March 9, 2019 § 7 Comments
I finally snail-mailed my annual Lunar New Year card!I sketch an idea on any old scrap paper then start refining it using pencil on tracing paper. When I have a drawing I like I ink over it using a narrow Micron pen. The reason I use tracing paper is you can see through it, and at some point I might want to change the composition by flipping the image… Easy as pie! Don’t even have to redraw it.Here are the pens used for this project. Berol Prismacolor art markers have a wide chisel tip and a narrow tip in one marker. Great for quick strokes of color. The Pigma Graphic, by Sakura, is permanent ink, too. It comes in many different widths. I used it for the Squiggle girl’s hair and facial features.If the final paper is too thick to see the drawing through it to trace via a light table, or up against a window, I use graphite paper instead to transfer the image. First the paper, then the graphite paper – graphite side down – then the drawing on top of that, and ‘trace’ over the lines with a hard sharp pencil (2 H or 4 H):Next I paint over the graphite lines in single brush strokes of gouache (goo-wash, an opaque watercolor), changing the color a bit every stroke or so for fun. My two favorite brands of gouache are Winsor & Newton (England) and Royal Talens (Holland). I have favorite brushes too. Of course the primo brush is Winsor & Newton “Series 7” sable. But they’re very expensive and gouache is particularly hard on fine haired brushes, wearing down their tips pretty quickly. Recently I discovered the “Umbria” series by Princeton Art & Brush Co, made especially for gouache, and gave it a whirl. It’s a new fav! Finally I add my signature “chop” – which says the sound of my first name in two ancient Chinese pictograms side by side – ‘P’ + ‘eer’, carved for me years ago by a Beijing artist, “A National Treasure,” visiting Seattle. My Year of the Monkey post, 2016 – click HERE – gives a different step-by-step of the process. All my New Year cards feature this imaginative “Squiggle Girl,” from the picture book, The Squiggle, by Carole Lexa Schaefer and illustrated by moi – Pierr !Here’s to a creative year! ~ xo Pierr
March 1, 2019 § 14 Comments
Since the 1st century philosophers puzzling cause and effect have wondered – which came first, the chicken or the egg? Recently, in our 21st century, physicists have shown that in parallel universes of quantum physics, the chicken AND the egg can both come first.
The art I share today is my whimsical glimpse into one such universe and what could be going on there at this very moment.I used gouache (goo-wash) and ink in a resist technique. Thinking backwards, I paint pattern first to stain the paper……then general colors over the pattern, leaving the paper blank where I want a black line.The scene fills in this way with more details and general color over them. I tape the piece to the bottom of an enamelware pan (waterproof) with Artist Tape (blue painter’s tape works as well)……then cover the foreground and borders with black waterproof ink (Higgins “Black Magic” is my fav).Then I let water from the kitchen faucet run over it. Water beating on the piece dissolves the paint which pushes the ink off itself, leaving a stain of color – and ink – where the paper was blank or where gouache wasn’t painted thick enough to resist the ink. This allows for surprise and that ‘happy accident’ which I love. The painting is usually a potato chip after this step, so I blow dry it flat again, then remove the tape.Final touch-ups are easy because gouache is opaque and will cover excess ink, or colors I might decide I want to brighten or change.For that Medieval illuminated manuscript look, metallic watercolor from Daniel Smith Art Supply in Seattle works wonders.Tonight – March 1, 2019 – the group show, Chickens: Birds of a Feather, opens at TAP (The Art Project), a gallery on Bainbridge Island, WA. The show is up through March 31.Thanks for attending my first “Freehand Friday.” My plan is to share something of my art process with you each week, to motivate me to keep on creating more and more new drawings and paintings. Ba-BOK! xo ~ Pierr
July 6, 2018 § 10 Comments
Archival photos from Halls Hill Lookout – Bainbridge Island, WA, 2013
My favorite part is taking off the tape!
June 29, 2018 § 10 Comments
Revisiting the archives, charting Plein Air days, hoping to get outside again with my paints and document my new surroundings. My dear art friend Lynnette took this photo of me on Bainbridge Island, 2013…
Plein Air – 4 x 6″ post cards – acrylics – 2013
June 15, 2018 § 2 Comments
In a couple more months I’ll be sharing the results of work on the big painting commission I mention in the recent WordPress Photo Challenge: PLACE IN THE WORLD
Last weekend I collaborated with my multi-talented friend, Annie – WordPress blog: CURIOUS MIND GARDEN
Annie recently took an online poetry class. The final project required collaboration with another artist. She wrote a poem from SUNDAY BRUNCH – a gouache painting in my website Gallery – and I made the following painting from one of her new poems: “Self Portrait as Plate Spinner”
It’s 8 x 10″, using gouache (“goowash”, an opaque watercolor) & Prismacolor pencils. I work things out in stages on tracing paper – first pencil, then committing to the lines by inking over them with a Micron pen – transferring images to the final paper using a light table, so I’m not having to sketch over and over and erase directly on the final paper.
Have a great weekend and week ahead…involving a collaboration?! ~ Pierr
March 22, 2017 § 12 Comments
Easy as mudpies being GREEN… ChildrensGarden copy It’s Spring! Got Seeds?by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan – arrives in bookstores MAY 2, 2017 ~ my 65th birthday! Here’s A Peek at My Illustration Process:
I use GOUACHE (“goo-wash”), an opaque watercolor, on Arches 140 lb Cold Press (textured) watercolor paper, and Higgins “Black Magic” waterproof ink, in a technique called “Gouache & Ink Resist” which I learned over thirty years ago at
This technique celebrates backwards thinking…something my brain does naturally. What you want showing in the end is painted first to stain the paper. Gouache colors are mixed to a melty-soft ice cream consistency and applied thickly enough – details first – so when dry, the paint resists the ink. Paper is left blank wherever you want black or a black line.When the paint is dry it gets a layer of waterproof ink.When the ink’s dry, it gets a rinse at the sink! (below is the Cover Art) Water beating on the surface dissolves the paint, which runs, pushing the ink off itself in flecks……leaving a brilliant stain and earthy texture. Always a surprise.
I look the painting over for places where color washed away, not leaving enough of a stain, or where ink stuck too much. I wanted the packets to look fairly new, without much dirt on them, especially for very young readers to easily identify the plants and match them with flowers, fruits, and vegetables growing in the book garden.Because Gouache is opaque, it paints over excess ink nicely. The Sunflower packet in these two photos is a good example of before & after ‘touch-ups.Below is what the final endpaper painting looks like printed and bound. Carole and I can’t wait to personalize copies on the blank seed packet. The American Goldfinch seems curious to read them.The back endpaper features Carole’s and my bio, cleverly placed on the flip side of the Wildflower seeds by Sasquatch Books’ Little Bigfoot design team.Oh! I almost forgot – the green snail – it’s in every picture. Can’t wait for you to find it. Click HERE to read more – and buy! – The Children’s Garden on Sasquatch Books’ website. Thanks so much! And thanks too, for reading to a Child. xo Pierr