“Human subtlety sill never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.” Leonardo da Vinci.
Watercolour is a beautiful medium. There are a few basic techniques to learn – each one taking time and patience to master. Allowing oneself to play with the medium will help build confidence and ability.
In this instance I have sketched out two cala lilies – using yellow ochre. I am working on a Saunders and Waterford Hot Pressed – heavy paper. (more about papers at end of blog)
Having sketched the basic image I add ‘juicy paint’ into the negative space. I am using a mix of Daniel Smith Perylene Maroon with Winsor & Newton Winsor Violet and a little Winsor & Newton Cadmium Orange.
When we add paint to the negative space – we automatically reveal the subject…..So often we struggle with a particular element of a painting, when all we need to do is observe the negative space. Using very small amounts of pigment I begin to add colour to the flower. For this I use Winsor & Newton Green Gold and a touch of Windsor & Newton Cadmium yellow. For the dark green in stem and shadow I mix some Winsor & Newton Burnt Sienna with a tiny amount of prussian blue and Gold Green.
All whites are dry white paper.
I begin to build depth inside the lily using small amounts of pigment – making sure to leave dry white paper for highlights. As I build up the colour I am mindful of bringing the background colours into the Lilies. Everything is connected….nothing is isolated. By moving colour around a painting we bring a sense of harmony and rhythm.
It is important to note, that when we change one fraction of a painting – (no matter what the size) we change the whole. This is true for everything in life. The finished watercolour is an observational exercise revealing the subtlety of nature….. and at the same time honing watercolour technique. I hope that there is an element of energy and movement. The most important thing is to PLAY and warm up. This can be done on any paper including newspaper…..The key is to release any fears or anxiety about messing up a good piece of paper. Ultimately this is a freeing up mechanism.
When purchasing watercolour paper – it is measured by weight and surface quality….Cold Pressed for rougher surface. NOT (meaning not hot pressed) is smoother and Hot Pressed is very smooth. My analogy is that using cold pressed is like roller skating and hot pressed like ice skating – NOT is somewhere in the middle.
When we purchase a piece of lb140 weight paper – this simply means that the ream of paper (500 sheets) weighs lb140 – and of course the same applies for all weights. It’s a good idea to purchase a sample pack of papers….and again PLAY.
I hope everyone enjoys a creative weekend….no matter what your medium….and that the magical hummingbirds are with you.
watercolour/gouacheNew hummingbird products including some pretty nifty wrist watches in my Zazzle shop.