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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Color! - Adding fluid acrylic washes over graphite

Updated: May 7, 2021

Although I continued to draw in my sketchbook this week, the highlight for me came today when I added color to my graphite "formal" portrait of two of my Milkweed Manor characters, Reynard the fox shaman and his weasel assistant Vicious. "Milkweed Manor" is a book I'm writing and illustrating about a community of animals living in the forest behind an ancient manor house.

The color is layered washes of Golden fluid acrylics. I'm aiming for a tinted drawing look.

I'm not completely sure that I'm finished. I'll just look at it for a few days and decide whether I want to do anything else. I'm considering two things: correcting the fox's left eye by opening it a bit so that it matches the right; adding more color to the background.

After I finished the graphite drawing (by the way, it's on Strathmore mixed media paper) I sprayed it with Krylon Workable Fixatif so that the water based paint wouldn't smudge the graphite. That part worked, but I found the surface a bit difficult to paint on - especially for the first layer. In the past, when doing mixed media collage, I've noticed how beautifully fluid acrylic paints over a layer of mat gel medium (I use Liquitex), even the thinnest washes. I'm not sure how the paper will stand up to the layer of gel, but I'm going to add this step to my next attempt and see if the painting is any easier.

(Later note: Yes, the Liquitex Mat Medium makes it much easier to apply the acrylic over the drawing. Stonhedge mixed media paper is what I'm using now, and it holds up very well. 5/6/2021)

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