Water color painting – Forest spirit

So, this painting was for a course assignment. Actually a topic I have been planning on painting as a series but not in this context originally.

Topic for the course was spirit and matter in your own art. I am not that spiritual nor try to convey any more meaningful message in my pieces, but one can find solace in nature and nature is often a theme in my works. I have been reading a book on Finnish mythologies so from there I have some ideas brewing. One theme being nature and nature spirits. I am a fantasy geek as well, so fantasy and magic, especially forest beings such as dryads, have been a long term inspiration and of interest.

So nature spirit and nature itself for me fit the spirit and matter on both spirit in actual physical form and partly in form of the magical surrounding, the forest, especially the huge tree. The spirit and the magical nature of the forest together could be also seen as intangible substance; the spirit of the forest.

Work in progress shots:

For the painting I had in mind a photo I took of nearby pond years ago. The colors were so magical with bright green and distant blue hues, but it did not fit the composition I had in mind with a huge tree. So I made now another piece only using the color theme and the original composition idea I’ll keep for other piece.

Masking fluid horror. Damage to paper from masquepen.

So that also happened. Paper surface got damaged in many places once removing masking fluid. I was a bit too confident from earlier use, apparently.

I used mainly masquepen, but due to long period usage it started to clog so I used transparent Schmincke masking fluid meanwhile to let the masquepen ˋrest´. (Putting cap back on and off did not make the masquepen more usable, but leaving it alone for a while revived it)

I applied in both days masking fluid to dry surface before starting to paint.

  • On first day I rubbed the dried fluid off within ~18hours of application, so perhaps it stayed on for too long then (but I think I have had masking fluid on a paper even longer..)
  • Then on second day I removed it in the same evening as I was painting. After first try to remove masking fluid the paper was getting damaged all the time so I left the painting alone for an additional one hour to ensure it was dry. Then there was less damage to the paper surface.

In case the damaged surface would have become a problem, I was thinking on doing either a paper collage or painting over with gouache. But it was fine, even though paper was damaged also in parts of the dryad, where I added Schmincke masking fluid (face and some small spots in body). I was not planning on painting any additional layers anyway to background, so the dryad was my main worry.

However, with light washes on the damaged surface I managed to finish the painting ok. I added also details to the closest branches, trunk and the dryad with colored pencils.

Finished piece:

Final note, also removing washi tape (two different was used), ripped the paper surface from all sides -> so I suppose the paper might not be that masking fluid or tape friendly. (should be quality paper otherwise, but I did leave the tape in place for multiple days. Maybe should have used blow dryer to warm the tape first.)


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