Laying down washes

Today I’m laying down washes on watercolor paper This consists of the following equipment:

  • watercolor paper in blocks (i do about a dozen at once) various sizes
  • large and extra large  brushes
  • tubes/pans of watercolors
  • water in a tub
  • clean old bath towel
  • sponge or spray bottle
  • palette or flat tray for paint
  • resists – oatmeal, salt of different sizes, wax beads, other objects such as bolts/nuts, or threads, leaves etc.

I start by setting up the colors I plan to use on the paintings. I arrange them on the palette where there is room, and always add a dab of white gauche. I keep a set of pan type watercolors also nearby.

Next I start wetting all the paper on the blocks with a soaking wet sponge, or spraying them until fairly soaked.

Then I begin the process of painting a large extremely pale wash that will break the surface of the paper visually. I bring in heavier layers of color, sometimes thick in pools and drop in my resists.

After that, I use smaller finer brushes size 8 or 10 and get some more distinct lines or shapes set in. Or I use a large squirrel oval dry brush or scumble in some textured areas.

And now…we wait for them to dry. Depending on the day and the amount of water used, it could take hours or overnight. Once I pinned large single sheets of Arches paper out on the balcony and the wind kicked up and took them away. I drove around my neighborhood searching and found them…wrapped around trees and fence-posts.

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