Wedding : Illustration Friday

Monotypes from a photograph of me on my wedding day. I revamped the plate for the second print. Basically moved the eye up a bit. Mostly added more colour ๐Ÿ˜€

I prefer the first one. Which of the two do you prefer?

Monotype experiment step 4

Monotype experiment - revamped


Check out many more interpretations onย ย  ย ย ย  ย 


My first Monotype

September 12, 2007 : I was quite determined to experiment last night and was eventually up till 3 am! Monotypes have been on my mind ever since I first came across them on Belinda del Pesco’s blog. I have a couple of large glass palettes ( 11″ X 14″ ) for my oil / acrylic paints. I pulled one out, wiped it down and then started painting on the surface with poster colors. The photo reference is one of me taken at my wedding. I did not feel the need to look for likeness for this experiment but boy was i much much thinner then! ๐Ÿ˜›

Monotype experiment step 1

Knowing that the print would get reversed I flipped the glass plate over and took a photograph. You can see all the poster colour bottles and the small ceramic mixing bowls that I used.

Monotype experiment step 2

Managed to locate some textured ( hatched, 11″ X 15″ ) paper which didn’t seem too thick but couldn’t find a big tray to soak it in. Ran it under the tap for a couple of minutes wiped off the excess water by pressing it between newspaper sheets. Placed it on top of the glass plate, added a newspaper over it to absorb any excess water and then pressed it down with a barren. Kept lifting it to see what was happening and began to realise quickly that the paper was too thick and textured to take the print.

I found out from a comment left for me on flickr that I need to use different paper and also needed to soak it for 10-15 minutes prior to blotting. My first print looks like the ghost (second) print. I’m planning on trying to add a few washes over this one but worried about whether the poster colours which are water soluble will allow me to do so.

Monotype experiment step 3

I did have some block printing paper ( bleached mulberry 9″ X 12″ 45 g/m2 ) which I did not use at first because it was much smaller in size plus probably something to do with my hoarding tendency – I only have 25 sheets and no easy place to source more from ๐Ÿ˜€ I ran this under water and it soaked immediately so much so that I was worried it would tear. Mopped up the excess water, placed it on the glass plate and tried to take a print. I spent much more time pushing down with the barren as with each peep I saw that it was accepting ink much better.

Monotype experiment step 4

I was a bit disappointed even with this print as it was soooo much lighter when compared with the original on the glass plate. Also it didnt have a buttery feel like the lithograph print did. I’m planning to put it on a toned surface to see if it brings out the colours better.

There’s still some paint left on the glass plate though not as much as it seems to look here. I’ve put it on a white background before taking the photo. But there’s enough left to make me feel sad about washing it off! I’m wondering if there are ways to revive it for another print!!
Monotype experiment step 5

I’ve read about painting on frosted glass a couple of years ago and this experiment has made me want to try that out too. I’ve learnt that I should use the right kind of paper and soak the paper for the right amount of time. I really did enjoy the experiment and am planning on more as soon as I get the paper.

Update: September 14, 2007 : I wrote to Belinda del Pesco asking her for help. I got a prompt reply and I’ve put excerpts below.

On my question about recycling the leftover image.

“You can absolutely add more pigment to the plate, and print again. And again. It’s never ending, and each one will be a new surprise.”

And so I did… but just one more ๐Ÿ˜€
Monotype experiment - revamped Monotype experiment

the spontaneity of the first attempt did not come through in this second one and so I’m not feeling bad at all about erasing what is left over. the print did take much better this time. I used the block printing paper again.

some more tips from Belinda

  • Try soaking your paper for 5-7 minutes, instead of running water over the surface.
  • Blot with clean, lint-free bath towels 2-3 minutes before you print.
  • I use BFK Rives Paper and Somerset – both are available online.
  • If the paper starts to mar from rubbing, lay a piece of wax paper over it before using the baren.
  • Since your pigments are water based, to help them release, you can dust the plate with a super *fine* mist of water before you print (rinsed & re-used hair pray bottles work well)
  • Even if the print comes out as light and ghost-like as your first one, it’ll just be begging for more pigments; pastels, paint, colored pencil, charcoal, ink, etc.
  • There’s a great book about monotypes by Julia Ayers, and you can find it used on Ebay frequently.

