Back to Abstract

Today’s watercolor experiment:

Among the art supplies I bought the other day were several shades of orange. I haven’t used orange pigments lately, so after my application the frisket masking fluid, to preserve the white space on my paper, I began my painting with Azo Orange (PO62) from M. Graham.

I followed the contours of the frisket tracing with circular sweeps of my new pigment. The initial brush strokes resembled an ampersand. I washed the area around the tracings with other oranges in my paintbox: Winsor Orange (also PO62), Red Orange (PO43, PY83) from Sennelier.

I dripped some more masking fluid on top of the oranges that I just laid down and, after that dried, added Cadmium Scarlet (PR108) to the center of the circular figures created by the original mask.

Watercolor: Stage 1 Orange Tones

Ampersand – Stage 1

I removed the mask and began painting some of the white traces unmasked by the frisket. I used phthalo blue and Payne’s gray as my darker colors and Bismuth Yellow (PY184), another new color, for the circular traces.

Finally, I used a 2″ brush to connect the dark scythe-like icons with Transparent Orange Iron Oxide (PY42, PR101), also from M. Graham.

Watercolor: Abstract - Oranges, Yellows, Blues and Black

12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


The color choices for the white space left by the frisket, determine the overall impact of the study. The eye is invited to follow the dark icons through two yellow rings, by the not-so-subtle addition of the semi transparent arrow guiding the way.  Had I colored these tracings differently, I could have created a different visual flow.

This composition seems to be balanced and at the same time invites the viewer’s eye from left to right and off the paper.

Leave a Reply