White Spot with a Twist

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I began my study by washing the watercolor paper with perinone orange. I wasn’t quite sure of what I was going to do next. I have found that perinone orange is a very mobile pigment. It diffuses like crazy when dropped onto wet watercolor paper. On the other hand, cadmium yellow pale is more dense. I wanted to see what it would be like to superimpose the heavier cadmium pigment on the more volatile background.

How should I do this? I thought of one of the details of yesterday’s study: the yellow streamers on the blue background. I proceeded to apply the cadmium yellow pale onto the wet orange background: two undulating yellow lines. The yellow gently pushed the lighter orange aside.

I played with the theme of wavy lines, applying a permanent mauve patch above and somewhat parallel to the yellow. After loading my brush with this pigment and beginning the stroke, I knew this wasn’t the best choice.  I have not had good luck with mauve on top of orange.  To salvage the situation, I applied a color more closely related to orange, in complementing the original yellow undulations.  Since quinacridone purple is more red than purple, I applied this within the bounds of the two yellow waves. It had a more pleasing effect.

I slashed a straight Prussian blue line through the center of the co-linear waves, to serve as contrast. However it didn’t seem right, when I looked at it. I applied a diluted mixture of Prussian blue on the outer portions of the original line, to draw the pigment out and widen the line. I kept the waviness of this dark blue swath to a minimum. I used the edge of a dry flat brush to soak up some of the blue pigment, in a slanted pattern. This resulted in the twisted appearance of the core of the diagonal design.

Watercolor: Abstract - Orange background with Yellow, Red and Purple undulating waves running diagonally from upper left to lower right

White Spot in a Twist
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


Oh yes, the white spot. I used a sponge to remove a spot of the orange at the lower left of the picture plane.  The white spot serves to balance the diagonals. It also has personal significance, related to the twisted diagonals, and the Prussian blue flourish at the top right of the picture plane.

2 thoughts on “White Spot with a Twist

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