Just Background

In the back of my mind, I had the idea of another version of a watercolor sketch I did a week or so ago. I was pleased with the outcome, but felt I could do a better job, particularly with the background.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

Today, I just worked on the background.  I began with the greens at the bottom of the paper, which I pre-wetted.  I used Shadow Green (Holbein), Chrome Green (Holbein) at first. In the top part of the picture plane, I used cerulean blue, which I applied lightly.


I used watercolor paper with a rough finish to see how multiple layers of paint would interact with the grain.

After thorough drying, I used viridian green (Winsor Newton) as a glaze on the green half of the sketch and Prussian blue on the top part. Prior to drying, I accidentally spilled my green wash on the painting. It didn’t seem to matter since the effect disappeared with subsequent washes.  I glazed the bottom with Lemon Yellow (Sennelier) and the top again, with Prussian blue.

After complete drying, I overlaid another viridian green glaze on the previous lemon yellow on the bottom portion of the picture. Before that dried, I applied streaks of lemon yellow in the mid-foreground region.

Watercolor Sketch - Green Foreground and Blue Background

9″x12″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

I am not sure where this is going yet. I was toying with the idea of removing paint by means of an ‘elephant ear’ sponge and painting forms (perhaps a telephone pole, as in the previous sketch) that would project into the foreground.  I have not found a way to paint a contrasting, or lighter color on top of an underlying watercolor base so that the contrast will still be present when it dries. I don’t think this is possible.

Considering that my watercolor sketches are experiments, there is no harm in trying either or both techniques. Live and learn, I always say.

10 thoughts on “Just Background

  1. Beautiful, looks like water in a pond or sea! If we lived closer I would show you some different ways to remove paint. Keep going!


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