Watercolor Celtic Knots

Watercolor Celtic Knots

Summer brings some time to experiment with more Celtic Knot Designs. 

The knots look complicated, but really, it’s just math and setting up a grid with a ruler, protractor, and compass.

So, I’ve been working on different equations to see which knots I like, how they look, and how easy they are to paint.  

Sometime soon, I’ll type up some instructions on how to form a knot. Maybe I can even post a video.

But this month has been all about playing with math and colors. The end result has been: there will be lots of new knot pendants in the store in the coming weeks and probably some prints, too.

Is there are color combo you need for your home or neck? Send me an email to start work on a custom project.

 

It’s the most fun to use two colors and watch the washes swirl together. Watercolor was a struggle for me in the beginning because I like to control all the aspects of where my paint/color is going. That’s not always possible with the watercolors. Sometimes they swirl one way, sometimes another. But you have to trust the paint to do what’s best. That usually works out the best.

Check back in the next weeks to see how the knot explosion has worked out and pick up a necklace or wall hanging as a special treat!

See you soon!

Family Tree Celtic Knot

Celtic knots have long been one of my favorite things to draw, although I don’t always have the time an patience needed to complete them…

I love the idea that so many elements can come together to make one complicated image, like in a symphony with all the musicians make something beautiful. With Celtic knots, you can see the unity – and that brings us to family. It made perfect sense to bring family into this picture of harmony and unity. (Not that our family is always harmonious, but it’s a goal worth putting on the wall.)

Trying New Things

White Mandala4 on Blue Dots-for web

It started with an idea to practice hand lettering by making pretty signs with the names of my favorite hymns. In the background of one of those attempts, I tried to draw a mandala freehand with no compass or ruler, which obviously went terribly.

That got me started intentionally practicing mandalas – and here we are. I can combine them digitally with some watercolors I’ve done, and I really like the results.

In America-a Watercolor-Digital Hybrid

Here are two new pieces I just finished for a project.  I mixed up the watercolor and digital paints, and it was so much fun.

The Process:

First, with a pencil, I sketched everything on a regular sketch pad.

Then, I redrew everything in pen.

Then, with a pen again, I traced everything onto hot press watercolor paper.  I used my homemade light table, which I will post about another day.

I chose hot press paper because the colors look brighter, and the paper is smoother.  When I have tried to trace onto cold press paper, my pen jumps all over the place.

Then I painted with my watercolors.  There are a few places, like the small boat, the girl’s headgear, that I did wet-on-dry.  I usually prefer wet-on-dry.  But for the ocean water, I had to do wet-on-wet…because it’s the ocean.  It’s all wet.

The make the middle girl’s shirt have a little texture, I blotted it with a paper towel as it was drying.

Then I scanned everything in at 600 dpi.

Obviously, these scans needed some work.

So, the clone tool became my new best friend.

The leaving the island picture only required some small fixes.  The funnels on the ship bothered me. I liked the third one back the best, so I selected and copied it over the first and second funnels.  Then I made the sky a gradient behind the clouds.

The arriving in America scene took a little more work.  I used the clone tool to copy the first boat window and paste it over the other three windows, and then I moved all the windows down a few centimeters.  I cloned along the edges of everything to make it all a little neater.  Then I added a gradient to the sky and the boat windows.

I would have liked to do the skies in the pictures with watercolor, but the statue and the clouds were too hard to work around.  I tried to use my masking fluid, but it was getting all clumpy and just wasn’t working for me.

Then, in the original scan, the cables stretched at the front of the ship were bothering me, so I redrew them in straight lines with the pencil tool.  Then I had to clone stamp over the old ink lines, which was a lot easier than I expected it to be.

The clone stamp worked really well because it pickup up the colors that I wanted and also the texture of the paper.  I love clone stamp.

Watercolor Doodles

I like watercolor.

I don’t know if I love it yet.

I had a picture of my little sister when we were young that I kept hidden for blackmail (just in case, right?).  It was of her just waking up, and her super curly hair was everywhere.  She inspired a couple of girls with crazy hair here.

Also, in grade school, I drew a picture inspired by her hair, and it made the “gallery” by the principal’s office.  I still remember.  And I was not one of the artsy kids in grade school.  It was probably the only picture of mine that ever made it to the principal’s gallery.  My sister has great hair.

Mostly, I just like this one’s shirt.  I would like a shirt like this.

The only thing I regret about my bed head girls is that their faces don’t look like they just woke up.

I did a couple of others with droopy faces, and they just looked really sad and confused, kind of like the picture I have of my dear sister, and they didn’t make my as happy as these other three girls.

Plus, the paint part on the droopy girls didn’t look right…and the point was the paint.

I pretty much like this butterfly.  I know it’s missing two legs.  It’s complicated.  Have you ever looked at a real butterfly?

And I like this flower.

So, if you have any thoughts, do share!