Monday, August 5, 2013

"Variegated I" (draft 1)

(image 1)

(image 2)

The word "variegated" has always fascinated me. It reminds me of variegated embroidery thread and some of the work my mother enjoyed stitching onto pillow cases. Of course, I haven't seen an embroidered pillow case in years, but the memory will never fade.

After hosting a  contemporary watercolor workshop this past weekend with Mandy Gregory, I am, of course, now very involved with watercolor. So what you see today is two 8" x 8" pieces with two glazes and a bit of penciled lettering.

I began two pieces just in case one of them doesn't work out. But I also used different techniques with each one. In (image 1) you see the color applied to the wet paper by floating the watercolor on glass and laying the paper in the paint to create a mono print. The first layer in both pieces was a dilute portion of Neutral Tint Watercolor (Daniel Smith Brand)

In the second image, I used a mop brush to apply the dilute color to the paper with only one pass of the brush for each shape. After the first layer dried, I rewet the paper on both sides (lightly with a flat brush) and used a very dilute portion of Alizarin Crimson Watercolor (Daniel Smith Brand).  And after the second layer dried completely (bone dry), I wrote the word "variegated" with pencil on both pieces with a different placement for each.

My inspiration for this piece is coming from an "Angel" plant that has variegated color on the top of the leaf and deep red purple on the underneath side. The most important thing to know about glazing with watercolors is to lay down the color with as few strokes as possible and then leave it to dry naturally (bone dry) before laying down another color. If these two principles are not followed, the luminosity that is the primary characteristic of watercolors will be lost forever.

It is also a good idea to leave some of the white of the paper showing through or at least a very pale wash showing through. The last "take away" is to go from light to dark (most of the time) and build up the values gradually, making sure the paper is completely dry in between glazes.   And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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