Forked Tongue

Today’s watercolor experiment:


This study began as a test of some of my new brushes. I bought different sized angled brushes. I started with my 3/4″ brush loaded with peacock blue and drew a slow curve from left to right across the page. I continued my stroke even when the brush discharged all its paint. The half inch brush discharged its load of ultramarine blue as I squiggled out more curves again, from left to right. With each decrease in dimension of the angled brush, I squiggled faster until I used the 1/4″ brush charged with Prussian blue from right to left diagonally down the page.

I used my old friend, lemon yellow, to wash the top of the page. I had the idea of using its complement, purple (permanent mauve) in the lower part of the composition.

Here is the end of the first stage:

Watercolor: Brushstrokes with Different Sized Angle Brushes

Second stage:

Before continuing, I re-washed upper part of the paper with lemon yellow, to deepen the tone. I then reenforced the ribbon-like brush strokes to bring them forward.

As planned, I washed the bottom part with permanent mauve, but in three sections. My idea was to leave room for yellow stripes between the thin lines of my other new brush, a filbert grainer. This brush has two lengths of bristles. When wet, the longer ones look exactly like eyelashes. The plan was to load the brush and use it to draw thin parallel lines in between the purple sections. I would then use yellow – the complement of purple, to fill in between those lines.

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the result of the purple-loaded, filbert-grainer-brushstroke in combination with the thin lemon yellow filler. I changed my mind and painted over the two yellow/purple strips with perinone orange.

I added green stripes to the upper portion of the paper as a continuation of the orange columns.

Finally, I used my filbert to paint two solid Winsor red stripes across and down the paper, from right to left. I joined the two red stripes together. They reminded me of a forked tongue.

Watercolor: Brushstrokes with Different Sized Angled Brushes

Abstract 012415
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I like the process of re-washing the paper and re-emphasizing the brushstrokes. It restores depth to the watercolor that washes out after the first application of glaze.

I enjoyed using my new brushes in this study. However, I have not explored the full range of expression that can be gotten from them. My goal is to use these new brushes when needed for specific effects in other abstract and representational paintings.

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