I started teaching a watercolor class in my hometown, Kaneville, IL in 2006 and have continued to the present day.
Most Fridays I do a demonstration painting from start to finish. We were interrupted for a few months due to the pandemic. These are the demos from this past year.
Happy new year and paint!
I am trying to post a new blog and facebook is not cooperating. Sorry for ther confusion. I will post when I figure it out.
More scrubbing in the foreground defines the ground planes.
Scrubbing back to the white of the paper flattens the space. Therefore, I had to add some color to some of the “scrubbed” areas.
Because there is almost no internal sizing in this paper, I had to add some, using a solution of gum arabic and water and sprayed that on the entire paper. Gum arabic is the sizing that is used in most papers.
If I didn’t resize the paper, the color would soak into the paper and end up as a dull less intense color.
At this stage of the painting, I usually leave it as is for a time. Slight adjustments to color, value, edges and detail will be added when I look at it with a fresh eye.
Finishing the first wash with the same colors and slightly darker values and a few highlights of the warm sky color connects the foreground to the rest of the composition. Because the values in the foreground are similar to the values in the middle ground, I was able to keep the edges soft.
I let the first wash dry and then used a hair dryer to dry it throughly. The beauty of transparent watercolor is in the layering. Because I want soft edges, I painted this layer the same as the first–very wet using the glycerin and water mixture, hoping that it will form a layer and not mix with the first layer.
Once this layer dried, I removed some of the pigment by scrubbing with a stiff brush which gave definition to the lake and the buildings and a few trees.
Once again I am using Khadi watercolor paper which is very different than all of the other papers that I use. It has very little internal sizing and a lot of external sizing. Because of that, removing paint is very easy.
I started by spraying the entire paper with a solution of glycerin and water. Glycerin is the substance in the tube of paint that makes the pigment flow more easily. Adding more glycerin not only allows the pigment to flow more evenly, but as a bonus slows down the drying time.
The extra time allows me to paint more slowly to get the right color and value and keep the edges soft.
Painting the middle ground with hills, a lake, trees and buildings needed to be painted while the sky was still wet because I wanted soft edges. Too wet and I would get no edge, and too dry I would get a hard edge.
Waiting until the surface was a bit dryer, I created the different colors and edges of the varied subjects i.e. hills, trees, lake and buildings.
Note that the bottom of the middle ground area is a hard edge. That will be softened when I next paint the foreground with darker values.
Almost finished with my latest painting.
Painting soft edges in transparent watercolor is usually done by painting wet into wet. That works well when painting small. This painting is 16 x 23 inches, and keeping the painting wet and controlling the edges makes it a challenge.
So, I experimented with a different strategy.