Another @yegartwalk in the books, 2nd year in a row 😊 thank you to everyone that came out to support me and the other artists this year! #yegartwalk #yegartwalk2018 #artwalk #artist #supportlocal #thankyou #thanksforthesupport #thanksforcoming
Graduating To “Official” WatercoloursBlog Post, illustrations
Taking what watercolour pencils taught me (previous post) not only made me more comfortable but gave me the trial and error I needed without as much frustration to go back to using official watercolour paints.
The first time I used watercolour paints (excluding those sets you get when your a kid) was in university for an illustration course, where we were assigned 1 landscape watercolour project – it felt like the hardest project I have ever had to do – landscapes are a bit challenging on their own, but throwing watercolours into the mix made it exponentially more difficult. My professor was a bit surprised as I really enjoyed doing washes with ink, acrylic and gouache but found watercolours a completely different beast to tame! So after all the practice with the watercolour pencils I have decided to “graduate” myself to using “official” watercolour paints and the first piece done using the medium in almost 5 years!
The subject chosen for my first “official” watercolour illustration/painting was inspired by a blogger/photographer I follow on Instagram: @bumblebria (check her out!)
The lighting, composition and colours of this lemon lavender loaf caught my eye, encouraging me to recreate a version in “official” watercolours. I took a screenshot for reference, and to note the photographer’s handle so I could tag them when posting my WIP (work in progress) and final outcome online.
I started with a light pencil outline, using a mechanical pencil and Fabriano Studio Watercolour Paper.
The sketch actually sat in my sketchbook for a little while, I decided to watch a couple watercolour tutorials online for different techniques and tricks before painting; really enjoying the image I did not want to mess this piece up, even though it is more for practice to grow my skillset; that said, I am a perfectionist and am trying to embrace the imperfections of art as it makes things more organic and interesting…not to mention a lot less stressful and more fun!
A couple of days before starting he painting process of this piece, my boyfriend actually bought me some new watercolours (not knowing I have a little stash as he has never seen me use “official” watercolours before lol) and some water-brushes for us to try out. I bought a water-brush a couples years back but was not a hundred percent sure how to use it and was afraid to wreck it; a silly thought as this is what they are made for, but again the perfectionist and fear of messing up took over so I never actually used it (more to come on this topic in a later post). These water brushes are a but of a game changer!
I was excited to try “official” watercolours again already and the new brushes made me even more enthusiastic to “graduate” myself to the next level of watercolours lol
The level of control with the water-brush made my experience more relaxing and fun – I was not worried about using too much water or accidentally dripping water or pigment somewhere else on the page when filling the brush with more paint. I would highly recommend getting one of these and trying them out, they are pretty inexpensive (depending on where you go).
I thought I was done the piece when I recorded this video removing the tape, but something just wasn’t right and I HATED the dark background – I wanted it to feel more like a marble finish but was not able to create the perfect cream colours, so I tried to use some blue tones – clearly I had a brain fart – there is already blue in the cloth that the background then blended them together; so in a dire attempt to fix the background, I attempted to make it look more like the cracked concrete in the original photo…I was not happy with this and even debated on making a new background and just cutting the old one out and pasting a new one in.
Looking at the piece a couple days later, it began to grow on me, but something still was missing. Taking a black studio gel pen, I outlined the edge of the cloth that meets the background – looked like I was onto something – then went over this with some black watercolour to make a shadow that created more contrast. Later, I used the same gel pen to add some subtle outlines to other areas to really pull it all together as a finished piece.
Not going to lie, I am still not 100% happy with the final outcome but am glad it turned out much better than expected using “official” watercolours. I am trying to not be so hard on myself and embracing imperfections, especially on pieces like this where my intention is to better learn the medium and just have fun experimenting.
Please let me know what you think and about your watercolour experiences/preferences.
Don’t forget to follow my on Instagram and/or Twitter for live updates.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Pink Whale WatercolourBlog Post, illustrations, shop
Completed this whale illustration I started during #artwalk & it is also available in my Redbubble store
For this piece I used Royal & Langnickel watercolours, watercolour paper & watercolour pencils (see my watercolor post for details on the pencils & paper used here), Liquitex muted inks & Fabre-Castel artist pens.
Please let me know what you think of this piece & don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for the most up to date info on new creations & promotions!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Bear Watercolour IllustrationBlog Post, illustrations, Redbubble Shop
This illustration came about while on a family camping trip, near crows nest pass. I was sitting at our picnic table with my watercolour pencils & paper (more on materials here), when I noticed one of my watercolour illustrations was tucked between some of the blank pages; my geometric buffalo illustration.
The combination of finding this lost illustration with being surrounded by beautiful trees & mountains inspired me to create a similar piece with a woodland creature – bears in particular – these beautiful, gentle, yet fierce animals who rule the mountain side.
Wanting to make the new illustration more powerful in colour & shapes, I planned the geometric designs/patterns out in pencil before outlining in ink (instead of inking on the fly like the buffalo), which made the inking process quicker & colour choices a bit easier; allowing me to play with different shades of colour opposed to the inking to give the piece more dimension.
Overall, this illustration is much more solid & put together compared to the buffalo. I am very pleased with the final outcome & have received a lot of positive feedback at artwalk & online.
