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Thread: Looking for watercolor drip, salt, and rubbing alchohol mimicers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601

    Looking for watercolor drip, salt, and rubbing alchohol mimicers

    Hey all,
    Having watched and begun to apply some of the amazing things I've learned about watercolors in Artrage based on Someonesane's recent tutorial on layer texture and layer selections, Karen Bonaker's youtube tutorials, and MrJonHodgkins youtube tutorials featuring stencils and watercolors, I've begun to get a bit more ambitious about what I'd like to achieve with my watercolors in Artrage.

    I'm now looking for stencils or stickers that might be able to do some of the following things. Do any of these already exist? And if they don't, does anyone have any ideas how I might go about making them?

    1) a sticker that would create those diffuse splatters you get from dropping salt on a wet watercolor canvas- that way you could look through a layer and see what was dried beneath
    2) the same effect, but when you tilt the canvas and you get trails of "salt-erased" paint through which you can see
    3) pigment-heavy drips going down from a wet edge
    4) the peculiar blotting affect you get from applying rubbing alchohol to wet watercolor paint- much like looking through a layer of the painting to what's been revealed beneath, as well as it's tendency to build up pigment around it's semi-circular edges
    5) rubbing alchohol's ability to create streaks of negative "drips" when you let the rubbing alchohol run down the canvas

    I was thinking I could somehow scan some real media watercolor canvases of mine that do these things, then make stencils out of them. Has this already been done? Does it work well?

    I also thought a sticker spray of some sort might allow for just as much (or more) flexibility and duplication. Any ideas or resources?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Atlanta (Georgia) area
    Posts
    968
    Superb idea!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    I have been doing some research and putzing about since yesterday. I haven't found anything definitive, but I have conjured up some methods based on some of the other tutorials I've been reading/watching-- mostly using a lot of awesome and peculiar stencils and textures, as well as various splatter and drip watercolor Photoshop Brushes.


    Stencils for Salt in Wet Watercolors--
    First, stencils can help wonderfully. For example, MrPaint has one with stars and galaxies in it that I'm currently exploring. It's called something like "in the sky". My idea was that I could use it to erase dispersed "stars" to emulate the affect of salt in wet paint. It has produced some interesting affects, thought not quite perfect yet. Also, if you put salt in when the paint is a bit more dry you get a "peppered" affect with the paint removal. This DOES work along pretty well-- by erasing "star" stencils over a layer, with another base coat of paint on a different layer below showing through you can emulate pretty well the experience of dropping salt into an almost dry painting.


    Just Water and Low Blending to push pigment to edges of a circle/blob--
    There's a thread on this called "A just water (not watercolor) brush?" that goes into this. I could see using this technique as the basis for work with Rubbing Alcohol, although I haven't tried it yet. It definitely emulates some of it's affects, but I'd like it to be more perfectly circular, the way rubbing alcohol can be. I might try using a circle template over the top of this with a stencil underneath it to add some of that additional rubbing-alcohol texture I'm looking for. Not sure yet.


    Photoshop Brushes for Drips and Splatters, 1 layer per each--
    As for drips, I've been trying out the photoshop splatter and drip brushes available out there. You can do a reasonable amount with these if you put each splatter/drip on it's own layer. Then you can easily resize, rotate, move around each collection of drips/cool blobs, etc. A little time consuming, but very specific-- plus, I find that I'm not generally using THAT many drips/splotches in each canvas. For variety and individuality I am once again erasing bits here and there as well. This way each sequence of drips I make don't look the same.


    Layer Textures for general grunge/pigment build up--
    Finally, I've been using a lot of texture for each individual layer, as in Someonesane's video tutorial. This works very for general "grunge", emulating particularly well the kind of collecting of blotting of pigment you get in the folds of a canvas, or where two types of pigment meet.


    Stencils for Very Wet Watercolors bleeding into a new area--
    What it does not do so well is emulate the very wet experience of water colors really moving down a page into another wet painted section, the way a river might look when hitting the ocean, or where you have a foamy kind of flotsam or oil meeting a new current. I haven't tried it yet, but I am thinking of using some stencils once again, perhaps of galaxies and nebula, or perhaps of rivers or interesting stone patterns to try and emulate that.

    I find the layer textures create grunge/grain fantastically, but that MrJonHodgkins methods of using stencils provides more specific results where you want a more localized watery affect on one part of the painting. The galaxies CAN create interesting mild bleeds as stencils (that "veination" you get when one color slips into another wet one), though it's taking a bit of painting, then erasing here and there, then blending the edges, but the affects are pretty neat texturally. The affect hasn't been as vigorous as I'd like though yet.


    General Thoughts--
    I also have to say that I find the parallels between galaxies, grain in stone, currents of water, cloud formations, and how wet watercolor works an utterly fascinating and almost mind-opening experience! And all that from stencils! LOL I never would have thought to compare the patterns of these things.

    I'll try and upload some pics to show the kinds of affects I'm getting. I think creating and cataloging a few of them might really help me understand the tools I have available. I did post a pic today in the Tips and Tricks forum re: creating the experience of pigment buildup around the edge of an area where paint has been bushed to the edge. The pic (entirely made in Artrage) does look a lot like how drops of water or rubbing alcohol look when released on a still wet painting.

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