Sonntag, 31. März 2019

"Luna moth" - Art Element Theme Challenge

This months theme for the Art Elements theme challenge was chosen by Jennifer - " Luna moth". I have to say this was a difficult theme for me as much as I love these insects (and insects in general are simply stunning creatures!). Maybe it was simply the fact that I got ill, there were a lot of deadlines, I spend some long days writing grant applications, and also went to a conference. Sometimes a too literal theme stuns me in the beginning.

I know, I could have simply taken the colors alone as inspiration or create an abstract pattern but once your brain is stuck... it is not easy to get it working again. The only way that works for me is actually to start creating something even without inspiration or any idea. So I tried to sketch a luna moth to get a better feeling for the shape, pattern, size and overall shape. The upper wings are not wide enough but it helped.

If you follow me here or read my blog post at Art Elements, you know that I don't like most commercial available water color sketch books and started binding my own ones. I still wanted to try out the Moleskin one. Although I am not such a fan of the art sketch book, I have to say the water color book works really good! I was pleasantly surprised. The only downside? It is so damn expensive... 

When I am stuck, I love to create color swatches. They are so relaxing, to see the colors flow has something so beautiful and joyful. It lead to another try to pain a luna moth. It is okay but I am not in love with it. Just a... meh...

But you know what? This kind of challenges where I am stuck in the beginning can be the best! Because it forces me to think. Jennifer shared her carved stamps in the last theme challenges and just showed her tiny sketchbook made with tiny wee carved pattern stamps for the sketchbook project (have a look here). The last time I carved anything is a year ago and I thought maybe I should change the medium.

I simplified the shape of the luna moth...

....and I wanted to add eyes. I don't know why but the image of eyes, the moth and the moon kept coming up in my head.

If you want to mirror copy a stamp, simply stamp it with watter resistant ink on the rubber. Now you can carve it. If it should be the same orientation like the original one, simply to it again with the mirror image stamp. Yes, they will be a little bit different but in the end it should still be a handcarved and unique stamp.

I tried out several shapes and pattern for the eyes. In the end my favorite was the one with the tear drop that I copied to have a pair to be combined. The only thing I changed in the mirror stamp: The light reflection should come from the same side!

I played with the stamps and water color. Just playing...

This pink card was a birthday card for a friend. The moth is maybe a little bit too big for cards. 

I also created several test prints on high quality paper.

I think this one is my favorite with a single eye on top. Maybe I will add a moon / circle in the background.

I also need to play more about how I could incorporate the eyes. 

By the way, if you want to add metal effects in your water color, I really can recommend Aqua Bronze from Schmincke. It is made of metal powder and not mica. It comes in a powder form that includes a kind of glue. You have to wet it with water (every time fresh!) and then you can apply it as paint. It takes some experimenting with the ratio and paper since the metal particles can be easier rubbed off than pigments. Depending what you want to do with the finished piece you should fix it.

But it looks so stunning! No other paint ever came close, it has an effect like metal foil! I also have a silver version. 

As always... shimmer and shine is difficult to capture on camera.

In the end I actually had another go at a luna moth painting. This time it worked for me and I like the finished piece. The trick was to go for different colors. There is still green but combined with turquoise and not anymore this neon like light green. It may be not the true color of luna moths but somehow it looks more real to me.

As much as I struggled in the beginning of this theme challenge, I really love where it lead me. My absolute favorite? The eye stamp(s) with the tear drop! I think this may become one of my favorite and most used stamps ever!

Thank you for joining us and please have a look at the ideas and creations of everyone! :)


Art Elements Team:
Claire (you are here)


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