Brusho Watercolour Ink

So for my most recent college project I used watercolour paints to create backgrounds for a set of posters. I’ve probably mentioned this before but I love how watercolours mix and create really interesting textures. Well while doing that project I came across these pigment powders on Amazon that act very similar to watercolour and of course I had to buy them.

Brusho Crystal Colours Paint | bluchickenninja.com

Basically what you get in the box is 12 tubs of powder that you can sprinkle onto paper and create textures. I’m sure there are other ways to use these as well, you could probably mix them with water to create inks to paint with (gonna be honest, I threw out the instructions that came with it).

Brusho Watercolour Ink | bluchickenninja.com

But the real reason I got these was to create textures to use in other things (haven’t decided on what yet, though I’ve been thinking about doing bookmarks). It’s so much fun seeing how you can create different patterns by placing the paper at angles or spraying water in different ways. And every single one of them is going to be unique which is cool.

Here’s some I made earlier:

Brusho Watercolour Ink | bluchickenninja.com Brusho Watercolour Ink | bluchickenninja.com Brusho Watercolour Ink | bluchickenninja.com Brusho Watercolour Ink | bluchickenninja.com

Yeah, I just wrote this cause I really like my new paints and wanted to tell someone about it.

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Kirsty Doesn’t Share Food

My sister is a little protective of her food. You know that bit in Fellowship of the Ring where Bilbo goes all Gollum-y when Frodo asks to see the ring. That’s similar to what my sister does when you get too close to her food. For years I have been threatening to make a t-shirt proclaiming that ‘Kirsty doesn’t share food’ and finally as a birthday present for her this year I actually did it.

Kirsty Doesn't Share Food | bluchickenninja.com

I started off by forgetting everything we’ve learned at college about the design process and jumped in without really knowing what I was going to do. I knew the piece was going to have various food stuffs on it so I started off by writing a list of her favourite foods and doodled them. It was pointed out to me a number of times that I forgot to put Irn-Bru on this list but I did actually remember it, I just forgot to put it in the final design. Ooops!

Kirsty Doesn't Share Food | bluchickenninja.com

I then scanned these doodles and brought them into Illustrator. Using the image trace function I can turn the doodles into paths which means I can rotate and scale each food separately and figure out the best layout.

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I initially wanted to make this design into a t-shirt but that seemed like even more hassle so I decided to paint and frame it instead. This meant I had to decide what medium to paint it in. I did test paintings in both mediums, watercolour on the left and gouache on the right. I eventually decided to use the gouache as I was going for a more cartoon-y look.

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I’m not sure how other artists do this but I bought a frame from Paperchase for £15. The frame was 40cm by 40cm so I scaled the artwork on the computer to this size, leaving a 5cm border all around so I could put a mount on top. I really don’t know if I was doing this the right way, if anyone knows more about mounting paintings please tell me your secrets.

I printed the design at the right scale then traced it using the highly technical method of taping it to a window (seriously why do people buy expensive light boxes?). I used Bockingford watercolour paper for the final artwork and I was really surprised how well it coped with the gouache. No warping at all. And it was only £2 for an A1 sheet from Paperchase.

Kirsty Doesn't Share Food | bluchickenninja.com

After that it was just a case of painting and doing the linework. Then it was done. And my sister seemed to be quite happy with the result which was good.

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A New Sketchbook

A New Sketchbook | bluchickenninja.com

So I just wanted to talk for a second about my new sketchbook. I’ve spent I don’t know how long looking for a watercolour sketchbook, the only problem is they are either far too expensive or in a landscape format (like the Moleskine sketchbook).

After lots of Googling I finally came across this A5 Pink Pig sketchbook, it’s not made specifically for watercolour but it’s fine for light washes. The paper does wrinkle a bit but at £5 I really can’t complain (I also just want to mention that Pink Pig make awesome sketchbooks, I use the A3 ones in college and they are great).

A New Sketchbook | bluchickenninja.com

Recently I’ve been really enjoying doodling simple shapes and patterns. In this sketchbook I have tried doing that but made the backgrounds by letting various colours mix together on the page (there is a technical name for this, I just forgot it). So far I have been liking the result.

A New Sketchbook | bluchickenninja.com

Maybe it’s just me but I think these would make really cool bookmarks. I think I’m going to try that. I may have to paint larger versions of them first.

A New Sketchbook | bluchickenninja.com

Fun fact: this doodle was inspired by the opening title sequence from The Road To El Dorado (link) but this also went on to inspire a logo I did for a corporate identity project which won me £100 and will be used for an arts festival. So thats cool.

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Wall.E?

Wall.E? | bluchickenninja.com

One of my recent projects at college involved redesigning movie posters. Since Wall.E is one of the best Pixar movies ever made I decided to redesign that in an art deco style (so it ended up not really looking “art deco” but I don’t care, I had fun doing it). I will have a full write up of that project at some point but for just now I wanted to share the watercolour version I did (because I was bored).

Can I also just talk about how much respect I have for the people who made Wall.E. I spent three days working on that poster and though he is literally just a box it’s amazing how many different emotions he can show just by changing the position of his eyes and hands.

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Pale Blue Dot

For the past year I’ve been trying to create a space scene using watercolours, this one turned out pretty well. It also just happens to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot photograph.

Pale Blue Dot | bluchickenninja.com

“On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

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