Thursday, April 7, 2016

April Surprises

April is starting out pretty chilly here in Ontario. Lots of snow on the ground, a brief ice storm and another blast of winter. But Spring will come! As I continue to navigate the time struggles I encounter each day, I am getting more balanced about time spent on the computer. I find it a necessary part of my daily routine as I respond to email, prepare for each new workshop with all of the necessary travel correspondence, work on new projects and updating handouts. It seems the artist gets delayed while the adminstrator does all of the necessary work. I am experimenting with a schedule change in my own routine, where the artist works first and then allows time for the adminstrator to take care of her tasks. I am reading through the book Daily Rituals by Mason Currey and it is encouraging to see the time struggles of so many others. Interesting reading, but bizarre in spots.
I am still trying to accomplish all of my necessary work, while giving the artist more free time. I will see how it works. One of the surprises I had waiting for me was Duralar Matte Film.
I had ordered it weeks ago and it sat patiently waiting for me to try it. It is full of surprises. For some strange reason, I bought it for watercolour work which it is not compatible with in the least. Although the packaging states it will work with paint, I can't see how as every technique I tried on the paper created small beads of unblended watercolour. So I pulled out my FaberCastell Polychromos pencils and gave it a try. I was encouraged at the results. My first experiment was a leaf drawing.
The polyester film will take several layers of a light application of the coloured pencils before a saturation point is reached. But then it seems to stop taking any colour. I did not realize when I was practicing on the leaf study, that I could turn the paper over and add details to the back. So I attempted a Hoefnagel inspired snail design just using neutral tones and slowly building up layers.
The Duralar is great for capturing details. It erases easily with kneaded eraser. It does dull the coloured pencils very quickly. Apparently it will take ink but I am skeptical about how well I can letter on this film. I look forward to more detailed experminents to see what I can do on this matte film. My suspicion is that Prismacolour pencils will be less successful because of their waxy nature. The quality of the Polychromos seems a good fit for this polyester film. I hope to learn more about the qualities of this medium as the artist continues to take time to question and study.


Joseph Chapman said...

Wow, I'd never thought of Duralar as anything other than a tool for handling gold leaf. Maybe Graphitint pencils would be interesting on the matte film.

If you want to paint in watercolor on plastic, there's always Yupo.

Heather Victoria Held said...

Hi Joseph...thanks for the reminder about Yupo paper. I should have some of that somewhere. The Duralar matte film is positively fascinating. Not happy with what ink does on the film though. There is no bleed but it does not hold the lines very tightly. Great for coloured pencil though!

Big hug!

Victoria Arnott said...

What beautiful pieces! I have really been enjoying your adventures into the world of coloured pencil and watercolour. One of my favourite coloured pencil artists uses duralar for her pieces. She also uses Faber Castel Pitt pens/markers on it.Check her out, She has a section on her website with lots of helpful hints when it comes to using Duralar, Please keep sharing. :)

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thanks so much for this Victoria! I will check out Karen's work and info!
Big hug