Dabbling in Watercolor

Getting ready for an evening of Wine and Watercolor at the Bemis Art School I decided to use pages of vintage sheet music for the substrate.  I happened upon these amazing books of music at a Friends of the Library book sale.  Deciding this was the perfect opportunity to use these pages and not knowing exactly how the watercolor would work, I gave it a try.  DSC_0625

I removed a page and trimmed the right edge to make it symmetrical.  The pulp of this paper is incredible, smooth yet substantive.  Printed in the 1930’s by Charles Scribner’s Sons, the hardbound books themselves are gems for art journals, and removing pages moves me one step closer toward re-purposing these treasures.

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What better image for the new year than a butterfly!  New beginnings, even in the heart of winter, says butterfly to me.  Besides we could use a little springtime muse since it is a whopping 6 degrees outside today.  I had this sketch of a butterfly but decided to tweak it a bit for the image to be used on the sheet music, a few more curves on the wings, more whimsical and this is what I came up with…..


I drew the image in pencil, using the music staff as guidelines.  Then painted around the image with Reeves watercolors.  The sheet music worked beautifully and took the watercolors without buckling.  Usually I paint with oils or acrylics so this was a NEW experience.  A little water, a lot of color, simple really, yet fun and satisfying.


Here are my tools, an inexpensive brush and affordable watercolors from the craft store.  The star of the show is the sheet music.  If you are a paper junkie like me, keep your eyes open at estate sales for book bound music, you will not be disappointed and there are a myriad of uses for it; collage, journaling, or a stand alone piece like this butterfly.  Looking forward to teaching this technique at Wine and Watercolors and glad I found a way to use my vintage pages of music!

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