Even though this watercolor will end up with a serene and peaceful image, the strong diagonals will also keep it dynamic. I must admit it is a bit "scary" to post watercolors in process because it is not always possible to correct things that could go wrong in successive layers. Oh well....it's only paper and I could start over again.
I could also have begun two pieces at the same time and same size, but I am out of 8" x 8" Fabriano CP. This much I can say....there is a reason why Fabriano Artistico is preferable to Arches. The Fabriano has a finer texture and a better feel. At least that is my opionion so far. I did begin a similar one in a smaller size because it makes me more confident to test my pigment to water ratio on a test piece first.
You may be wondering why I chose this particular layout and division of the design space. I am working from an inspiration piece. And what you will see tomorrow (hopefully), is a large transparent glass bottle that will overlap both blue areas and look as though it is sitting in a window sill.
My objective in these first two glazes was to show a variety of values with a variety of techniques. In the first glaze, I scrubbed the paper on both sides with water and a sponge brush to remove the sizing. I then squeezed all of the water out of the sponge and removed any excess water puddling on the top of the paper. With a mop brush, I laid in the first blue bands of color and created a bit of gradation by coming right behind the first swipe of the brush with water only to allow the color to fade out. I also left some white of the paper in both sections as well as the large middle band of untouched paper. The color did bleed a bit and created a diffused edge.
While all of that was drying (without the aid of a hair dryer), I busied myself reading and looking at things. After about (30) min. I finished drying both my small and large pieces with a hair dryer. It has been my observation that is best not to use a hair dryer right off the bat because it stops the spontaneous result between pigment and water. But alas, time is always of the essence, and no harm is done if you finish drying it after a sufficient amount of time....(i.e. when the water and pigment are no longer moving at all)
I also wrote into the pigment with a Speedball C-5 nib (no pigment) very lightly. If you press too hard, the subtle effect will not be achieved and the paper will be seriously marred. The second glaze was painted with a flat brush on dry paper and losing the edge of one side with a mop brush and water only. Take the water brush clear to the edge of the paper to avoid a hard line or at least until the pigment fades out to nothing.
So all of these techniques are the ones that must be practiced over and over until they become second nature. My ultimate desire is to combine watercolor techniques with gesso techniques and of course....lettering. It's great fun and I hope that by sharing my journey, you will be helped in yours. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.