Salt Cell 2

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Salt Cell 2 by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2 by Amy Crook

After exploring the combination of salt and watercolor last week, I picked up some larger crystals of sea salt. Wanting to do something else that echoed Salt Cell but incorporated some pen-and-ink work as well, I decided on a rather tedious methodology. The process affected the outcome because the paint began to dry before I was done putting the salt back on the little circles.

I think I might try it again, but with fewer salt crystals.

Salt Cell 2, 5″x5″ pen and ink and watercolor on watercolor paper, $229 with free shipping.

You can see more about how this piece came together below the cut.

First I scattered some of the salt crystals over the paper, and then I used a fountain pen to draw little circles around some of the salt:

Salt Cell 2, progress 1, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 1, by Amy Crook

Then, after I got a few of the crystals circled, I transferred them onto my exacto cutting board, which had a convenient grid. I didn’t have to be exact, but I wanted to be able to tell which one went back where when the time came:

Salt Cell 2, progress 2, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 2, by Amy Crook

This went on for a while, as you can imagine:

Salt Cell 2, progress 3, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 3, by Amy Crook

In the end, I decided to eliminate the densest grouping of crystals, and leave an open space in the upper right, where I also planned to put the darkest paint.

Salt Cell 2, progress 4, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 4, by Amy Crook

Then, I applied the watercolor in a very wet wash, and put the salt back on, each crystal in its little circle. I took a mid-progress shot, but I was in such a hurry it came out blurry, so this is after all the salt has been replaced:

Salt Cell 2, progress 5, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 5, by Amy Crook

A gratuitous shot of everything I used to make this piece. Tweezers! Why did I think art needed tweezers? And yet, I’m already planning another piece using the same techniques.

Salt Cell 2, progress 6, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 6, by Amy Crook

And finally, a shot of the piece at the end of the drying process. The light had begun to fade, so the colors are shifted from the indoor lamps, but you can see the final pattern has emerged, and the salt is just sitting on top, waiting to be gently brushed away:

Salt Cell 2, progress 7, by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, progress 7, by Amy Crook

And to revisit, the final version. The ink didn’t spread as well as I’d hoped, instead it faded to soft grey instead of the sharp black you can see in my signature, but overall I’m very pleased with the final effect:

Salt Cell 2 by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2 by Amy Crook

Salt Cell 2, 5″x5″ pen and ink and watercolor on watercolor paper, $229 with free shipping.

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One Response to “Salt Cell 2”

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  1. […] The bright new-leaf green of the spiral-textured section is done with a Pilot fountain pen from Japan, and the ink surprised me by being nearly obliterated when I dropped water onto it, unlike the black pen from that same line, which tended to blur but stay strong in Salt Cell 2. […]