Sunday, September 29, 2013

fossil paintings

My art friend Rhonda introduced me to these. A watercolor artist named David Castle makes what he calls "elementals", paintings composed of smaller elements. One of those elements are 'fossil' paintings that he makes using a flat stone as a resist. By looking at the photos and reading a few of his posts, we were able to (mostly) figure out how he does them and gave it a try a couple Sundays ago.

After reading a bit further today, I realize that he starts with a few layers of wet paint before he sets the rock down in it. I started mine with just setting the rock down, then dribbling paint and ink over it. In any case, I like the ones I made and plan to keep playing with this cause I love the effect.

The first four are all about 3" square and done with one rock on cheap 90lb watercolor paper. The last one had 3 rocks on it and is about 8" square. It was on 140lb watercolor paper which I sprayed with water before dropping the paint over the rock. 

The first one was done with Moon Shadow Mist in Tawny Turquoise. It's gorgeous in person. I bought 4 colors of their spray inks a couple years ago and haven't used them much but will try the other three with more fossils. 

The others are mostly Dyelusions inks and Distress Stains. I didn't do any with watercolors like David does them but will give that a try next.

This is an easy an interesting thing to try. All you need is some heavy paper, a few flat-bottomed rocks, and liquid color of some sort - watercolors, inks, fluid acrylics.

Think I'll cut some postcard sized paper and get some started...


  1. Yay they turned out cool! Glad you experimented more with that technique!

  2. Wow, these are awesome! The dyes separating colors remind me of experiments we did with paper towels when I was a kid, with food colors, watching them separate as they spread out over the paper.

  3. These are amazing! I never would have thought of this and the result is so serendipitous ...... yet amazingly cool. I want to leave work and go home and try it right now! :) So is it really as easy as setting down the rock and dripping wet paint and letting it run down? easy and so pretty!