Busy in the Studio...Testing Watercolor Papers...Kilimanjaro & Arches Board

The last couple of weeks, I've had the 'winter nesting' kick in.  It's still in the 90's but I just have this feeling that winter is going to be a long one.  So it's also fall cleaning time.  I had every room in the house in pieces for a couple of days. Isn't that how it works? 
During my cleaning phase, I decide to also do light redecorating.  Which turned into more of a major project...new furniture for the living room and hearth room. My justification...well, both my husband and I have our offices out of the house.  If he isn't on site, we both spend a lot of time both working and playing in the house.  Sounds good huh?
Well the deed is done and now all the work takes place.  I'm re-doing most of the artwork in the house.  The below is for the bedroom.

The above is how it starts out.  This is a 22x30 piece of 300lb Kilimanjaro Natural White Watercolor Paper.  This is Cheap Joe's House Brand and it is made in the US.  The sizing and tooth is perfect for a lot of my work.  It takes washing very well.  I didn't tape it down nor did I stretch it. I wanted to see what it would do...it performed magically.

I started out with the basic design in the colors that I wanted to pop up.  This isn't my typical painting style but I was looking more for a happy, smiling sort of style that I would work in my sketchbook or art journal.

As you see...I used several different techniques on it. Everything from printmaking to inks to embossing to watercolors.  I just tossed everything at it. On top of that, I work very wet.  I even mixed my watercolor directly on the paper.  It took it well.  All-in-all, I'm very impressed with the paper and how it turned out. Framing is next.

Since I'm redoing the master bedroom in shades of a pale buttercream and indigo, it's a rather boring color combo so I decided to perk it up with art.  I mean, even the walls are buttercream, the bed covers are buttercream, and the carpet is even a very light ivory tan. So I will be adding accents of indigo and maybe sage pillows.  That's the reason behind the bright artwork.

The second piece is smaller, 16x20 on Arches Watercolor Board. This was hot pressed, smooth as silk. Since I did not pre-mist it, the inks and washes just floated on top until they dried.  Also it's a very slow dry because of the sizing. So if you aren't careful, it's very easy to smear the color.  The board is very smooth, wonderful for illustrations, and just pops up the color. It almost has a Yupo quality with the color.

It is a rather busy, colorful piece.  Which I was intending because there are only two large framed works in the entire room. I wanted a bold, light, and colorful room without clutter.

Ok...I'm off to the studio...I'm working on another project!!!