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.