My Watercolor Blog

June 12, 2017

Behind the painting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth @ 2:54 am

It might be interesting to know what goes on behind the painting. For me there were years of drawing, and there are still years of drawing (in fact I continue to read more drawing than painting books; I was a drafter for years in engineering and still love the puzzlework of drawing), also there were years of paint studies: studying the layers (glazing) -how one color layered below another will look (paint one color let it dry paint the next color on top of that color, etc) and see what happens; the molecular structure dictates the results. With practice you learn at least some of the patterns and gain predictability. I’m indebted to many authors on these problems.

Then there’s the practice of coming to know what your favorite live mixes are (which stain, which rush to mix and bleed together, how their color dry will be different than wet, the impact of their transparency vs obliqueness) blending them on the page you know what they will produce you can act with spontaneity in the middle of a piece. I almost never mix on the palette. The nature of pigments’ actions together are invited, they’re welcome because then their innate life/beauty participated.

The more familiarity you have with your brushes you’ll know what strokes you can get out of which brushes and how much water it takes and how much to ring out when, when it will go dry.
For these studies I use cheaper paper and on both canson and moleskin I see chemical treatments of papers varie within a single book from one page to the next – or a splash of treatment can change an area on the page.

This practice is not glamorous and the results of repeated strokes and mixing colors for hours and hours on many many papers do not produce glamorous things; they can produce references that you can use but other than that it’s not spectacular.


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