Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coffee, Tea, or Water: Experimenting with Aquarelle Pencils and Natural Dyes

What began as an accidental combination (I dipped my paint brush in my morning cup of coffee rather than rinsing in water.  Wish I could say it was for the first time...), became an experiment. How could natural pigments found in coffee and tea effect watercolor pigments (both in color studies and monochromatic works)?

I did three quick sketches of an eye using a brown aquarelle (watercolor in pencil form) pencil.  The top image was done using coffee to dilute the pigment, middle one with tea, and bottom with water.  Although I like the delicate color of the tea stains, the outline that occurs with the coffee could be an interesting texture in the right painting.  I might try staining the entire watercolor sheet next time to use as a tinted ground and then draw or paint after the wash dries.  Below are a few color studies done with coffee and tea as well as a resist technique using white colored pencil.  Found that the colors were a little muddier with the coffee and tea but perhaps if the pallette was limited to more earth tones, it might enhance the browns/greens and add extra depth.

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