Elegantly Experimenting with absorbent ground 3

I am on location in Arizona! Sylvia and I are in the same room! Boy howdy, this should be FUN!

Hello Kraafters!

Well this one was surely different!!! First, I arrived in Arizona yesterday and then Sylvia came over to where I am staying with her laptop, tripod and a whole bunch of art supplies. The only idea we had for this show was to draw with the elegant writers on absorbent ground and see just what it would do. 

A side note – last month I took this class that Cee Cee did, you may have read about it over at this post, Watercolor Class with Cee Cee. I explained how much fun I was having and showed what I made while taking the class. Well that class has inspired a lot more addictive art than I ever thought it could – so Sylvia and I thought this was the next LOGICAL thing to try. ALSO – it gave a great way to announce that the next Kraaft It LIVE! will have a special guest! On November 3, 2015 we will have Cee Cee LIVE with us on our show!!! How KOOL is that? Be sure to register for it now, so you get email reminders – visit Kraaft It LIVE! and click the sign in button of your choice and leave a comment in the room to be sure you can get in!

So with a makeshift setup, and bags over the overhead lights so they would not have a glare on the book below we went live!

Set up - lights, camera ACTION!

If you missed the live show, you can see it on the Treasure Chest or you can see it on YouTube.

I have been pinning a lot of images to my “PIN”sperations for Kraaft It LIVE! on Pinterest and one of them was this bear cub in a tree. I just knew when I saw it that he would be the cutest to paint. I decided about 20 minutes before Sylvia arrived that TODAY WAS THE DAY!

Momma! before and after

We began with the large Dylusions art journal and Golden absorbent ground. I began slathering it on so we would be prepared for the show and realized that the jar says it should be applied over a gessoed surface. So I quickly rinsed my brush and gessoed the left side using Heavy White Gesso by Prima. Once that was dry, I added the absorbent ground over that and then waiting for THAT to dry. It seems we are always waiting for stuff to dry!!

Once dry I sketched out the basic lines I needed for the bear and the tree and then I added a couple leaves kinda floating down because I wanted those colors in there AND because we have this challenge going on this month – you know, about LEAVES! #KSCOCT15 

We were ready to go live and for the first time ever, Sylvia and I were side by side on the screen in front of the audience. It is super cool to be in the same room with someone when doing this – I think it should be a thing – travel and do the show on location more! What do you think?

Anyway, I used the elegant writer to outline those pencil lines and then using my largest round brush (and my favorite!) I added water to the page and pulled out the colors. The absorbent ground gave a different experience than just plain watercolor paper did BUT the side that had gesso underneath reacted much better or more like I expected from the pen. Interesting results.

The leaf as it sits at the end of the show

I really wish you could feel the pages in person. The one with just the absorbent ground on it feels much like all my journal pages feel. No real difference to speak of, but the side with gesso under the ground – WOW! It has a more “material” feel to it. Almost like it is now a canvas! Interesting results for sure.

The bear cub as the show ended

Sylvia was kind enough to bring some things I had never gotten to play with – Twinkling H2Os – now I see the reason people just GUSH over them!!! WOWZERS! She also brought her 84 piece set of NeoColor IIs – oh boy oh boy!!! So I added color using the color palette she chose for me and she done did good! 

84 set of Neo Colors II

As what seems to be usual now, we ran out of time before he was done. I tried to show you what we were headed for.


After the show, Sylvia had to leave but she left me with all the colorful goodness so I could finish.

2015-10-20 (2)

It took me about 45 more minutes of detail work to get him to the point I wanted him to be – the right highlights, depth in his eyes, fur and texture in the tree.


The bottom line – he is done and I call it – “Momma!!!!!!”

"Momma!!!!!" a twinkling watercolor art journal page


I hope you enjoyed the show and had as much fun as we did. THANKS AGAIN, SYLVIA! You ROCK!!


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About Heather Kraafter

First and foremost, I am a child of the One True King! I am blessed to be married to my best friend and was privileged to stay home and raise my boys. I began the Kraaft Shaak in 2010 as a way to experiment with crafting mediums and to teach others what I have learned and have come to enjoy it as my creative passion. Taking the 'show on the road' is my latest passion and each day is one step closer to that dream. Thanks for being a part of that journey too!


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