Neocolor Abstract Flowers: May Madness Day 21

Many of us have been talking about the inspiring work of artist Debora Stewart. I’ve been watching her video on Artist Network TV about abstracting flowers. I just love the work she does in pastel, but I wanted something fast and (hopefully) beautiful. Neocolors to the rescue!    This is a 4″ square Aquabord, and yes, I am hooked.    It may be quite some time before I paint on paper again.

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Neocolor crayons are probably one of the most versatile art supplies I’ve ever used.    They are no fuss, no muss!   You can work with them in your lap while watching TV, you can throw them in a bag and take them anywhere you like, you can use them with water or without.   What I like best is they produce vibrant results quickly.   So if you’re participating in a daily painting challenge and you’re running out of time to get tomorrow’s post ready ….. it’s all good!   Neocolors feel something like crayons going dry to a surface, but when you light them up with a wet paintbrush, that’s when the magic happens.    If I had to save just one art supply in a fire, this would be it.    There are areas where I’ve blended smoothly with the brush into the watercolor paint that was on the surface, and other areas where I’ve left the line there to add texture and interest.

I can see myself doing more experimentation with abstracting flowers, using unexpected colors, shapes, and compositions.   I’m looking forward to continuing to play with watercolors, Neocolor crayons, and Aquabords!   So far, it looks like a match made in heaven!    I wish you all a creative, warm and joyful weekend.   Peace and bring on the paint puddles!

86 thoughts on “Neocolor Abstract Flowers: May Madness Day 21

  1. Neocolors is next up on my “Want List” for art supplies. What you’ve done with them here is absolutely gorgeous! And fun, too. Like you, I’m having a good time playing with Debora Stewart’s ideas and inspirations. Abstraction is one more way of approaching art, and the results can be very intriguing.

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    1. Thanks Judith. 😊 Every painting is a journey. Kerfe’s Neo painting made me realize how much I missed them. So versatile and when combined with WC, shazam! I bought them when Penny became ill last August and that’s when my abstract journey began. Painting my feelings really helped me deal with that situation. And these guys seem to have a direct connection to my feelings. So I love them.

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      1. I’d never really thought about how painting can help us deal with difficult times. I’ve been fortunate that life has gone smoothly since I started learning to draw and paint. I can see how art could be a sense of comfort and a way of coping. It’s good you had your creative abilities to turn to.

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        1. For me, art has been really therapeutic. I think abstracts in particular allow us to connect and express feelings. I remember one ugly painting expressing frustration, but for most of them, I imagined myself on the shore of a lake and painted my feelings as I stood there. People commented how calm and peaceful they felt looking at them, and that’s when I discovered that artists are recyclers (or can be). We can take pain and make it beautiful! And give the peace to the viewer, even from our pain. Pretty powerful stuff.

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          1. Very powerful thoughts. You’re right about how abstracts allow us to connect with our feelings. Expressing emotion is what art should be about, isn’t it? I think so. That’s why doing little “assignments” from classes aren’t nearly as meaningful as choosing subjects I want to paint. It’s an entirely different thing. Of course, the classes and assignments have helped me develop the skills I need to express those things that do have meaning for me. I guess it’s a bit of the “right brain/left brain” thing again. We need both. We have to use our head and our heart.

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  2. Well this little beauty has brightened my day, it’s raining again here in the uk, no riding for me, so home now and trying to build up some enthusiasm to paint….actually, more about getting all the stuff out, that’s where the effort is needed, right here goes, your pink flowers have got me in the mood 😀

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      1. Oh still on the oils, nearly finished them all today, just some small extra bits of glazing on a couple, then I can actually do a post. ……. Then I started on a background of another huge canvas, 1 metre high, I’m getting bigger! Mind you once the backgrounds are done ( 4 more to do, base coat primed waiting for a colour wash background, all are huge, for some horses following my Tenor horse photo shoot) I can then put away and do something different during the week, I hope.

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          1. I usually work on approx A3, but decided to go large, it’s actually no harder, the small stuff is tougher to paint, the main problem is space, my living room looked a mess on the weekend as I was under painting background washes on four large canvases, one is 1 metre high! My largest yet, now in shed drying. I have to paint on an easel for these, so that is new for me. I am enjoying the challenge. Only problem is I can’t keep them, they are so big I have no wall space, lol

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  3. Oh how lovely Loo! I recall us doing these purple coneflowers months ago. I long to try them again too! These are FABulous!!!! Every time you talk about new products, I want to try – like these neocolors, but I am really trying to stick to my guns and work with watercolor paints alone. It will take me a lifetime to master! LOL! Doing some painting this morning. A birthday card for my DIL since we are going to celebrate tonight, and a (hopefully) birthday painting for my BFF. Fingers crossed!

