Practice makes perfect or so they say. Well that’s true when it comes to painting with watercolors. Practicing a colorful wash using watercolor can be very challenging therefore I practice constantly. I try different color combinations and some work while others fail miserably. But because of the importance of doing a wash I never feel any attempt is futile I just look at it as a warm up exercise, something to get the creative juices flowing. __________________________________________________________
Using a combination of yellow, rose & blue I do a variegated wash allowing the colors to mingle on the paper. I choose which color will be dominant and that will set the mood for the painting. I let the painting dry naturally so the granulation in the paint pigment has time to float & settle down in the tooth of the paper. I love the effect that is achieved when it’s completely dry.
Next I add a sliver of land. The water view, from my home on Long Island NY, overlooks Fire Island so that’s the line of land I add to my paintings. I make sure that it never appears too dark because I don’t want it to be the focus point of my painting.
The last step is adding the grasses that grow along the shore. These grasses are constantly changing depending on the wind, time of day and time of year. I enjoy painting them with my rigger brush. I use at least 3 different colors and as I’m working I occasionally drag a clean wet brush across them so they do not look too overdone or perfect.
This painting is about 4″ x 11″ and I spent no more than 1 hour to paint it including drying time. Remember this is a warm up painting and I try not to fuss too much, it is all about using colors I like and letting them do the work for me. Watercolor washes bring me great satisfaction because the results cannot always be predicted. But whatever the results are I know I will learn something to make my next wash even more exciting than the previous one.
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