[This blog post exists entirely so I have a place to upload animated gifs for sharing on facebook etc]
Watercolor Robots in Auburn
For the month of Feb 2016, I have a solo show on display at the City of Auburn Gallery. This show features 15 new works in Watercolor, the first time I have used Watercolor for a formal show.
I was initially going to show framed prints of my Robot drawings. However, since the Auburn Gallery features less than 10 hand-picked artists every year, I felt I needed to reciprocate the honor by creating new original works for this show. Having always been interested in Watercolors, I thought I would try combining Watercolors with Pen & Ink to create artwork that was both new, and yet faithful to my original ink drawings.
The first step was conduct a few tests, and I ran into problems right away. Pen & Ink requires paper to be really smooth, whereas Watercolor paper comes in all kinds of textures. Since the watercolors would have to be framed, and framing is expensive, I also discovered I would have to work backwards by finding good+economical frames first, and then creating the artwork to size. After days scouring art and frame shops, I found it was practically impossible to find an intersection point between frame, paper, paper smoothness, and paper thickness for my needs. I finally ended up buying larger sheets of paper that had to be cut to size, which was a laborious process in itself..
The photo below shows my first few test pieces, as well as my first test of framing a finished piece. Thankfully the end result looked good and made the effort seem worthwhile!
For the actual pieces, I decided to work assembly-line fashion in the hope of achieving a consistent look across the pieces and also be more efficient about their execution. The following photos show this work in progress.
Creating these pieces is a three step process: 1. The underlying pencil sketch; 2. Adding Watercolor coloring; 3. Inking the outlines. This is what the pieces look like before inking:
Here's a side-by-side showing how much difference inking makes to the work:
Here's a timelapse video of Inking in action:
And one more closeup:
Once the works are dry, it's time to frame them. Framing 15 pieces is no laughing matter! You have to take the frame apart carefully, clean it together, attach the piece to the mat, put the whole thing back, add hanging hardware and wires, and do that over and over again.
And finally it's time to hang the show:
Click through the gallery below to see all the pieces in the show:
The show is up till Feb 26th, 2016. All the works are for sale. If you want to catch the show, it's at the Auburn City Hall, 25 W. Main Street, Auburn. Open M-F 8-5
Many thanks to the City of Auburn, the Auburn Arts Commission, and Auburn Parks & Rec for making this show happen!
And finally, it's in the news: