Underwater Leaves

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I began with pencil swooshes today. They seem to be working well for me lately. After looking at the lines, I had the notion that this composition would be about falling leaves. I began painting the lines with frisket to mask those spaces from the watercolors with which I would be flooding the paper. I built on an errant drop of masking fluid, creating more drops. Taken together, I imagined these vertical groupings of frisket drops as air bubbles in an underwater scene.

Here is the first stage that includes the frisket swooshes, plus the raw sienna that surrounds them.

Watercolor: Abstract - Stage 1, Frisket

Underwater Leaves – Stage 1: Frisket

In stage two, I applied aureolin yellow around the frisket in broad strokes. The idea was to glaze this yellow with an appropriate blue, which, in combination with the underlying yellow, would give the effect of a pleasing green color. I tested several blues and decided that Peacock Blue (Holbein) gave me the best results.

Watercolor: Abstract - Stage 2, Raw Sienna Swaths with Aureolin & Peacock Blue Washes

Underwater Leaves – Stage 2, Raw Sienna with Aureolin & Peacock Blue Wash

If you look carefully at the thumbnail above, you might notice that green areas surround the brown and latex curves. These were areas that were painted with aureolin and subsequently glazed by peacock blue. The peacock blue color itself comes through where there is no yellow beneath.

In the third stage, I rewashed with the Peacock Blue, applying it unevenly onto the paper. I tilted the paper so that it flowed.

Watercolor: Abstract - Stage 3, Second Peacock Blue Wash

Underwater Leaves – Stage 3, Second Peacock Blue Wash

I flipped the paper 180 degrees and applied aureolin in the same manner as above.

Watercolor: Abstract - Stage 4, Second Aureolin Wash

Underwater Leaves – Stage 4, Second Aureolin Wash

Finally, I removed the frisket and painted the white spaces underneath with a combination of inks. I used Winsor Newton’s sunshine yellow and a red calligraphy inks.

Watercolor: Abstract - Final stage, Water Background with Inked 'Leaves'

Underwater Leaves
16″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I particularly like the background in this composition. The vertical striations could represent underwater seaweed. And yet, the coloration at the top of this composition could just as well be a view of the sky, from the air or from under the water.

I love ambiguity… in paintings.

[Note: More ‘Crowd Sourced Art’ painting progress will be posted in the coming days. Keep the feedback coming, if you are so inclined. Thank you!]

9 thoughts on “Underwater Leaves

  1. Reblogged this on sicutapes and commented:
    Este blog me gusta mucho, es como tener al artista junto a tí contando su experiencia creativa, me cuesta la traducción pero hago el esfuerzo de comprender porque realmente vale la pena. De vez en cuando exploro las experiencia humana del blogger con la circunstancia que lo enlaza con su hermano autista, es conmovedor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am happy that my blog is interesting to you and that you read the posts about my experience with my autistic brother. Please write a comment if my English doesn’t translate into Spanish very well. I will try to make it more clear.
      Best regards,

      Google translate:

      Muchas gracias por sus amables palabras. Estoy feliz de que mi blog es interesante para usted y que usted lea los mensajes sobre mi experiencia con mi hermano autista. Por favor escriba un comentario si mi Inglés no se traduce en español muy bien. Voy a tratar de hacerlo más claro.
      Gato [gato ???]


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