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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Having a play with water colour paint

A year ago my wonderful nana passed away. She painted watercolours for many years - hundreds of them - landscapes still life but predominantly flowers. I'm lucky enough to have two of her beautiful flower water colours.

The other day I got her left over watercolour paint, brushes, paper and books. Having never used watercolours I wasn't sure where to start. So I read one of the books with basics - and still felt horribly confused esp as I'm an abstract artist. So I thought right - I will just get stuck in and have a play. This is what I did yesterday in a few minutes.

The colours a bit wishy washy - and the paper isn't flat (although I went through the process outlined for prestretching etc) hmmm maybe too much water involved! I wanted to do wet on wet to get the flowing effect of all the colours marbelling together.

Thanks to all my friends on facebook who left a message of support and also telling me how much they love watercolours themselves - I'm quite excited to see where this leads.

And Kay - Just for you I'm blogging about it ;-) hehehe


Kay said...

So now, when it is completely dry (you can test it with the back of your hand. If it is cool it isn't quite dry) you are going to put another wash over this one... What paper are you using? I don't like anything under 300gsm, because I am so splashy. If it is 150 then you do need to moderate the water a little.

You can also use a fine spray bottle before it is completely dry if you want to gently soften a few harsh lines. One of my teaching "sayings" borrowed from Jan Aldritt-Miller is "One hard edge then soften it off..."

Kay said...

PS Did you have the good old brown gummed paper tape for stretching? That is essential. What happens is that the soaked paper swells to its maximum capacity, then as it dries the gummed tape holds it stretched to that point. You can then use as much water as the paper can hold and it wont cockle.

Be careful to pat the gummed tape onto the board when wet, rather than wipe it firmly, as the adhesive gum can be squashed out onto the paper, allowing it to lift and cockle as well as interferring with your paint at the edges.

Sophia Elise said...

Righteo - have done another wash over the top and blotted some off with paper etc ... hmmm I dont think this is quite the look I was going for and now looks a little too blah ....

No idea what weight the paper was ... lol it was just one of the loose sheets she had ... hmm right - make sure I check the weight on the other pads!

Spray bottle now on the shopping list too :-)

The first book I read didnt specifically mention the gummed tape - but the second book I read this avo did ... grrrr..I will get some tomorrow

Thanks for all the tips and hints and pieces of advice not to mention support and encouragement.


Kay said...

The single most important piece of advice I give "serious" students is not to muck about with cheap stuff... buy ONE piece of top quality heavy watercolour paper, (probably about 10 or 12 dollars or more these days) a roll of masking tape, and block it off into tiny squares. Now PLAY in those squares. Then, pulling the masking tape away carefully when the paper is dry (pulling it low, back onto itself works for me), review what you have. Take a pencil and write comments to yourself in the "margins" left by the tape.

Lots of little exercises leads to huge progress in a short time, as long as you analyse what you have achieved!

Good luck!

(ps, see my email about gummed tape, beg, don't buy at this stage, and take the measured tape to the water, never have the roll near water! Expensive error made by one of my students with MY tape!)

Sophia Elise said...

oooooh I LOVE that idea!!!!! Fantastic idea. THats one of the things I find the hardest with some of my other art - remembering how I created a specific look and never being able to do it again. Can't wait to go shopping!! :-) You rock!! Thanks heaps Kay :-)