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    1. I’m sure whatever you do will be beautiful and they will love them, Jodi! Your loose style has influenced me a lot and I think of you whenever paint drips, as it did here. 😊 I hear what you’re saying re: other mediums and I think at the beginning I felt the same. The subjects I really want to paint though, are so hard in watercolor alone. Not having white is a big deal to me, and I didn’t know that fully until I tried acrylics. For me, if I confined myself to watercolor, I would feel like my voice was somewhat squashed, almost like I had half a muzzle on. I think painting in WC every day in July last year taught me that. I may try it again this July, but I’m not going to limit myself to adding other mediums with it, if I need to, to say what I need to say. Not sure if that makes sense. There is a lioness inside of me roaring “I won’t be silenced!” lol. Saying that, I totally understand what you’re saying too. Would you wanna join me in July, to paint in WC every day? Margaret and I are thinking about June too, and wanting to see if any other takers? We may not be painting every day in June, I may return to my face challenge every other day or so (and I don’t feel like paint is the medium for my faces, not yet, anyway), but planning to post every day some artwork in June, anyhow. Idk just throwing it out there in case you’re interested in either month’s challenge. We’d like to get lots of people to join in, as it’s been a nice growth experiment for us this month. Daily work leads to much growth! Something to think about. Enjoy your painting today! Looking forward to seeing them. 💛

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        1. Well, but that’s part of the process. Letting go. And think of the inventory you could build up lol! This is one reason I’m painting so much now. Trying to come up with some stock for my shop or for images or both, or whatever I decide to do. I’m still stuck in the mire of pixels and dpi! Oh, the learning curve. It could be really good for you, could skip you ahead! Something to think about. You have lots of time.

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    1. Thanks, Jodi. I’m gonna say drawing daily and jumping off into abstract (which I have to thank Penny for, remember last August, she gave me a little gift there, my sweet one) is the reason. Painting every day this month has really helped too. My memory is so bad, that daily reinforcement really helps me remember what I learn. I am bad at writing stuff down, other than in WP. 💜 Thanks for being a wonderful cheerleader!

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    1. Carrie, I can’t say enough about them. I resisted for a very long time thinking “crayons?! I know about them and they’re clunky” but these things are not your Crayola set. They are buttery and melty with water – you can lose the line completely if you choose to – they’re like taking a bath in melted chocolate. That’s the best way I can describe them lol.

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  4. Your flowers are fantastic…don’t wash them off! You make me want to play with a small pack of aquabord I have in my stash. After the move! I also need to experiment with my neocolors. So much to do ..aren’t you glad art is part of us!

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  5. I have Neocolor crayons! My first “watercolor” portrait was done with them. I love your painting….I think that the bottom flower looks scrunched that is all….but not sure if you should wash it away. Give it thought before you threaten that poor flower!

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        1. At some point, I will work larger and then a third flower won’t be a scrunch. This is only a 4″ square. I do have 5″, 6″, and even some 5×7″ in this aquabord. Maybe I should break out the actual watercolor paper. And work larger *gasp*!

          Hey Margaret I have a question. I ordered some 300# WC paper and haven’t tried tearing it down yet. I’ve only worked on the small samples blick sent me. But it feels like cardboard almost, it’s so heavy (as you know). When I tear down my 140# paper, I crease it back and forth and then tear it so you get the nice torn edge. Can you still do that with 300# paper? Or do you have to cut it with a knife or something?

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          1. I remember when I had been given a piece by a mutual artist while plein air painting, she handed me a piece 8 x 10 (or so) and it had been torn. I have no idea since I have only bought it once and I used the entire piece. I would google it and see because like you say, it is as hard as cardboard and getting it to fold over to rip it would be difficult. I wish I could tell you but like I said, this lady gave me a piece that had torn edges. I would imagine if in doubt, using a knife would be safer.

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                    1. Lol! I was married in ’89 but it was August of ’14 that I decided I wanted to make a series of small art quilts on freedom. But couldn’t draw a bird in flight, a simple silhouette. This drove me bonkers. You’d think I’d have just traced an image, but instead I became determined.to.draw.a.bird. Very stubborn and determined and it took me months to get a silhouette I was happy with lol! The bird in my av was the result of my husband throwing bread crumbs to birds at the beach so I could take photos of them in flight. Did you make your quilt, or quilts? Did something specific spur you on?

