Sonntag, 30. Juni 2019

"Selkies" - Art Elements Theme Challenge

This month's theme challenge at Art Elements was chosen by Jenny - Selkies. The inspirations she provided at her Pinterest board were lovely and I though whether I should use the atmosphere, colors and textures as basis for my work... but actually I stuck to a rather literal approach.

I played with water colors and as much as I love this medium, it seems I need a break. Or maybe only holidays ;) But I am using my water color too heavy handed. I like the seal, I don't like the woman.... overworked. I show you all the pieces since there are a lot that go wrong. And that is okay, I still learn from every piece.

I also played with monprints and layered image transfers. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my latest layered prints with my brother's dog as motiv. I also wanted to create some prints for the theme challenge. 

This seal face is my absolute favorite one. I don't know why my camera was playing crazy with the colors. It is a little bit warmer, more turquoise... but I could not adjust the color even later on my computer. Still, love it! 

And there are some layered prints that I leave as they are. This is not one of them! I work on my prints after the print process with pens and paints. Here I used a white polychromos pen to lighten the area around his head on the left side, I used a Copic brush pen to enhance some dark areas at the eyes and around hhead, added the dark whiskers, and last but not least I used a uni ball white gel pen to enhance the white highlights in the eyes. They were already there but needed some more contrast.

Somehow none of my prints for the selkies theme worked like I wanted. Truth to be told, that was frustrating! But after a day rest, or maybe two, I could work on the prints until I liked them. In Htis one the seal was not perfect, so I used the Copic brush pen again to add his nose, dots, enhance some shadows... Seeing the image now in the blog post, I think I will go over with the white polychromos pen as well to add some more highlights. I like to use colored pencils for soft effects. 

Here is the third print, it also didn't work. I was too impatient and used too thick layers of paint. It is not that I don't realize what I am doing wrong. But sometimes by different brain parts seem not to want to work together! ^^ I will still use this and work with it to get the silhouettes from the seal and the woman out of the background.

Here is another example of an idea that did not work. Ok, I think it worked in principle, I wanted to carve out only the highlights of the body to create a nice light and shadow effect. But I am also in the process of using up materials I have and I had some master cut carving blocks left. I never tried them out before and I will never ever buy them again! The material crumbles while carving even with freshly sharpened Pfeil tools, it holds the printing paint badly (worse than rubber or linoleum), and even with a lot of pressure it prints badly. Maybe if I would have a printing press, it would turn out better. But I can print with linoleum without printing press quite well! So...nope... never again! Maybe I will try out this idea with a rubber or linoleum printing plate.  

Now to another stamp that worked out well! With my favorite blue rubber carving material! Made in this kind of retro style that I love to work with right now.

Thank you for joining us! I had hoped to create more prints but I thought at least I could show you some of my struggles. Most of the time I am also only showing what worked and that often gives the wrong impression. ;) Thank you Jenny for a wonderful challenge and please, everyone, have a look at all the participants!


AE team: 
Claire (you are here)


  1. Great work from you Claire - so much depth and variation. I actually like the painting of the selkie in its human's quite emotional.

  2. I agree with Lesley, the female selkie is emotional and I love the play of colors also. Thanks for showing us your 'failures', truth be told, I wouldn't know they were! :) Alysen

  3. We are all so good at finding the faults in our own work and pointing them out to those who probably would not notice. I love your water colors and prints, especially the seal face. Its too bad about the crumbly carving material for that one piece - frustrating when an art medium or tool doesn't stand up.

  4. I love coming to see your work Claire, it's always so beautiful and varied. I really like the watercolours, but the prints are just stunning!

  5. Loved seeing all that you created - the good with the bad. Each piece says something different. I loved them all, but I especially loved the last seal carving - he is sort of cheeky.

  6. Loved seeing your work and all the prints you made for the challenge. My favorites were the watercolors and I really liked the muted effect of these and the emotion that they created. Thanks for sharing about your printing - I've never tried it before and find learning about it to be fascinating.

  7. Your work takes me to the ocean. And I completely understand the brain struggles. I do wish it would listen more often - sometimes I just have to occupy it with other things :)

  8. Oh wow that first print is amazingly beautiful I love it! I really enjoy seeing your process in the challenges.

  9. I am finally getting around to catching up with the blog hop reveal!! Sorry it has taken so long. I always adore your watercolor paintings-the seal is adorable and I think the woman looks beautiful. Sorry the master carving block material didn't work out so well, but the blue stamp carving is perfect! I just love the final print with that bright turquoise.



Related Posts with Thumbnails