Discontinuous Bird of Paradise

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I began today with an unsatisfactory color wash of my paper. Somehow the strokes with my wide brush just didn’t do it. Maybe it was the colors: cerulean blue, cadmium red light and aureolin yellow.  I blotted up as much as I could, hair-driered it and started over.

I do enjoy the granular Moonglow pigment from Daniel Smith. It crackles nicely on the rough paper. I wanted to see what it would do on the cold pressed surface.  The original, underlying wash dictated the contour of the Moonglow border.  The remainder of the paper received the peacock blue, with a dash of lemon yellow at the edges.

I traced some of the under painting showing through to the surface, with cadmium red light and a re-enforcement of peacock blue.

As the Moonglow was drying, I dripped clear water randomly across its surface to get a blooming effect. In the middle of each bloom, I dripped a red or yellow drop.

Watercolor: Abstract with Moonglow, Peacock blue and cadmium red

Discontinuous Bird of Paradise
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


The red-blue figure seemed to be floating, with the firework laden, brownish field behind it. For an instant, I got a Chagall-y feeling from this composition. The more I dripped my red and blue paint on the figure, the more it reminded me of a bird. However, since I didn’t plan beforehand, it was so off-center, that there was no room for the beak.

Since my watercolor paper is my space, I decided that it would be a opened-up cylindrical space, where it would make perfect sense for the bird’s beak to be placed at the left-hand edge of the paper.

For those who don’t live in cylindrical space, the title, Discontinuous Bird of Paradise provides an explanation of this study.

4 thoughts on “Discontinuous Bird of Paradise

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