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    1. Lol thanks Snehal! They just might. To be honest, with no “natural” art talent (I’ve had to really work at this daily) and without art school, I always look at what I do as if I can do it, so can anyone else. I truly believe that. Neos make it easy. You do need to play with them, and I found it helpful to just make abstracts with them at first. I bought them when my cat Penny was ill last August and wound up drawing and painting my feelings with them. That’s how I got to know them. Abstract for me is the first choice in a new paint medium. Just playing with color, not trying to really make it look like anything. Just blending and playing with how much water to use or not use. This is what I do with the acrylics. I hope to get to know them that way too. Neos are easy, Snehal. Your florals are smashing as they are! Just gorgeous! But who knows maybe the Neos would add a dimension, texture. This is why I add them to my WC. I’m not that good at WC lol. 💜

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      1. First of all Thanks so much Laura for taking time for such a detail comment. 🙂
        I really enjoy your work and your dedication towards arts is really inspiring! So sorry to hear about your cat!
        Yeah sure will surely try neos in future 🙂

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  6. Neos are the best thank you for getting me started Laura! I think it was something mentioned about being smooth as butter that intrigued me. Your flowers are beautiful, and that aqua board! Need to just try the two I bought a while ago. For some odd reason I think they are too precious to use, I forget I can wash it away.

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    1. Yes! Not too precious at all, easily washed, and I keep forgetting to post what Ampersand told me but you’re really not suppose to submerge them and I don’t think they recommend running them under the tap faucet the way I do. Mine are very small and I’ve not had a problem but the bigger pieces of Aquabord can be pricey so not sure I’d risk it with those. A damp paper towel though, absolutely or even a damp qtip or stiff brush to get back to the white should be totally fine. I am hooked on these things! I love the fixability of them as I really stink at WC still.

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    1. Thanks Vicki. There are so many ways to use Neos. Kerfe dips them in water and uses them that way. They put down a lot more pigment than I prefer that way so I just use them dry and then you can actually run a wet brush in and get rid of the line totally. I put some light olive in the flower on the left, the petal that’s almost not there and it totally melted all of the lines. It’s a dreamy pigment on a wonderfully forgiving surface.

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    1. Yay, thanks Charlie! I’d love to see what you could do with it! The small pieces are very affordable if you just want to try it. And if you don’t like, Blick will accept opened packages for return. Maybe others do that too, not sure. I like the no-risk buying! I hope you enjoy it. Glad you like these flowers. I am thinking there will be more! 💜

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  7. Oooh i looked up the neocolor crayons – those looks very cool! As always I am enjoying your art also! I have given up trying to figure out why I do not get notifications of your posts since I subscribe so I just remind myself to check your blog 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Tierney! I’m glad you stopped by, even though you had to make a special trip hehe. Those neocolors really are cool. They even work on fabric, and apparently can be heat-set with an iron to make them permanent. They’re pretty versatile! Do you ever paint your fabric, Tierney?

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  8. Beautiful flowers! Love the vibrancy and glow that they have. You are so right when describing Neocolor crayons as being versatile and fun to use and your enthusiasm and zest for the process really sings in your artwork. Thanks for sharing the joy.

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  9. I love the lite and airy feeling of the flowers. I’ve never tried Neocolor crayons or aquabord. I must give them a try.

    I have surgery June 14th, and this might be the perfect medium to use while recovering. Laura is there a book on the different techniques used with these crayons?

    Connie

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    1. Connie, good luck with your surgery, will send prayers up, for sure. I agree, this would be the perfect medium to try. I don’t know of a book, but I usually do a light drawing (they’re pretty powerful) on my surface and then go back with a damp brush. The less line you want to see, the more you brush. I find even sable hair is strong enough to liquefy the line, as the pigment is so smooth. Others dip the crayon in water and go to paper with that. But that line will be much stronger. It’s lots of fun to just play with these on wet and dry surfaces and blending. It won’t be long til you get the hang of them. Note: I have the set of 40, because there are lots of great colors that blend well. I don’t recommend the very small sets, as most of the fun is in blending these with watercolor or with each other. Let me know if you need any tips or help. They are guaranteed fun! And beauty galore. ❤

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  10. So pretty, Laura!! I would not have thought to use Neocolors on this surface! 😄 YAY for experimenting!! 🌟🎨🌟 Did I miss you post on how to fix this surface? I’m curious to hear what you learned! 😊

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    1. You didn’t miss it, Jill, I keep forgetting. I just made myself a note. Posting a painting daily can be exhausting. I do like it but I was in bed half the day with a bug or maybe it was just tiredness. And then I posted a little 3×4″ painting I made at the end of the day last night and once again forgot to put this info in. Hopefully I remember tonight but you can always go to the Ampersand site and call the toll-free number. You’ll probably have questions I didn’t ask. We’ll see if I remember tonight but it’s looking like another tired day. And the rain! I do love rain and I love cool temps but if you’re feeling tired rain kind of amplifies it. I’m glad you like the painting.

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      1. No worries, Laura! 😉 I will check it out on Ampersand. I understand about the creating daily thing – it can be tiring. Raining lots at the lake today. I find it can be relaxing as it forces us to slow down. But I do miss the sunshine and the light. Hope you get feeling better today. 😊💕🌈

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  11. Beautiful! I can picture these as note cards. Let me know when you get your business up and running. 🌺🏃🏼😉

    Sent from my iPhone

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