Today’s watercolor experiment:

I’m still working with granular watercolor pigments and their relationship with more mobile pigments.

Beginning with Van Dyke brown:

I wet the perimeter of the paper and a more-or-less circular ring inside it before I painted the corners with Van Dyke brown. In yesterday’s painting I discovered that Moonglow, a grainy, bi-colored pigment from Daniel Smith merged very well with the brown.

Inner circle:

Just across the moat from the saturated Moonglow/brown periphery, I dropped in quinacridone red in the donut-shaped body of water and broke the dam.

While the opaque granular pigments were mixing with the transparent red, I filled the central dry area with transparent aureolin yellow.

I intervened minimally as the saturated paper dried.

Watercolor: Abstract - Van Dyke brown, Moonglow, quinacridone red, aureolin

9″x12″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block


I applied the opaque colors and the quinacridone red very rapidly. Some of the undissolved pigments that came off the brush are still visible in the final study. The warping of the soaked paper caused an interesting flow of the central yellow to the edges. I encouraged this by dripping more of the yellow into the stream.

I do like the brilliant center and the surrounding darkness at the bottom of the frame. Were I to paint another version of this study, I would aim to darken the entire outside ring, to the darkest corners.

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