Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Layer on Layer"

(unavailable.....4" x 6".....on 300 lb. CP)

"Growth is layer on layer." In an instantaneous world...no one likes to realize that growth in any area happens layer by layer. There are so many nuances to everything that it is impossible to learn all of them at once. But oh the joy, when things do come together in a pleasing way.

This small piece represents me practicing my techniques again. And literally, the glazing technique in watercolor is layer on layer. Just to recap...the layers must be dried after each one. That's the most important thing to remember.

I did begin by sponging both sides of this 300 lb. CP (Arches) with water. That thoroughly wets the paper and removes the sizing. I then painted three horizontal lines across the wet paper with neutral tint and a tiny bit of Cobalt Violet (Turner Brand). This may not seem to be an important layer, but creates foundational values that can be seen through the transparent layers. It is best at this point to go talk a walk, throw some laundry in the washer, or make the beds, etc. and let the water and pigment do what they're going to do. If you use your hair dryer too quickly, the effect will be ruined.  Come back to the piece after about 15 or 20 min. and then finish drying with a hair dryer.

My only reference here was a plant in my studio. And I simply took the shapes of the leaves as my jumping off point and changed the colors to lighter values. After painting each leaf on dry paper and losing the edge with plain water on one side, but not with every leaf, I dried it with a hair dryer. It doesn't take long for the pigment to do what it's going to do when glazing on dry paper.

You can see that I kept the colors light and overlapped them to create an abstract contemporary look. I also used a mechanical pencil (without the lead exposed) to make lines and write in a few of the leaves while they were wet. There happen to be (11) leaf layers in this piece.

Finally, I wrote the quote in pencil running up the side vertically. This is an important technique to get under your belt if you like contemporary watercolor.   And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely and delicate work. I really like it!! And it is so true about growth, it only happens one step at a time. The hardest part of it is always the first step! Beautiful piece! ~s