Sometimes the most simple of things to do just get set aside and for me, getting a post out now and then falls by the wayside.
I began painting with watercolors in high school and it has remained a favorite all these years. I bounce around from subject to subject but am now pursuing the desert theme and will paint it in both oil and watercolors.
Does watercolor painting intimidate you? If it does, don’t let it. I have worked on lightweight individual watercolor paper, 300lb. cold press paper, watercolor blocks, sketchbooks and illustration board. Watercolor blocks can be pricey but it allows you to get the paper really wet without buckling. For this current painting, I cut my sheet of 300lb. Fabriano cold press watercolor paper and after drawing my sketch, started with the large background wash. In the past I have used Crescent 300lb watercolor sheets which seemed thinker and of course, I was quickly disappointed and frustrated with the amount of “buckle” that was happening in this 300lb paper so I decided to wet it down then use regular staples and stapled it to my drawing board wet. In order to get the buckle out, before stapling it down, I got clean water and a wide watercolor brush and soaked the back of the painting. Then I did the same on the front of my painting taking care to start from the top, moving side to side without “scrubbing” the color away. Since it was so early in the layering of color, there wasn’t any color bleeding with this process. Once that was complete, I immediately stapled the painting to my drawing board.
Even with the staples, the paper buckled so I let it dry just a bit longer and put a piece of glass from an old end table to hold the painting down while it finished drying. You can use heavy books as well, just make sure the painting is not too wet when putting the books on it and leave it for a few hours. I added several washes later to the background so with each wash, I did the same procedure. I am sure the staples would have eliminated the buckling but I didn’t want to take a chance. When I completed the painting, the staples lifted out easily and although there are marks from the staples, matting the painting will cover it up with no problem.
It’s fun to experiment with paint and I would encourage anyone to paint with watercolors since it is so clean, requires very little space and is portable.
Here’s the final desert painting of a fallen Palo Verde tree. 15” x 22” watercolor on Fabriano 300lb. Sheet
More watercolor painting tips to come, so until next time, happy painting 🎨