Wednesday, January 09, 2008


"Look Up, Way Up" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Hi there, dear reader!

So in my quest to find what works for me artistically and what doesn't I decided that in today's post I'd share with you a little experiment I have going on.

Last year, I can't recall when, over at WetCanvas! in the coloured pencil forum there was much ado about solvents. What could one accomplish by using solvents? Who was using them? What types were there? And so on.
One of the solvents that came up was one called "Zest-It" that boasted a delightful orange-y scent and was non-toxic to boot. I saw what several people were doing with this stuff and I had to bite. What can I say? I'm a sucker for new artsy knick-knacks and doo-dads, so I ordered some.

A week or so later my Zest-It arrived and there it sat. I was at a loss as to what I should try it with, in terms of a subject, much less on what type of support. Ultimately I think what I wound up doing was doing a bunch of scribbles on a piece of Colourfix and then smearing some Zest-It on the scribbles to see what effects I could get.

Fast forward to this week.

I decided that if I'd spent the money on the darn stuff then I might as well use it and so I whipped out a piece of pastelbord (again, another artsy knick-knack/ doo-dad) and did a quick line drawing of a horse and started blocking in some colours. After I got the colours down, and there really weren't many, I applied the Zest-It. Here's where it is right now:

5x7, coloured pencil on Pastelbord.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Looks pretty darn ugly, eh? That's okay, all cp pieces go through an ugly stage and I'm certainly no whiz with a paintbrush.

The reason I'm doing this is because I wanted to work on a piece "for fun" and because I want to know if the Zest-It is worth my time as opposed to my watercolour pencils. After all, I have to order this stuff from the UK and the shipping is almost as much as the solvent itself! I can go pick up watercolour pencils at my local art store.

I'm going to be playing with this one on and off for the remainder of the week and, provided I don't become too distracted, I suspect it should be finished off this week-end.

I may do another piece, a floral, using this stuff since florals seem to have less fiddly bits than a horse. I tend to be a bit looser with floral works, which will help because like I mentioned before, I'm no whiz with the paintbrush so I'll just be able to slap the stuff on and have at it.

So I hope you'll stick around and find out if this little solvent experiment works. If not, I'll be advertising a bottle of Zest-It for sale on this blog in due time. :p

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