Drips and More Drips

Back home again from the trip to LA to visit the kids and grandkids. It was very nice. I do feel nice here at home as well. Back to my own studio space where I can make a mess and clean it up at my leisure… not necessarily in time for dinner.  I do make a mess when I paint, there’s no doubt about it. Today was no exception.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I started out with a liquid frisket drip-fest to mask my paper from subsequent watercolor applications. The drippings of masking fluid create a clean white surface when it is removed.

The only idea I had in mind was some combination of dark blue surrounding bright yellow or white sparks, with some deep red somewhere in the picture.

Here was my starting point:

Watercolor: Drips and More Drips - Stage 1 - Latex Mask

Drips and More Drips – Stage i – Latex Mask

I began with a lightish blue pigment at the top of the paper and let it make its own drip pattern the same way that the liquid mask did. I did not roll or tilt the paper as I did, to manipulate the frisket. The higher viscosity of the frisket makes this easier; the greater volume of paint and its thin viscosity would make it even messier to work with. [Note: this doesn’t mean I won’t try it at some point… I just didn’t play with that variable today.]

Here is the stage that includes the paint drips and the frisket drips:

Watercolor: Drips and More Drips - Stage 2 - Paint Drips Added

Drips and More Drips – Stage 2 – Paint Drips Added

Finally, after removing the frisket, I added yellow ink in its place. It mixed well with the cadmium red and opera rose pigments, but was a little harder to control in the areas next to the deepest (indanthrone) blue. The yellow ink applied adjacent to this blue yielded a streaky green color.

Watercolor: Drips and More Drips - Paint Drips and Ink Added

Drips and More Drips
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

Comment:

The final stage of this experiment does not resemble my original idea. Instead of concentrating on fields of color, my attention was diverted to lines: the drippy lines of paint and the traces of white left by the mask filled in by yellow ink. The only enclosed spaces were the darkest blue space encircled on the right side of the paper and that above the yellow line at the top of the paper. The other regions were criss-crossed by lines, cutting the space into small, two-dimensional chunks.

It is almost as if the yellow line at the top of the paper divides an outer space from an inner living space, the busy, inner workings of a biological cell, for example.

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