After Amedeo Modigliani

I’ve been a member at WetCanvas! for quite a while now, putting up entries in bursts. I’ve been wanting to participate in Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) and to paint a Master of the Month (MOM) for quite a while now. MOM is the study of a master artist and his work, style and techniques by copying one of two selected pieces. There is also an option of selecting from two photos from the Image Reference Library to create your own work in the style and/or technique of the featured master .

I’ve decided to have a go at this MOM since the artist for the months of September and October is Amedeo Modigliani, one of my favourites. I had the good fortune of seeing the exhibition, Modigliani – Beyond the Myth, a couple of years ago. This exhibit had a large collection of his work. Here are links to the reviews of that exhibition in Lancette and The Julliard Journal.

To ensure that I do participate I’m making the preliminary sketches public hoping that it forces me to at least make a serious attempt at completing this project. I hope to do more than one and would like to start with a painting in his style. I’ll be using a B&W photo reference of Modigliani’s to make this portrait. My first attempts at converting the photograph into what I think would be a drawing in Modigliani’s style. Made on 8″X10″ paper in ink.

Amadeo Modigliani Amadeo Modigliani

Update: Sep 6: Selecting colors for the final piece. I tried a color sketch. I’m a bit irritated that I didn’t wait to get a photocopy of the drawing coz now I’ll just have to draw it again for the next bunch of colors. I’m happy with the orange but not with the blue and umber of his sweater. I’m thinking of using sap green / burnt umber instead. It should go better with the orange background as well. Made on 8″ X 10″ paper using poster colors

Color sketch color sketch 2

Update: Sep 7: Color Selection continues – tried another color combination from the colors used in his portrait of Chaim Soutine. also Modigliani had painted a light blue sweater wrapped around his neck in his last self portrait and I wanted to get that but mine turned out too bright. Made on 8″ X 10″ paper using poster colors
Color Sketch 3Color Sketch 4cs-5.jpg

Update: Sep 8: Color selection finalised using quick studies – Tried out 3 more variations and I’m thinking of going with the one with the orange background, olive green sweater and dark, filled in eyes.

I made these in ArtRage using the last one that I had painted as a base. The first one took me a bit of time as I was familarizing myself with using the tablet instead of paper but the next two which were just a change in the color of the sweater took me a few minutes each. Really neat. I cant praise ArtRage enough. I’ve opened and quickly closed Photoshop many times finding it too complicated and bit overwhelming to start. This one is the first that I’ve found in quite a while that is easy, capable, fun to use and its free! ๐Ÿ˜€

Update: Sep 11: Choosing to do the Bonus option of copying one of Modigliani’s nudes, “Seated Nude 2”. He did a series of nudes on commission for the art dealer Leopold Zborowski. These form the bulk of the 30 odd nudes that he painted. The group has the option of trying out one of his nudes and I chose this one. I made the drawing with pencil on 12″ X 14″ paper. I’m hoping to gesso it and finish it in oil.

Seated Nude 2Elena Povolozky

Update: Sep 16: Copying his painting of “Elena Povolozky“. I got stuck while trying to move to working on a canvas. Friends on the forum were very encouraging and it had me wanting to do something and here is the result of my effort. A copy of his painting of Elena Povolozky. Turned out a bit manly but I’m pleased with the colors [ I was until I saw the online reference – all the works printed in my book are very very dark ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ] and to have learnt that Modigliani seemed to have painted form effortlessly.

Update : Oct 3 : Painting the nude in oil and copying “Man with a Pipe”: The first layer of oils were added about 10 days back and the second just yesterday. Still a long way to go.

Seated Nude 2Seated Nude 2

and then a short while back I decided to have a go at the Man with a Pipe (The Notary of Nice). This I like almost as much as the man with the orange background ๐Ÿ˜€ I had planned to use poster colors but ended up using Art Rage. I’ve used Layers again and seemed to have done a bit better with them this time. The yellow background was fun to do. I’ve got some really nice comments for this one on Flickr and I’m thinking of having a go at it with my poster colors too. ๐Ÿ˜›

man with yellow background

Charles Baudelaire put up a couple of good links in the MOM post on WetCanvas! on Modigliani and his style of painting which I’d like to keep with this post
1. A pencil drawing of the Seated Nude on the MOMA site.
2. Seated Nude Painting with an X-Rayed image of it. See smaller versions side by side on the Art & Architecture, UK website.

