Thursday, October 10, 2013

Using Opaque Watercolor

Back in April, I took a landscape workshop with Martha Mans ( using her palette of both transparent and opaque (colors containing white) watercolors.  Finally, got back to finishing two 5”x7” pieces I had started.  Although I admire landscape as subject matter, I don’t consider myself much of a landscapist.  I also consider myself a watercolor “purist,” but admit I find the use of opaque color interesting.  Examples of opaque colors are:  Holbein’s Jaune Brilliant #2, Grey of Grey, Verdirter Blue, Compose Green, Lilac and Lavender.  Below, I share my two small landscape results, both of which contain some of the opaque colors mentioned.

West Face of Pikes Peak in Fall, 5”x7” ©Johanna Cellucci

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, 5”x7” ©Johanna Cellucci

Friday, July 26, 2013

Same Subject, Same Process, Different Result

Water Lily 2, Poured Watercolor, 11" x 11"

After not having achieved the result I thought I would get in Linda Baker’s workshop, I was determined to try pouring the same subject again.  For this piece, I used 300 lb. HP paper and a warm triad of New Gamboge, Naphthol Red and Cobalt Blue.

I intended to do more pours, but the color built up quickly.  By the fourth pouring of the darks, I felt the piece was ruined.  Had meant to do an even darker pour, but could no longer make out what I had, and the paper was already mostly covered with masking which doesn’t allow the color to flow.

I took off the masking with mixed results.  I was pleased that the painting had somewhat of the “glow” which pouring can give.  I did not like that the leaves and the flower appeared to have lost much of its color and texture, which was most likely the result of the liquid masking.  The mask also left streaking, perhaps from being applied with too much water on the brush, or from using HP paper, or a combination of both.  I’m accepting it as a different textural effect.  The painting did need a bit of finishing, which is to be expected.  It does help to use the same, or similar, subject matter to gain an understanding of how the process works and where improvement can be made.  Next time I might not mask out all the leaves, but paint in the darks to retain the fresher color and texture.  I was surprised that the HP paper had enough “tooth” to capture the granulation of the Cobalt, but it is probably not the best surface to use for this technique.

In the end, I am satisfied with the finished result and feel have a grasp of the workshop lessons.

First time I documented the stages of a painting.  It is helpful in explaining the steps and will help me remember how to approach a poured work.

Masked water droplets; applied initial color with a large brush to establish where the colors should be; masked out lights

Second layer applied with a pipette; masked most of the flower

Poured the third layer; masked the remainder of the flower and all the leaves

Poured fourth layer of darks

Removed the masking

Finished painting with edges cleaned, added touches of color and deepened areas of water

Saturday, July 6, 2013

First Attempt at Pouring

Water Lily Poured Painting resulting from
a workshop by Linda Baker

Put he finishing touches on a poured watercolor from a recent  Linda Baker workshop.  Using 300 lb. CP paper, the intention was to do only three pours because of workshop time constraints...light, medium and dark.  Therefore, I poured the paint rather heavily using quinacridone gold, red and indigo blue.  The gold disappeared, the red became overpowering, and the blue turned gray on the paper.  I found that the heavy paper retains moisture for a long time.  The texture in the lower left was the result of putting the masking on paper that was still damp.

I like the pouring technique, the subtle variations of color it can create, as well as the textured effects created by using a water spray bottle to move the paint.  When the frisket is taken off, the result will always be a surprise, and the painting will need some finishing with a brush.  Pouring is still a labor intensive process, but it is fun to have a piece almost paint itself.

When trying this technique again, I would do many more pours with much thinner paint using different primaries.  In between pours, I would mask out fewer areas at a time to create more layers.

Even though this turned out looking like a “block print,” I think it has some merits.  Although it is not a “show” piece, there is something about it that appeals to me. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Total Experience

My painting, "Peony Perfection" (bottom), with Arena Shawn's painting, "Spring Breeze" (above),
in the International Watermedia 2013 "Legacy" Exhibition at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
at the Opening Reception on June 7 and hanging through September 7, 2013

As the juror, Linda Baker, said, even if one does not receive an award, being accepted into the PPWS International Watermedia 2013 “Legacy” exhibition should be considered an award in itself.  Yes, I’m always happy to receive an acceptance.  I enjoyed the opening reception on June 7, attended the very informative gallery talk the following day, and took Linda’s three-day workshop, which was the best workshop ever attended.  I learned so much from what was for me a “total experience.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finally Accepted

Recently, I received notice that my painting, “Peony Perfection”, was selected for inclusion in International Watermedia 2013, which is the open, juried biennial exhibition of the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society.  "Legacy" is the theme of the 2013 exhibition, which will be held at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, June 7 through September 7, 2013.  It will open with an Awards Reception on Friday June 7 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

“Peony Perfection”, Watercolor, 10.75 x 14 ©Johanna Cellucci
Although this painting had been shown in local juried shows, this is the first time it has been accepted in a major exhibition.  I had submitted my three most recent works and, to my surprise, this one was chosen by our juror, Linda Baker.

Always painting wet-in-wet, I wanted to challenge myself by not pre-wetting the paper, but working the numerous petals, with all of its shadows, by simply glazing one color over another without the use of frisket to preserve the light.  I used multiple layers of yellow, pink, red and magenta, and feel I have succeeded in capturing this flower’s beauty and depth.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Exciting News

It was a very pleasant surprise to have gotten my last painting accepted into the 22nd Annual Colorado Watercolor Society 2013 State Watercolor Exhibit.  It will be held from March 2 to March 24, at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado, with an Opening Reception on March 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

Detail, Coneflowers on Parade, 18 x 10, Watercolor, ©J. Cellucci

I was away at the time notifications went out and was expecting notice by email.  When no such message was in my inbox, I thought surely this painting wasn’t accepted.  But, there it was in the held mail when I returned.  What a relief!

Haven’t picked up a brush yet this year, but at least, I’m starting with an acceptance into a juried exhibition.  Even though I’m not painting, I’m always thinking of art through magazines, video demonstrations, online, and by attending meetings and volunteering in my local Pikes Peak Watercolor Society.

I wish to share with you information regarding PPWS’ biennial International Watermedia Exhibition, which has a deadline of March 20.  Information, the prospectus, online entry form and payment can be found on the International Watermedia tab on the PPWS website.  International Watermedia receives submissions from around the world, and I invite you to enter.  Here is the link:

I have also been inactive on blogger, but I promise to catch up.  My sincere thanks to all of you for continuing to share; to those who have become followers even through my absence; and for the many who have stopped by to visit.