Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009 - Day 50

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

This is a "Rainbow Reflection" painting created using watercolor paint wet-in-wet with sgraffito. For this technique saturated color is randomly placed on damp watercolor paper and while it is still wet areas are scraped off (sgraffito) using a palette knife. The scraped areas naturally form the highlight and the areas where the paint puddles form the shadow. Everything else is mid-tone.

I call them Rainbow Reflections because the paintings not only reflect my love of bright colors but they also reflect the viewer's own imagination. People see different things when they look at these paintings. Some see just what it is meant to represent - in this case a Rhododendron bush. Others, however, see hidden images like faces, animals or mythical creatures within the looseness of the painting. For example: I see the form of a hummingbird in the upper right corner of the painting.

These are amazingly fast to create because they have to be done before the paper has time to begin drying. When they work they are vibrant and full of life. When they don't work they are a muddy mess. I did discover today that the paint must be fresh from the tube otherwise the color just isn't strong enough to overcome the wetness of the paper. Compare today's painting with August 29 and you will see the differencethat it makes.

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