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Submitted on
April 8, 2011
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Rat Nouveau: Lemons by ursulav Rat Nouveau: Lemons by ursulav
This painting took me two days, and not in the way you’d think.

I have been wanting to try my painting-on-print-sealed-to-board technique in concert with Art Nouveau for awhile. It seemed like a natural—computers are really good at all the geometric design elements, so you do those, block out the space where you have your figure, print it all out, seal it to board, and go to work painting your figure and the visible bits of background.

And that is exactly what I did, although that description rather glosses over the day-and-a-half spent printing, sealing, swearing, tearing, slicing, X-acto wielding, re-printing, re-sealing, swearing, screaming, minor blood loss, reworking, swearing, and finally painting. Also there was swearing.

By the end of the first day, after a fair amount of wasted paper and two wasted boards, I had the process down, whereupon I realized that the sketch was complete crap and totally wrong and obviously the painting was about lemons not about salt and I went storming around the house yelling about how I should have been a medical test subject like Mom wanted.*

So this actually the fourth version, and the yellows did not scan quite as cleanly as I had hoped, but nevertheless, I have a proof of concept! Watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic and ink, all on hot-press watercolor paper, upon which I had printed the geometric linework. This did not make it as easy as I’d hoped—line weight is still an issue that you have to cope with, inking the rat, and I was not entirely successful on a few points, but it’s still a pretty good proof of concept, and perhaps I will get better if I do another one about limes or grapefruit or something.

Although this rat seems awfully pensive, and I’m not sure how pensive it is possible to be over limes. Grapefruit, certainly, grapefruit are inherently stoic that way, but limes are basically a happy-go-lucky fruit when you get right down to it.

Anyway! 9 x 12, mixed media on digital print on hotpress watercolor sealed to board. Original is for sale and prints are available in both sizes at Red Wombat Studio: [link]

*This is not true. My mother wanted me to be an artist. For a long time I believed her when she said that it was because I had talent—now I’m mostly convinced that misery just loves company.
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Paigeleenic Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
This instantaneously drew my eye, very creative and interesting. I do love the expression on the rat's face, I have to agree that he does seem rather pensive! But I have to say, that's one of things I like most about this piece! Great work (´▽`)
Oscelot Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Actually, citrus is toxic to male rats. So it's entirely possible if it's a he, that he's contemplating mortality. Still love this piece though. X3
STelari Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Hello there! This work has been featured in my Creeping Wednesday feature serie - you may find it here: [link]
april617 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is awesome. All your screaming and swearing paid off :P
Fractaldragon Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Aww. I like this a lot. I have to wonder if the rat is contemplating whether he should dare to eat the lemon, knowing that it is sour.
I hope you didn't have any neighbors who got worried, what with all the swearing and screaming.
geekpaws Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
Beautiful rat art is in tragically short supply. Thank you for shoring up its numbers. :)
starry-lynn-princess Featured By Owner May 7, 2012
While hunting for inspiration for a mermaid art nouveau casemod I and my husband are going to be doing I found your lemons. And I had to comment, its so cute and well done!
SanguineEpitaph Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! :happybounce: As a thank you to my watchers, I asked for them to give me a piece of art that they love so I can feature it. This piece has been featured here! :happybounce: Please consider adding the feature to your favorites!
aureolin-swatch Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
This is delightful - thanks for the story too - for me, sometimes this gift feels like a curse - but - where would we be if this sort of thing were nowhere to be found.
JaiAnarkali Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
BEAUTIFUL! And your sense of humor is awesome. :D
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