Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pouring Watercolor - A Walk On The Beach

"A Walk On The Beach" - Poured Watercolor by Deborah Carman

Pouring Watercolor - Yes, pouring, not painting. This is an exciting technique that I just recently learned. And yes, it was another one of those workshop sessions that drove me straight to hyperville. Did I mention that I have a hard time giving up control?

Pouring watercolor is exactly that. In my case, three primary colors of Watercolor paint mixed with water in 3 separate containers is what I poured onto a half-sheet of Arches 140 lb watercolor paper.

I first drew my subject onto the paper being very careful not to use any erasing. (It affects the way the paint absorbs.) Then I stretched and stapled, and using artist tape, I taped it onto a gatorboard (thick foam core board). Taping is important because you want to prevent any paint from seeping under your paper.

Pre-planning your pour is necessary with this technique. A few important questions to ask yourself:

Where are my lights and darks?
What two or more colors make what color when they mingle?
When and to what should I apply mask? That's the liquid rubber frisket that prevents an area from receiving color.
What color shoes will I end up with when I miss the tray and pour paint onto the floor?

I must say that after all was said and done I really like the results. A brush could not have achieved what the pours could.

I was fortunate. After my final pour and mask removal I did not have to do anything else. That's not always the case. My poured watercolor,  "A Walk On The Beach" was completely done and is ready to be framed!

I'll leave you with 3 important tips:
1) Mix your paint and water really well. I found a whisk to be very helpful with this. When you think you've got it all mixed and ready to go, mix some more!
2) Masking fluid has an expiration date. Always test it on scrap paper before you apply it. Pour out what you'll use into a little cup and cap the bottle and turn it upside down for storage.
3) If this is your first pour, give yourself a break and be willing to experiment. Learn what the paint will do. And most of all, have fun!

To see a video of artist, Leslie Redhead who has mastered this pouring technique, click here:  Pouring Watercolours with Leslie Redhead 

Credits:  "A Walk On The Beach" was painted using a reference photograph taken by my friend and photographer, Cindy Biggerstaff. You can find Cindy at: http://reflectedmemories.zenfolio.com

Friday, April 22, 2011

Underpainting Workshop Session - Part Two - Daffodil Drama

As I get back to posting, I realize I haven't filled you in on my workshop session on underpainting.

After my first step of wet in wet painting and using plastic wrap to make a really cool design for the background, I then used an overhead projector to pencil a close-up drawing of daffodils in a vase over top.

This was not as easy as it sounds because it is very difficult to see where and what you're drawing! The creative part of this, though, is that you can pick and choose where you want to draw your flowers (or whatever subject). You're not limited to drawing the whole picture just as it is.
Does that make sense?

Once I completed that task, I began painting the flowers, beginning with the negative shapes (the background darks). A good way to do this is to think back to front and paint what is furthest away and move gradually forward, leaving your detail work until last. Easier said than done but well worth the effort!

Here is my finished piece. I'm calling it, "Daffodil Drama," not because it's a dramatic piece, but because I went through such drama to finish it!
"Daffodil Drama" - Watercolor by Deborah Carman

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