Tag: wet-into-wet

Wetlands

Another wet-into-wet painting, but this time with more challenges and a longer painting period. As before, 140# Arches CP paper.

The goal of this painting was to get away from trees and aim for seeing how using a very wet piece of paper could be worked for skies and water along with plant life, from rushes and grasses to distant trees. The style itself lends itself more to softness in general, but with judicious brushwork and glazes, more defined areas were achieved. I also used white gouache to represent a tasseled top to the tall reeds (or whatever) in the middle right of the painting; I realized I might have achieved an airier effect by splattering some frisket in the areas I wanted white.

I painted the majority of the picture last night, working glazes over areas more defined to blend them in more harmoniously. Dry brush was used for the the foreground and in areas where a rough edge was needed to show plants.

I don’t think this painting is as good as the one I did previously. The contrast is not good enough to convey distance – too strong of colors were used to paint the reeds and trees in the horizon. I do like the colors and softness, though. Another point of focus was to create a point of focus! I tried to use birds, warm colors in the center of the painting, a bit of a vignette around the edges, and other visual tricks to lead the eye somewhere. Again, I don’t think I had much success. As well, the sky and land do not seem to match.

I did accomplish a few things I set out to do – wet-into-wet with some control for sky and plants and water. Doing it is a lesson in itself, and each painting teaches something. I worked on the painting last night and then refined it this morning. I had more patience than I usually demonstrate when painting in watercolor. Why is that? Is it because watercolor is wet and watery and seems to demand a bit of speed?

Anyway, more to come, more to learn.

Early Morning

Another wet, wet painting in watercolor.

Here, I wet the paper, and then began putting in areas of color, beginning with the sky in the central part of the painting, and then blobbing down the foliage in the foreground and the distance. The line of the slope was separated from the horizon beyond. As things dried, I blobbed on more colors, and continued to work wet-into-wet as the paper dried. In the end, I was able to draw the trunks of the distant trees without their blurring using diluted colors of the darker tree trunks.

It’s really hard to describe how to do a painting like this. In doing these kinds of paintings I am finding it is necessary to have a sense of the composition itself – lights, darks, soft shapes, hard edges. It is also necessary to think about negative and positive space while painting, as well as the overall effect desired. I worked light to dark, and strove to keep the earliest colors as separate as possible from others. In the end, I used glazes to unify areas with color as well as worked with thick paint and a very dry brush for some detail.

140# CP Arches, 16×20. It took about 3 hours to work on, using time in between to dry the paper with a blow dryer or let the water get absorbed into the paper so softer edges could be achieved.

Of the 3 “splish splash” paintings I have done, this one is my favorite. This technique works very well for areas with a lot of foliage, but what about ocean scenes, skies, and so on? That is next on my agenda for this method.

This was a lot of fun – I hope you like it!

Splish Splash

There are just times when it seems leisure doesn’t exist. That is how I have felt for nearly 6 weeks now – too many things needing attention. Little time in any day to be creative, to play, to get out and do something different. Yes, there have been breaks and time to paint, but nothing really for playtime!

For me, playtime means letting go of everything and just splashing around in the glorious mud of whatever I want to do. Today, I made that time. Watercolor was my mud.

After several days of cold and damp here in SoCal, the best kind of day arrived this morning. Cool skies, warm sun, bright light. I decided to take a piece of 16×20 CP 140# Arches watercolor paper, my spray bottle, big brushes and one of my watercolor palettes. No idea in mind, but sort of an inspiration.

There is a watercolor artist on YouTube, Sumiyo Toribe, who has a heck of a lot of fun with colors, water, and paper. Sometimes she paints big, sometimes small, sometimes on one sheet, sometimes across three sheets of 20×30 paper. There is a randomness to her work, but also a sense of composition. As well, the handling of ink and sumi-e can be seen in her work as she uses her brush in some very non-western ways. She looks like she has a lot of fun, and that is what I was looking for today.

I went outdoors onto the patio. My paper thoroughly wetted, front and back, I just began dropping yellow paint, then mixtures of yellow and orange, yellow and red, red and green, purple, blue, black, and then who knows what else. I painted wet into wet. I painted drops and blobs of color. I let the paper dry and then created glazes. Splatters, too. One glorious mess, and here you are.

No, this is not a work of art. It is a work of play and exploration. Fortunately, no muddy colors. Messy composition or lack thereof. But, to a degree, when I “thought” of a picture, I wanted summer into autumn, green into gold, shadow and light, and trees and underbrush. Everything that my SoCal suburban life lacks!

Thus, the Edge of the Seasons for your amusement. Hopefully some pleasure, too.