Bad news. I have discovered that expensive paint really does make a difference. I usually use cheap craft acrylics in my art journal, but I’ve recently purchased a few Golden brand acrylics because most of the artists I follow carry on about how vibrant and wonderful they are. I’m sorry to say that, yes, they are vibrant and wonderful. And expensive. But a little goes a long way. Unless you spill it all over the floor and the table and yourself when opening a jar of the yummy fluorescent pink stuff. Of course that’s exactly what I did, and silly me, I was not wearing my new hand-painted apron (it was tossed over the back of my chair in easy reach). But I did find that a little fluorescent pink paint on my denim shorts actually looks kind of cool, and now I’m thinking maybe I should paint on them some more.
Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with new materials and techniques. I sketched a tree back in July of 2013, and never did anything with it. After watching a 21 Secrets workshop on gel medium transfers, I dug up an old photo of Shaylie at the Wild Animal Park, made a color laser print copy, and transferred it onto my page with the tree sketch, then painted around it. It worked great, and I think I will be doing more gel transfers in the future. The actual lesson was called Communing with the Ancestors. I obviously didn’t use an ancestor as my main subject, but they are hovering about in the tree.
Another 21 Secrets workshop taught me how to mix acrylic glazing medium into my fancy Golden acrylic paint and make gorgeous, shiny, transparent glazes. I experimented with that on my bird background. I also played with some shading techniques using prismacolor pencils. I’m pretty happy with the way that one turned out. I wish I could take credit for the overall design, but much of the bird was copied from a piece I found on the internet. Except for the crazy eyes and feather-do–those are my addition.