stamp and then using a moist baby wipe and moist q-tip (cotton bud) to remove the ink from the hair area, still leaving some fragments of shading to attempt to echo the shading on Marilyn's hair.  Here's what Mona looked like after I stamped her.  You can compare this to her image in my supplies list at the bottom of the page.

The second panel is probably the most loosely inspired by the original of all of these 4.  I've always been a fan of Paul Klee, and have one of his prints hanging in my house.  This painting is called Red Balloon.  I painted my background with white gesso and let it dry before scratching it with a Tonic scratchy-tool-thingy.  I rubbed brown distress ink over it, which left dark marks where the surface had been scratched.  I masked off triangles and squares and applied distress ink to add colour and shading in different places.  Finally, I highlighted the edges of the blocks with a grey Promarker.

The 3 panel was inspired by the painting Autumn Rhythm Number 30 by Jackson Pollack.  Splatter stamps by Darkroom Door and Tim Holtz made this one a piece of cake.  I spritzed my white card with water and then applied frayed burlap distress stain to give a pale fawn colour for my background.  The splatters were stamped with Coffee and Black Archival ink pads and white gesso.

The final panel is based on one of my favourite paintings by one of my favourite artists, Magritte.  The painting is Son of Man from 1964.  Those of you with extra long memories might remember back to the days when I used to make little animations for the side panel of my blog - one of them was inspired by this painting, here's a still I grabbed from it.

Anyway, here's the actual painting, I'm sure you're all familiar with it!

One of the problems using the winged man stamp for this is that his jacket has much too much detail and dark areas in it, so I used the same technique that I used on Mona to remove the ink from some areas before stamping.  I coloured the apple using one of my favourite Promarker shading techniques, which produces a more "painterly" technique, perhaps a little like artist's pastels.  I've explained the 5-step process I used to shade it below.

"Painterly" shading with Promarkers

I used 5 pens for this, from light to dark they were Soft Lime (1), Lime Zest (2), Meadow Green (3) and Bright Green (4).  The 5th pen was the blender pen, which is colourless.  Although I'm using greens here, obviously you can apply this technique to whatever colours you're using on your project.

Colour the entire area with 1, leaving a white area where you want the highlight to be (top left area in the case of my apple)  We will leave a larger and larger area around the highlight with each colour we add.

B  Colour with 2, leaving an area of 1 showing around the highlight.

C  Colour with 3, leaving an area of 2 showing around the highlight.

D  Colour with 4 where you want any shadows or lowlights to be.

E  Use pen 1 to colour over the whole piece in small circles (except the pure white area).  This will blend the colours together and give a soft edge to your highlight area.  Use the blender pen to soften the edge around the pure white area.

If you have Promarkers (or Copics for that matter) give it a try, it's a lot of fun and lets you make some of your own original elements for your project.  I didn't have a stamp of an apple to use on my piece but by cutting out an apple-y shaped circle of white card and doctoring it with Promarkers, problem solved! :)

Tip 1:  Most of you probably know this, but if you're colouring a stamped image with alcohol-based pens, the Memento ink pads (I used black Memento for Mona, for example) are probably the best choice, they seem much less prone to bleeding than oil or alcohol based ink pads!

Tip 2:  After colouring a stamped image, if you add a thin line of very pale grey around the outer edge it will really make it "pop".  If your background is dark, you may need to use a slightly darker grey to get the same effect.

Supplies I used included:

Our ever-generous sponsor Simon Says Stamp is offering a $50 gift voucher as the prize again this week, just make something for the challenge and you could the winner! The winner will be chosen at random from those who enter the challenge, so why not give it a try? At the very least why not head over to the Challenge Blog to see how the other members of the design team have interpreted this weeks theme! :)

Don't forget, Simon Says Stamp have a great Facebook page too!  Check them out here!


Suzanne C said...

Awesome tutorial Dan! I don't use my alcohol markers enough and this is inspiring me to pull them out! Fab project!

Candy C said...

Dan..your project is awesome! I love all of the information you've provided on your inspiration for all of your squares...I got an art lesson this morning! :) I am sorry to say that I have never used alcohol based markers. You made them sound very fun. I might have to give it a whirl sometime! Love your piece! <3 Candy

susibee said...

Great promarker tutorial, thanks:)

Weezy said...

Absolutely love your inspired piece!

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Great post Dan, love to read how,you were inspired and I love your colouring tips too. Fabu,ous quirky piece , great use of colour and fabulous design. Tracy x

email: said...

Really cool ideas all mixed into this one piece, Dan! I'm really digging the Mona/Marilyn! You even remembered her beauty mark! ;)

Simon Says Stamp!

Sandra said...

What a fun project! Stunning coloring! Hugs, Sandra

Debora said...

Very kewl project!

misteejay said...

Lovely to see the things that inspired your piece.

Toni xx

mark gould said...

Great inspiration for a great project. Love then old style.

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Oh my creative word...I totally love how your mind works!!! This is a fabulous piece! I love your Mona/Marilyn and Son of Man!!! Brilliant work!!!

Claire said...

That's fab Dan & Thanks for the tutorial, it's brilliant.
C xx

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

What a fun piece, Dan! I love all the artists whose work inspired you, and the techniques you used to mimic their work are great. Blessings!

Words and Pictures said...

Your reworked artwork is just fab, Dan! I love neon Mona Lisa, and the alcohol markers sound so cool...
Alison x

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