Here we are on the cusp of spring. I know the rest of the country is basking in spring flowers and light clothing but here in PEI we take things as they come. Snow banks do exist but are dwindling.
My new art excitement is combining watercolor with charcoal. Yes charcoal. This is an old idea which was used by the illustrators in the early 20th century. Jessie Wilcox Smith used it in her amazing illustrations for Ladies Home Journal. That was when the magazine was about 11×16 inches. I have one and it was delivered by mail to the subscriber!
Anyway, back to the charcoal and watercolor. One of the important aspects about charcoal is that it helps me find value and tone and imparts a wonderful grainy texture to the surface. This is very useful for still life or landscape. So far I have used it only for experimenting and free expression but I think it could be used in more serious and finished pieces. Try it some time. I know you will like it. I did use a light fixative over the charcoal which didn’t seem to resist the watercolor but I will try it next with no fixative. After all it’s not likely that Jessie Willcox Smith had a can of spray fixitive?
I am so looking forward to painting Spring in PEI.