Yes, I suffer as a
ham-handed paint scrubber artist.
Preliminary sketches, all of them totally wrong.
I don’t care how many times I have to draw it, over and over again, I am driven by
despair and low self-esteem my ideals to get it right.
I don’t care how many times I have to paint it, and paint it, and paint it, and paint it, and paint it, and paint it again, I
cry bitter tears over my inadequacies steadfastly pursue my masochistic perversion artistic vision.
I don’t stop until I get it
slightly less crappy right. And do you know why?
Because of you. Yes, YOU.
You, dear readers, are the best people out there in Book World . Thank you all for answering the call to give Amazon a piece of your mind re: Le Road Trip. I am deeply touched and profoundly grateful for your wonderful feedback and guidance to the millions of people who ave yet to buy a copy of Le Road Trip. You deserve the very best reading experience that this
pea brained ink-stained egomaniac humble book writer can give, so I slave over every detail on every page that I offer to you, you thoughtful caring seekers of literature.
That goes for the
bilge content of this blog too. So, today, I am going to share with you one of my trade secrets. I’m going to show you show you how to paint gravel, such as that which appears in the pathways (above) of my quaint knot garden in Edinburgh:
Let’s say you have a gravel path you want to paint:
The first thing you do is make a quick wash over the entire surface like this:
When the wash is dry, cover the un-painted bits with whatever is handy — anything will do, even scrap paper. For you, dear readers, I used my prettiest purple paper:
You’ll need an old toothbrush for the next step, and you’ll get a far better result if you use a float-topped brush, like the pink one shown here, rather than the fancy pointy one (which, despite its scientific appearance, did not have the necessary aerodynamics):
Dip the tip of the toothbrush into water…
… and scrub the tip of that brush into dark paint and load it up with pigment:
You can use dark brown paint, or deep blue, if you’d like — depends on the kind of effect you want. Feel free to experiment. You’ll notice I’m using my old paints here . For certain textures or color schemes, I like the slightly muted colors I get from these cheap paints.
Now you’re going to use your index finger to flick the bristles of your toothbrush and splatter paint:
Let dry, and reveal:
Now, when I did this technique on my garden illustration (way above) it was a bit more complicated because the spaces that I wanted to cover with splatter were very intricate. Luckily for me, I had a false start when I first tried to paint this bugger (for the sixth time):
So I took that false start and I cut it up to make a stencil to lay over y painting before I let rip with the toothbrush splatter :
Now, having finished painting this scene for the sixth time, I have recently learned that I might have to do this all over again.
After two books that were the same trim six (9 x 8 inches), I began doing pages for my garden book in that exact same trim size. But just last week my agent asked me to consider working in a new format.”Try making your new book smaller, like reading book size,” she said. “It’ll help booksellers [people who own book shops] shelve it, and display it.”
I’m all about making life easier for booksellers. I want to make it easy as pie for them to sell hundreds of thousands of my books. I need them to sell hundreds of thousands of my books or else I have no validation as a human being. ha ha.
So what that means is, my next book might have considerably smaller pages. That is, the same size as 50 Shades of Gray, or Eat, Pray Love.
Hmmmmmm. I like the idea, but I don’t know if I can work in such cramped margins. This might seriously cramp my style. But, if it means more books will be sold…
That black rectangle is the size of your average multi-million-seller, compared to Le Road Trip. This might be the size of my next book.
What do you think?
P.S. My sister pointed out a flaw in my request for Amazon reviews last week, in that some people don’t like Amazon. I forgot to address that in this week’s post, but I will have a Plan B next week. Sorry for the inconvenience — we’ll make it right! I need everybody on the ChrisHanuKwanSolstice list!