Friday, July 27, 2012

Horseback Riding in the Sicilian Countryside – Watercolor

In a previous post featured a step-by-step watercolor painting of a girl on horseback with a white background.  I got a good comment about that and decided to go ahead and paint in a background.  (Thanks, Timothy!) 
Unlike oil, acrylic, gouache, or pastel, watercolor takes a bit more pre-planning.  The whites have to be painted around or left unpainted.   I rarely use maskit and never use gouache for highlights when I paint.  If a painted area needs to be lightened I actually scrub the spot with clear water and lift pigment off by blotting with a paper towel. – quite painstaking and time-consuming.  And the area can never be brought back to pure white.  That’s why planning ahead and lots of practice pay off!

There is a trick I have heard about but never dared to try.  Years ago I read an article by Steve Hanks where he told of dropping a little bleach on the paper in an area that needed to be whitened then quickly following it with baking soda to neutralize and deactivate the bleach.  Any of you watercolorists tried that? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Make a Homemade Watercolor “Canvas”


I showed how I make a watercolor “canvas” in my post Watercolor Painting of a Sicilian Friendship.  Here is a side view of that finished painting

It is sprayed with about 4 coats of Golden Archival Matte Varnish on both the front and sides for protection. This is a Mineral Spirit Acrylic Aerosol product  so follow directions on the can and use in a well-ventilated area.

Once the varnish is dry it is ready to frame or just attach a hanger to the back and hang without a frame for a contemporary look. 

 Use a wire hanger or saw tooth hanger for wood frames & canvases. 
After wrapping the wire around itself I wrapped the sharp ends of wire with masking tape:

This is a large wall hook used for heavy pictures framed with matt and class (holds up to 300lbs.).  Smaller hooks may be used for framed paintings without matt or glass and unframed watercolor canvases such as the painting at the top of this page.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Horseback riding – in Watercolor


In this watercolor painting of horse and rider I once again got carried away with painting detail.  I enjoy detail!  And I‘m still trying to decide if I should leave the background white or paint in a landscape as I originally planned.  What do you think? 

Step One - Starting the under-painting

Starting to add darker glazes