Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Okay, maybe not frightful, but it's fraught with the type of frigid cold that usually assaults the Chicago area in the middle of January, not the beginning of December. I believe it's Mother Nature way of ordering me to stay inside and goof off.  Who am I to argue with the perfect excuse to toss some tinsel and trim the tree?

Whilst tossing and trimming, I came upon my most favorite ornament of them all:  a tiny penguin that's so cute that merely gazing upon him has been known to completely thaw the very coldest of grinchy hearts.

See what I mean?

More unpacking turned up more penguins (albeit not quite as cute), so a tinsel time-out was taken to do a little fun sketching and experiment with a recently acquired set of Cretacolor AquaStics (oil pastels that are water soluble. Woo-hoo, I'm all over anything that can be construed as watermedia!).

In this sketch, the AquaStic was applied to the paper, and then gone over with a wet brush.  Not bad, but unless the pastel was applied heavily, the tooth of the Canson Acrylic paper was pretty evident, as seen on his textured, ample belly.

This time the wet brush was rubbed across the Aquastic first, and then applied to the paper, creating a smoother, looser watercolor look.

The Aquastics certainly bear more experimentation.  I can see them being a useful, easily portable plein aire tool.  And for weather wussies like me, that means plein aire-ing when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperature is balmy, and your water container doesn't freeze solid before you've even had the chance to dip your brush into it.

Back to tossing and trimming.  Time to find a special spot on the tree to hang the cute little penguin.