Abstract with Triangles

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I don’t have intermediate stages of today’s study to show you (as I presented in yesterday’s study). To tell you the truth, I was a little disappointed by my process and by the resulting overall muddiness.


I can’t very well regale you with my successful studies and omit the ones that are I don’t like as much. In writing about them I can review my progress and learn.

I began with a wash of Indian yellow, which I have found to be more of a yellow beige than a vibrant yellow. ‘Unsaturated’ is probably the word that best characterizes its look.

I put down a long streak of alizarine crimson, and several shorter streaks below it before the Indian yellow dried. With a flat brush, I applied wider streaks of Winsor red.

I continued my trend of drawing lines with my paint brush. I used a variety of different colors: French ultramarine, turquoise, quinacridone nickel and a couple of wider streaks of shadow green.

Glazing was next on my agenda, but since I wanted to use the greenish Prussian blue, I was worried about what would happen when it mixed with the red arcs. I re-enforced the middle arc with Spectrum Red, a gouache color, hoping that the blue, mixing with the Indian yellow background didn’t form a green. Green mixed with red can turn out icky.  Which is what happened, slightly. Application of the red gouache did seem to help stave off the sludge.

Under the bottom red arc (the spermiest looking of all of them) I painted an orb, and a vertical blue line to suggest a cat’s eye.  I placed a triangular shape, perhaps a displaced cat nose, in the opposite corner.

Up to this point, the design appeared to consist of forms radiating from the lower right corner. It reminded me of a tornado with line-drawn detritus in its midst. I used a directed wash of Prussian blue to accentuate this notion.

Finally, I painted the lower left and upper right corners with a bright Winsor yellow.

In low light, I am not proud of this work.  However, when I took it into the bright sun, it seemed to gain a bit more character.

Watercolor - Abstract: Yellow upper & lower corners; 4 Red arced shape from lower right to upper left; covered by Green wash

Abstract 92314 Triangles
9″x12″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block


The muddiness is not as noticeable in direct bright light. Nor is the grain of the paper, which is of rough texture. I thought that an overlay of pen and ink, outlining all the triangles in this study might be a good addition. There are a lot of them, so it would probably make the composition a lot busier than it already is. Maybe I could try drawing this on clear acetate first, to see how it looks.

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