Update : Oct 11 : Copying “The Man with the Orange Background”. The paint on the nude is not dry as yet and I havent started work on the Modigliani Portrait. Decided to try out a new medium for this one. It’s one of my favorites, man with the orange background. It’s still WIP. I’m surfing the colour pencil forum on WetCanvas! to see how I can make this better. Rubbing alcohol or turpentine is one of the options I’m considering ๐Ÿ˜› Using a set of 12 Color Pencils on 8″ X 10″ paper.
WIP - Man with the orange backgroundWIP 2 - Man with orange background

Update : Oct 16, 29, 30 & 31st: Photo Reference of Modigliani sitting in his Studio to be made using his style. I’ve changed my mind yet again ๐Ÿ˜€ and have decided that the B&W photograph of Modigliani sitting on a chair in his studio would be a better one to attempt. The canvas has been primed – finally :P. It’s a bit big at 24″ X 30″. And below is the digital study that’s been made to select the colors that i’d like to use. Last nights efforts had to be wiped clean luckily it just spurred me on and today’s attempt has been photographed and put below. It needs to be reduced but I needed to step back and that’s what i’m doing now :P. More work on it tomorrow.

Update : Nov 3, 2006 :ย  Took a break for a couple of days as I wanted Burnt Umber and didnt have any.ย  Today I surfed and found out at that I could make it by mixing Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Sienna.ย  Needed that for his suit.ย  Also lightened the background.ย  I need to go back in an make it darker behind him after the paint has dried.
Modigliani in his studio - ref modi portrait for colors WIP - Modigliani in his studioWIP 2 - Modigliani in his Studio WIP 3 - Modigliani in his Studio Day 4 - Modigliani in his Studio

Update: Oct 28, 2006 : I had thought that there would be just the oil painting of the study above but I’ve yet to start it. While on holiday I made a pen & ink sketch from a photo reference. Was trying to kill time in between flights. I think I might like to make an etching with this sketch as a reference.


Self Portrait Marathon 4 and many more…

These 2 are from earlier. They were made in early Feb this year while on holiday looking for tigers in Ranthambore. They’re a bit scary and ugly.

This one was made last night. Dont know why i’m looking so sorry for myself. That certainly wasnt the way I was feeling.

I’ve put together all the self portraits that I have made in a little over a year in a set on Flickr.

Self Portrait Marathon 3

Picture 110

Carried my mirror with me for the Monday morning art group meet hoping to do a self portrait. Started it but was too distracted to finish it. I will not be meeting two of the group members as they will be leaving Dhaka soon. I will miss them.

I wasnt sure that I would want to finish it later with the mirror at a different height at home etc. and given my last attempt at making a self portrait ๐Ÿ˜€ Finished it at home. The eyes are a bit too small in this one but I think a part of what I was feeling this morning has come through in this portrait.

Picture 115

The Self Portrait Marathon at Crackskull Bob’s.

Patience is a virtue – Illustration Friday



But it isnt one of mine. I baked my first cake when I was 35 for my husband’s birthday. My friends convinced me that I could not go wrong with a Betty Crocker mix (or was it Sara Lee product?) I decided to make it for the Birthday Party. To cut a long story short. While it was baking I couldnt resist and took quite a few peeks. Net result the centre’d caved in while baking. My friends rushed over, cut it in two slices and put one on top of the other and covered the evidence with icing. No one would’ve realised as the cover up job had been good but I confessed ๐Ÿ˜› My husband liked it and so did the rest. After all it was a Betty Crocker (or was it Sara Lee??) I havent baked another – it was like a been there done that kind of thing for me.


I wanted mine to look like a clean illustration and so i first sketched the drawings on paper and kept reworking it till I was satisfied. I found it a bit difficult to imagine how the arm/leg/foot would bend and the angle. i traced them on paper and colored them in. One thing I’ve messed up (the one that i’ve noticed :P) is the angle of the oven door. Also I should’ve used better paper as this wasnt absorbing any water. And one more thing – the mitt has been made in the shape of a heart ๐Ÿ˜€