Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
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.
Add a Comment:
GhormiBear Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Favorite animal (well one of them), favorite fruit... favorite art style.
... i love this :'D
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  Professional Traditional Artist
BEAUTIFUL! And your sense of humor is awesome. :D
RavenWings Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Student General Artist
he looks slightly disappointed in his lemon wedge.
erinclaireb Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012
I love this picture and your sense of humour :)
Xenija88 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
its great))))
shadowlotr Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I enjoy your comments. :)
this picture is lovely.
KatieUnicorn Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011
kendermouse Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
Well, maybe it's the lime from American Gods? A famous lime might require some solemnity...
brotherwolven Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Alphonse Mucha is the best. Great stuff.
MadameWanda Featured By Owner May 17, 2011
lemon-fizz Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
It's like it was made for ME. I love Art Nouveau, rats, and lemons.
Aiohon12 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
its so cute I love this
wa11a6y Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I enjoyed your comments as much as the painting!

lightningale Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
To me, it's really great:) amazing job:)
tenko72 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks like it works. I love how the lemons turned out.
Revolos55 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
He could be pensive because he /wanted/ limes, and lemons don't really go well with the bottle of tequila he's got back at the nest...
BudgieFace Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
This is so great. I tried showing it to my rat but she's falling asleep so I don't tihnk she wants to look right now :L

I love how you did the art nouveau style.
caesaraugustus Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
he doesnt seem pensive, he seems force-posed in the renaissance way of a woman holding a goat for a painting...

perhaps you should do a faux renaissance painting featuring a goat in finery holding a woman and both looking rather uncomfortable ...
Catgoyle Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011
He's adorable! I'm guessing his cuteness is a large part of what got him done considering how much grief you went through to finish him. And I, too, very much enjoy reading your commentary on your works, finding they often enhance my enjoyment of your work.

12monthsOFwinter Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
As always your description of the piece is as charming as the artwork itself!
One of these days maybe you could document your working progress with photographs- !
Atarra Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
Oh good lord you have my husband and I laughing so hard over here! Your artwork is always awesome to look at, but I absolutely ADORE your commentary! You've got such a whimsically witty writing style I just love reading what you have to say about your pieces! :)
Gymnart Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Adorably wonderful as always!! Keep up the great work!
Treewoman Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2011
I adore art nouveau, and your distinctive stamp only makes it more enjoyable! Plus, there's just something about a pensive rat with pierced ears that tickles my fancy.
Lani-San Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Amazing work! :clap:
I also swear at my work as well. I know that's when you should walk away and come back later... but by then it's personal.
FireBreathingSheep Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2011
wow that's beautiful, and so cute! i love art nouveau :heart:
LtlDevil Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2011
Beautiful work!!
I'm sorry about all the hard work and I'm glad it came out so well!^^
ShaydeKitty Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011
I need a sizeable bank account and another four-to-six walls and rack of bookshelves and archival-quality portfolios so I can finally buy some/all of the delightful pieces of art you've made. I'll have to content myself with a little something, one of these days, to stem the tide of crazy-fan buying that will make me happy, but my bank account weep. :p
Namaikhan Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011
Something about Art Nouveau always makes me want to see it in stained glass. Lovely.
Monkey-Fromthebridge Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
: ) little bit 1900 Liberty style! <3
web-spider Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Hobbyist Interface Designer
very impressive
bramblepatch Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
As much as I enjoy everything you do, there will always be a special place in my heart for your art nouveau rodents.
hamza72 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011
beautiful pics...:)
HyenaTeeth Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
He looks as though he pities the lemon. "Poor lemon... why must you be sliced and squeezed so?"
HyenaTeeth Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Also, I salute you for your persistence :salute:
GleamingGrin Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful! Your hard work shows and I'm sure the learning process will lead to many more gorgeous art minus the two days of frustration ;)
MaliciousSarcasm Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011
To bad rats can't eat citrus!
Kishasa Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011
very nice but is he sad...
PaulEberhardt Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whoa! I knew before that you're a really dedicated artist, but this one leaves me speechless. Amazing piece of art!
foreverstrange Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a new favourite! What a beautiful dextrous little fellow!
A beautiful, loveable artwork. I love ratties!
Vanessanon Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Professional Writer
lol! and :glomp:
*sigh* unfortunately i believe every artist ( or attempt at an artist as i am ) struggles like this thru at least one type of new art style or medium attempted.
Lucysthings Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011
so cool - you are awesome - love your wonderful stylized critters
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
April 8, 2011
Image Size
139 KB


1,587 (who?)