Jumping the Sun

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I began by wetting the lower right portion of my paper with an arced sweep of a 3″ brush. Next, I used a 1/2″ brush to drag carmine pigment into this pool after a couple of zig-zags on the dry paper. I love the dividing line between wet and dry. I imagined that cadmium yellow would behave very well next to the carmine, so I painted an interrupted sweep through the red figure into the soaked paper.  Cadmium yellow is a warm color, a bit on the orange side. It merged very well with carmine. I used aureolin yellow to paint a parallel streak, terminating on the other side of the (spreading) carmine blot. Since aureolin is a bit on the green side I used ultramarine blue to paint a field spanning the two shades of yellow, more or less parallel to the edge of the wet area. By this time, the lower right part of the composition approximated a quarter circle with a red blot emanating from a small arc along the rim. I finished with Payne’s gray, a dark, unsaturated blue shade of gray, to shadow the red figure.

Watercolor: Abstract with Part of Yellow Orb, Red Streak and Gray Blues

Jumping the Sun
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


As is the case with many of my abstract experiments, I began today with only a vague idea of what I want to see as the final composition. I wanted to see what would happen when I drew a loaded brush from a dry field to a wet one. I was happy to see an obvious dividing line between wet and dry.

Viewing the study as a whole, it occurred to me that the red line figure could either be emanating from the wet surface or crashing into the surface (by ‘surface’ I mean the interface between wet and dry paper).  The two parallel, conjoined yellow stripes could also be an extension of the yellow semicircular area at the lower right. ‘Jumping the Sun’ seems an apt name for this study. My other choice was ‘Untitled’.

2 thoughts on “Jumping the Sun

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