Abstract – Blood Brain Barrier

Today’s watercolor experiment:


I began with wet paper again today. I wasn’t planning to practice cloud making so the degree of wetness wasn’t critical. (Note: on occasions when I was attempting to paint clouds, I frequently didn’t wait long enough for the soaked paper to dry sufficiently to form a nice fluffy clouds. Instead, I ended up with a sky filled with spider-webby looking objects.)  However, the wetness was just right today.

I started with wide Payne’s gray sweeps; a partial ultramarine blue spiral bordering one of the grays; and a another concentric sweep of rose ultramarine. On an impulse, I extended the point of the peacock blue ‘bee sting’  I painted, to divide the gray swirls, and finished the first stage by painting a yellow strip adjacent to the peacock blue.

Watercolor: Stage 1 Abstract - Blood Brain Barrier

I let the painting dry, and when I came back, I overpainted the ultramarine blue ‘number six’ with gray to create a larger ‘6’. I also overpainted most of the yellow with the ultramarine.

Watercolor: Representation of the Blood Brain Barrier

Blood Brain Barrier
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


The idea that was in my mind when I began this composition was: weather. The gray brushstrokes could easily have represented wind or other atmospheric conditions. I could have been influenced subconsciously by the blizzard now hammering the east coast.

However, my impulse to draw the line through the gray changed my focus. Now the wide gray expanses reminded me of the sulci (gray matter folds) in the brain. The dividing line now made sense: it separated the two halves of the brain.

To complete the composition artistically (and anatomically) I had to fill in the only missing component,  the blood-brain barrier, which I did, with Winsor red.

I was going to call this post ‘Evolution’ because it reflects not so much my artistic process, but how my thoughts changed about the very image I was creating while I was creating it.

10 thoughts on “Abstract – Blood Brain Barrier

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed my artwork. I have other posts directly related to brain anatomy. Unfortunately, the Neuroscience section per se, is not populated with posts. However, if you use the search function, you may find my science posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The hard and soft edges are accentuated by the stark contrast between the soft and strong color palette. I really like the alternation, it’s a lovely piece that suggests tranquility and vigor. Excellent work. Thank you for sharing!


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