Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pouring My Heart Out

If any of you have read Jean Grastorf's Pouring Light (Layering Transparent Watercolor) book you'll recognize this painting as one of her pouring exercises using her recommended triad of transparent watercolor pigments (from light to dark): Hansa Yellow (I used transparent Lemon), Permanent Rose, and Thalo Blue.  I also used the watercolor paper Ms. Grastorf prefers--Arches Cold Press 140 lb. since it's my favorite as well--though I did use a block for convenience.  I have poured before, but only a few paintings in workshops and it's been a while.

More specifically, it's the simplified yellow color family (e.g. yellows, mixed oranges, mixed greens) pouring exercise with no masking. I thought this would be a good warm up before I attempt a more complicated masking piece this week from my own photo references. I paint almost everyday, but I don't often have time for a multi-step process like this. 

FYI, the first image above shows the first pour of the 3 primary colors. Then I let that dry for a few hours then came back, wet the paper again (a key pouring step!) and poured the same colors again to increase their intensity.

Step 3 shows direct painting (staying with the same 3 pigments for color harmony). As this dries, my guess is that I might want to may some of the darks richer but I'm happy with it for a trial piece.

(Just so I could compare my method, I purposely tried to keep very close with her sunflower example.) I have a particular fondness for really rich, grainy watercolors so I'm eager to try some "grainy" pours as well.  I think that's why I've always admired the work of  Don Andrews and western painter William Matthews.

Speaking of well known watercolorists, I was also inspired to paint a watercolor this afternoon after to my visit this morning to the 2010 Colorado State Watermedia Show juried by artist Rantindra Das.  While I did not enter the show this year, I'm always inspired by the variety, color, and subject matter at a state-wide, juried watermedia show like this.  Be sure to stop by if you can.   

For more information about my watercolor classes, please drop me a line or visit m on Teach Street (Scarlet Owl Studio) for more information. Am off to watch the Oscars!

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