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Monday, January 17, 2011

Designing Pages

Here's a page that kind of designed itself...I had a tan page bound next to a page of white watercolor in this journal, and I didn't want to run the image across the spread as I often do...but in order to get the size I wanted for this old china panther my dad always had on his dresser, I put it diagonal on the page.

It was a tricky image to capture...it's very shiny black ceramic, so every time I moved or the light changed, the highlights and shadows were all different.  (No WONDER people work from photos...the shapes stay put!)  I mapped out the lights and darks, used a little liquid mask on some, then painted in varied, reflected colors as an underwash.  When that was dry, I added two more coats, one of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna for mid darks, and then one that actually incorporated some of Dr. Ph Martin's black liquid watercolor. 

Finally, I resorted to gouache for the highlights and called it done enough!

The diagonal shape inspired me...no need to keep the letters parallel to the sides of the page, why not follow that strong diagonal?

And so, I did...and told the story of the panther, and my dad, and the things I chose to keep when he passed away.  (No one ELSE wanted this crazy old thing!)

Hence, my dad's Legacy.

(I've been complaining about my lettering and decided it wasn't going to get any better without PRACTICE, so I added "legacy" in quinacridone gold.)


  1. Elegant! And you totally nailed the shiny surface.

  2. I wish you could have seen me trying to figure this out on my teeny cell phone. But now I'm here on my computer and it is wonderful! Vicky's right. You nailed it. Love the diagonal writing and the "Legacy" a well.

  3. Ha, I can't even figure out my cell phone to make a CALL. *G* And thank you, Ellen!


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