Paint and Paper

The difficulty in watercolor painting is almost entirely in how to anticipate and leverage the behavior of water, but paint and paper are important factors in getting great results. To gather more skills in using water I recently started a class, ‘Fast and Loose Watercolor” with Cynthia Armstrong. Her focus for the class is teaching about the loose characteristics of watercolor and how to embrace the results.

At first it seems like I am ruining a perfectly good sketch

Here are some of my first steps into letting water do its thing. Rather than attempting to control the water we are learning to embrace the painterly effects.

some thought needs to be given to the colors that will run together

Goldilocks Moment

“Don’t use cheap paper in my class”

Learning to apply the appropriate viscosity of paint to the proper ‘wetness’ of the paper, what Armstrong refers to as finding the goldilocks moment, takes lots of practice.

practice worksheet
Poppies on Arches cold press paper

Water changes both the absorbency and shape of the paper when it is wet and the outlines and appearance of the paint as it dries. Note: quality watercolor paper has a sizing that is recognizable in results.

Achieving the goldilocks moment in paint and paper … easier said than done. More to learn as class progresses.

I am always tempted to add a little ink!

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