Tag Archives: Watercolour

DIY Illustrations: My Botanical Garden | Recycling Old Book Pages

19 Oct

The most soothing after-noon activity is to engage in something new… and botanical. One day, not far ago, I decided it was time for me to experiment with making botanical shapes. This is what happened…

I’m not the watercolor kind of person. All my previous attempts ended up in the trash bin.

But, after spending hours and days… and weeks… collecting botanical illustrations, inspirations, and images over at Pinterest, I started to understand the flow of the botanical shape. What I gathered is that in making watercolor images you didn’t have to be specific – like in doodling shapes with a Sharpie.
On the contrary, watercolor was a very interesting medium where “water” had a big role in the way you applied the color. A brush pregnant with a big dollop of water, and color, and applied with quick watery strokes to create stems and leaves, can actually leave you with an amused smile.

I continued to make botanical shapes – over old book pages and fabric – after I finished these {below} a few months ago.

There is beauty in the  way watercolor bleeds into the paper and settles at the borders it feels comfortable with. Each kind of paper, heavy or light, grained or smooth, has a different communication with watercolor.

The best kind of paper I found I, and my watercolors, were comfortable with, is old book pages. They’re not so old. These are books collected during the nineties whilst I was in the midst of searching for answers. Many are full of gibberish and useless techniques to tame anger, heal hearts, and lose weight. I am an adamant believer that if you find a book useless it is insincere to give it away. Some went to the trash bin, but others stayed with me until the time was ripe for them to become watercolor canvases.

Watercolor has a good understanding with ink. They actually like each other. In some cases, I used bottled ink and applied it after I created the primary watercolor shape. They blend and dance perfectly together. There’s also a bit of acrylic paint in some places, and a dilute-able wooden pencil for sketching quick lines.

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