Abstract 062415

Today’s watercolor experiment:

Today I wanted to concentrate on building a composition that would have some depth. Yesterday’s study was fun to do, and exercised my imagination, but it was flat.


I began by sketching several pencil marks. I used my non-dominant hand, the left, to try breaking the monotony of the curves produced by my right hand. Two or three lines were enough.

Next I wet the right side of the paper and applied india ink. My idea was to establish dark values immediately. To create different tones in this dark area, I added Moonglow, a grainy Daniel Smith multi pigment watercolor.

I bookended the composition by establishing another dark field on the left side of the paper. I used my new tool, a spray bottle, to wet the paper and dabbed in some india ink. I really liked the texture created by the ink, absorbed by the sprayed water, leaving the dry areas between the spray droplets, free of pigments.  The effect was a crackley surface. I carefully touched in some lemon yellow, hoping that it create the effect of back-lit illumination.

Today, I also changed the way I added the latex masking fluid (frisket) to the paper. Instead of pouring it onto the paper, I used a brush. I was careful to protect my brush, as per instructions on the bottle, by washing it with soap and refraining from rinsing it. I dipped the soapy brush into the frisket and applied it to my penciled curves.

Returning to the left side of the composition, I used Moonglow again, to echo the shape I created on the right side of the paper.

For the mid-section of the paper I used raw sienna, a light tonal value, glazing it with the darker raw umber, which I allowed to drip from top to bottom of the paper.

Here is the study at this point, after removal of the frisket:

Watercolor: Abstract - Watercolor and Dark Inks at Edges

Abstract 062415 – Stage 1

I like the composition as shown above, but the idea I had in mind was to contrast the earthy texture of the background with bright colors.  I used my inks to accomplish this.

Watercolor : Abstract - With Dark Inks on Edges of Composition and Bright Inky Swirls

Abstract 062415
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I like this composition. I accomplished my goal of creating an interesting textured surface, as opposed to the flat washes I created yesterday. The inked curves stand out in contrast to the background, and yet are harmonious with the curved shapes in the background.

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