Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Western Spring Quilt

Are you finding the first few days of a new season as inspirational as I am? Sometimes when I feel I need to break out of a painting rut, I decide to try a new painting supply.  So yesterday, in place of my usual favorite Arches CP 140lb watercolor block (the one with the green cover) I thought I'd try a new Stephen Quiller Watercolor Paper (also 140lb/CP). 

I originally went to the art store looking for some Twinrocker paper because over the weekend I went to my favorite Denver bookstore, Tattered Cover and treated myself to a lovely William Matthews book. In the book, Matthews talks about his watercolor supplies: Winsor Newton paint, Kolinsky brushes, and Twinrocker paper. I'm particularly interested in trying a colored watercolor paper such as a cream--it's what helps make his amazing white accents really pop. 

While you can order Twinrocker online, my usual impatience sent me out to the store. When they didn't have the Twinrocker, I was determined to try a new watercolor paper of some kind, thus the Stephen Quiller block.  When I try a new supply, I like to do a fairly simple painting and so in this case I chose a geometric color value study or "color quilt" as I like to call them.  My color mixing goal was to play with warm and cool neutrals which I think can often make or break a watercolor painting. This piece was also inspired by the wonderful geometric watercolor paintings of Denver artist David Castle.

FYI, the lines were quickly masked out with thin drafting tape which comes in a wide variety of widths.  I also tested the paper by scratching it with my brush handle when the paint was still a bit damp to see how it settled in the grooves. And finally, since I love metallics, I glazed a pearly layer of Winsor Newton Iridescent Medium over some of the darker colors.

The Stephen Quiller paper has a very nice warm tone and an interesting, almost linen like texture. While I can't yet say I like it better than my beloved Arches, it was well worth trying and I look forward to working with again soon. As always, thanks for stopping by and hope you have a great week in the studio!

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