March 6, 2010

A painting in progress, Iris Floral Painting

Iris Pair, a painting in progress (30 x 22")
This is a picture taken further along on this painting of a pair of irises. One can see that I started on the top blossom, blocking in the areas of shadow. I tried to let the colours mingle and mix wet in wet on the paper. I much prefer the results that I get doing it this way. When the different pigments are combined on the paper they react to each other and to the texture of the paper. This gives a different result than if I applied each colour separately, or even if I overmixed them on the palette.
To learn more about painting wet in wet I highly recommend the book by Ewa Karpinska entitled "Wet on Wet Watercolour Painting". It is an excellent resource, covering all the aspects of handling watercolour paint in all its concentrations and variations. Well worth reading, for the beauty of the paintings alone.
One can also see here how I mount the paper for painting. After drawing my design on the paper I soak it and then lay it on this big board. The board is a piece of plywood cut to match the size of a full sheet of watercolour paper. I varnished the board prior to first use to protect the wet paper from any acids or other contaminants that might leach through from the wood. I attatch the paper while still wet. I use binder clips - and staples if the paper does not fit the board correctly. This prevents buckling of the paper when I paint on it with a lot of water. If the paper is buckled and warped when I am painting a wet wash it is very difficult to control the movement of the paint, as water will not flow up-hill up the buckles! Also, the painting will lay better in a frame when it is flat.
More to come soon I hope! Stay tuned...

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