Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Things New

'All Things New'
5" x 7" watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord
$100 plus $7 US shipping
I've spent a lot of time lately going through my stash of photos and organizing them (Ha! no really, I'm trying), looking for that one image that shouts at me to paint. I found some of my youngest son when he was a baby, and then some I had taken of him just a few months ago and I was shocked to see the change in him. He is so grown up now (that's not him in the painting above just in case you're wondering). Makes me a little sad. He's my baby, my last, and it's hard to see him grow up so much right before my eyes, although the new changes are fun too of course.
Then I found these photos I took of my darling nephew over the summer. He was about a year and a half old, and he had that look of wonder at everything he saw around him. And his beautiful brown eyes are what called me to paint him. I have a few other shots of him I will be painting too. He was such a great little model. :)
Now about this aquabord. I've been wanting to paint with my techniques in watercolor on a surface that won't need framing behind glass, and also bigger. I envision a certain wall in my home with three 24" x 24" portraits of my boys, on cradled aquabord with out glass or frames. So, here I am trying aquabord again.
And I liked it a lot better this time. I think I'm getting the hang of how this stuff works. And the best part is that the finished painting still feels like 'me'. Where as when I paint with acrylics or oils it feels like I'm trying somebody else's clothes on that don't fit quite right. I enjoy oils and acrylics for a change of pace, but they don't feel like me. At least, not yet. Maybe one day I'll feel differently.
One tip I found useful for using aquabord is to use a very wet brush with mostly water and not a lot of pigment, and gradually build up color that way. Which actually is how I paint with watercolor on paper too. :)
Until Thrusday! Huzzah!


  1. Sweet one Crystal. Reminds me of the old Sunbeam Bread child's photo on the wrapper when I was young(er). The child was praying and looking up and the slogan was "not by bread alone." What a message. Hope you are having a wonderful week.

  2. Simply breathtaking Crystal, can see the wonder in those eyes. Can't wait to see your boys painted on the aqua board.

  3. I LOVE THIS ONE, Crystal!! So sweet! and I love the sparkle in his eyes!! An amazing painting!

  4. One beautiful portrait after another. I love to visit Crystal. I think your idea about the masks is fantastic. Keep going with that. There's an interesting psychology attached to that.

    As for aquaboard--that reads a lot like this sanded paper I'm about to explore in a pastel class. I do hope that it too is a surface for a vulnerable medium that requires no glass. It does however require framing. One strike against pastel painting.

  5. Lovely painting and amazing how much details you can get into a pair of eyes, amazing.

  6. Ma chère Crystal, j'avais manqué une publication... Hidden est une magnifique peinture...
    Tout comme ce petit bout de choux! Il a des yeux qui débordent d'expression et qui me font craquer! Un portrait fantastique.
    Aujourd'hui j'ai passé la matinée avec ma petite-fille Lise âgée de 6 mois. J'ai pris des photos... Elle a elle aussi des yeux qui lui mange tout le visage! j'adore!
    Je t'envoie une photo!
    Gros bisous

  7. You still are the "Queen" of watercolour child portraits Crystal, and those eye's are incredible!
    I had to look up aquabord, sounds like pretty interesting stuff.

  8. What do you do to the brushes, what do you whisper to them and they bow to you in such a manner...? A magnificent, once again, portrait Crystal!!
    About aquabord, didn't know anything (autodidact geek that has a LOT yet to learn), so thank you for that :)
    Hugs and smiles.

  9. Saw this piece on FB and just loved it! I'm eager to try some different substrates myself, I paint on canvas and watercolour paper but would like to branch out and try some other things too. You've inspired me :-) They do grow so fast, now here I am watching my Grand-daughter grow up!

  10. Huzzah indeed! The detail ... those wisps of hair , those eyelashes ... that glow ...those eyes ... there's only one Crystal Cook, Guvvnah, and that's you! Brilliant!

    Oh ... before I go ... I thought aquabord is what you went surfing on .... No? I should stick to ink? ... ok then!

  11. ahhh those sweet eyes looking up - so utterly charming!!

  12. Crystal, this is absolutely fantastic! Those gorgeous brown eyes, those beautiful eyelashes - WOW! Biggest HUZZAH yet!
    And thank you for the tip on aquaboard. I have yet to try it, but will soon.

  13. I cant get my eyes off those eyes. They really speak a thousand words. Crystal you are a super girl. And think of that 24x24 portrait of young Cooks and you are already wanting to see it. :)

  14. I can't get over what you can do on aqua board. Amazing!! Another absolutely stunning portrait. And these kids just grow up too fast!!!

  15. You can see the emotion of the baby. You did well there. Looks quite realistic. Just amazing.

    hire hummer sydney

  16. Well he is just beautiful! I just love his expression! I've never tried aqua-board. Never even heard of it! But it would be great not to have to use glass :0)

  17. Hello Crystal:) On aquaboard! Very nice. It's such a beautiful underground to paint on. No matter were you paint on it's always beautiful:)This one is no exeption, so sweet!

  18. Beautiful as usual Crystal. You convey such emotion in every portrait and are always able to maintain amazing light, keeping your paintings so luminous and "juicy" no matter what surface you paint on. :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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