This illustration is also available in my Redbubble shop as prints, appareal, gifts & more! Check it out here: Noelle Fontaine’s Redbubble Shop
Please let me know what you think of this piece & which you prefer – the Bear or the Buffalo.
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for the most up to date info on new creations & promotions!
Thanks for reading 🙂
My First Artwalk YEG 2017Blog Post, Events
Participated in my first Artwalk this year, it was such an awesome experience. I was excited and terrified to see my work displayed next to other artists lol all of the feelings were felt!
There were also some things discovered about me and my work: a lot of my illustrations are more masculine, I still have quite a variety of different styles of work – some people thought there were 4 different artists in my tent lol and stepping out of my comfort zone to engage with people looking at my work – being some one with social anxiety, this was terrifying to say the least, but it is one of those things that help you grow as an individual to better yourself and your skills so you just gotta power on through – which was becoming a little less terrifying each time 🙂
I was on 83rd Ave all weekend (July 7, 8 & 9th, 2017) from 10am-5pm each day. The spot I had was fantastic: right across the park where there was live entertainment, between both the crafter’s market and Farmer’s market; however, the majority of people walking through this area were of an older and a more family orientated crowed – now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with an older and more family orientated crowd, it is just that my sales were not so great. It was my first year, so there have been a couple of lessons learned, one of them being that my work appeals to a younger/more niche crowd. So next year I will see if I can be positioned along Whyte Ave as this is more of where my target market will be; I just hope the weather is as beautiful next year as it was this year!
Special thank you to my volunteers, supporters and @thepaintspot plus all the sponsors for creating this great event!
Follow my Instagram and Twitter for live updates @noelle_fontaine
Professional Borders, Keeping It CleanBlog Post, illustrations
Whenever you are working on a project for a client, it is very important to keep it as professional as possible. One way to achieve this is to have clean borders, depending on what you are working on of course, not everything is going be boxed in; some elements may break the border, while others might reach the end of the page or canvas.
Some helpful tips on keeping your border sharp & clean:
1. Masking Fluid: Great for small or awkward shapes. Though I do not recommend this for airbrushing as it can peel the surrounding paint. It is a white, goop like consistency during application that hardens to yellow-ish rubber. There is an eye dropper attached to the lid, you can use this but I would recommend using an old paintbrush for more detailed areas.
I use Dr. Ph. Martin’s Masking Fluid, don’t let the aroma fool you, it is a great masking tool!
2. Transfer Tape by EM Plastic (4″ roll): This tape is ‘semi-transparent’ so it is easier to see what shapes you need to cut out once applied. Take an x-acto knife & lightly (emphasis on the lightly! as if you are scoring the tape, you do NOT want to slice your illustration underneath) slice the tape, masking the areas you do not want contaminated.
It is excellent for protecting certain areas of a project while airbrushing.
3. Good Ole Fashion Tape! Masking or Painter’s Tape To Be Precise: This is excellent for taping off borders, but be sure to stick the tape to your pants or shirt before applying to some surfaces – it can tear the top surface texture (i.e. illustration board) if it is too sticky.
Masking & painter’s tape is the easiest material to find anywhere!
4. Removing Techniques: Once your illustration is complete (and dry!) slowly peel off the tape; it is best to not rip off or lift the tape vertically when peeling but to slowly peel horizontally or at an angle, protecting your surface from tearing. As for the masking fluid, just rub it off with your fingers or an eraser.
Clean lines make for a beautiful presentation while keeping the illustration professional. Keep you client in mind, would you want to invest in a piece that is sloppily put together? Craftsmanship is key, show that you take pride in your work!
For further information about the materials used for the featured illustration check out my last post Water Colour Pencils you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter for instant illustration updates.
Thank you for reading 🙂
Watercolour PencilsBlog Post, illustrations
I have found a new medium to play with, rather a new way to play with an old medium. One that is rather pleasant and easy to do on the go – WATERCOLOUR PENCILS!!!
They are the best thing since sliced bread! You can take them virtually anywhere, map out the colour of your piece, pack up and go, then continue at your next location. For a busy creative who needs flexibility or is constantly on the go, like myself, these pencils are extremely convenient. Also, there is little to no clean up! That being said, once you start to wet the paper and begin your colour blending journey, you still need to wait for the paper to dry.
These pencils are excellent for someone who is just starting to explore the medium, as they are very forgiving and less intimidating than tubes of watercolour paint.
These Faber-Castell watercolour pencils are the first I have tried, so far I am very pleased with the quality and reasonable price (between $20-$30, purchased at DeSerres Art Supplies Store along with a pad of Fabriano Studio Watercolour Paper). Like all creative tools, the quality of products used can make a significant difference in the final outcome of any illustration or painting; you do not always have to buy the expensive or professional grade products/tools but once you have invested in some, you will notice a difference.
Overall, for a reasonably priced set of 36 colours and being fairly green with the medium in general, I would recommend giving these pencils a try. Even the most seasoned of creatives can have a lot of fun on the go with these babies.
Follow me on Instagram or twitter @noelle_fontaine to see more, you can also tag me in any of your watercolour pieces to share in the fun!
Thanks for reading 😀