New Product... Experimenting

WOW! I can't believe the Holidays are upon us and 2016 is just around the corner! 2015 has really been the year of experimentation for me. The end of last year left me feeling a bit stale and it was showing in my work, so I spent this year playing with many new mediums. I have to say, I'm really loving the results of all that experimenting both artistically and emotionally! Who doesn't love playing with new "toys"?!

One of the mediums I recently tried out was suggested by an artist friend. It's called Liquid Pencil made by Derivan. From what I understand, there are a couple of different brands, but I went with whatever the art store carried, which happened to be the one my friend told me about.
They come in a couple of colors and either rewettable or permanent. You can also get them in a small, tube form or in 50ml jars. 

I picked up a jar of Blue, Sepia and Grey9 in the rewettable formula. They act similarly to tube watercolor and were fairly easy to use. It's a little thick to start, but you just mix them with water to get more flow from the brush and you can play with value that way as well. They have a slight sheen to them, similar to heavily rendered graphite. I decided to play with the Blue to start.
I did a quick 10 minute painted sketch to get a feel for the medium. I decided to try a human (to keep up with my mission from last year). I went in directly with paint, no advance sketch. I did briefly glance at a photo of a girl to get the placement of the features and some of the shadowing, but this is my most independant human rendering yet. After I finished, I scanned it into the computer and used photoshop to flip the image to check my proportions and placement and make sure it wasn't too skewed (I do this with every image I create). Considering this was done so quickly, without sketching on the paper first, it didn't come out too badly...even flipped.I still have a ways to go, but I feel like I've made a lot of progress since the beginning of my learn-to-draw-humans journey.
 So here's what I've learned from this experiment...

MEDIUM:  I like that the liquid pencil can be used to create  a "graphite-looking"  rendering  without the mess on your hands (anybody?...just me?...). You also have the option to use it like watercolor or ink wash (which I did here) by really watering it down. It does bleed like watercolor though, so you have to let it dry thoroughly if you want to layer shadow, line and color. The drying time seemed longer than watercolors, but I wasn't paying too close attention because...multitasking.

EMOTIONALLY: I always get a rush playing with new products or combinations of products! A happy side-effect of using something I've never used before, is that my approach to the piece is different. When I'm using a familiar medium, I tend to take the basic elements of art and design for granted. I see and then try to do everything at once without thinking. When I use a new medium, I seem to approach the piece a bit more methodically, breaking "it" down to it's most basic state relying more on shape and value to start and building from there. I'm not sure why it happens, but I like when it does. The other great thing is that when it happens, it usually helps inform the next few pieces I create, that is, until I get too comfortable again and lose that focus. That's why it's good to play with new materials from time to time! (I can always justify the purchase of new art supplies!!;o))

Overall, I really like the product so far, and am looking forward to trying the other colors and maybe even combining this with other mediums. Stay tuned...


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