Watercolor Paintings, so what’s the big secret ?

Posted: 15/04/2015 in Uncategorized

ANSWER – TIMING !

image11521excerpt from my ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ e-book

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

‘THE GOLDEN TIME EXPLAINED’

Allow me to explain this absolutely crucial rule of watercolor painting, and one often ignored my both beginners and experienced painters too.

 WHEN YOU WET YOUR PAPER WITH YOUR PAINT YOU ONLY HAVE A LIMITED TIME TO WORK ON IT, THIS IS CALLED ‘THE GOLDEN TIME’ MAYBE IT SHOULD BE RE-NAMED ‘THE SHINING’ !

The reason for this is that once you apply the paint it immediately starts to evaporate. Several factors are worth considering here, such as the thickness of the paper and the air temperature and humidity where you are painting. The best way to check is to paint some clean water onto the paper before you start and time how long it takes to lose it’s ‘shine’. You will probably be shocked by how little time you have. In hot countries as little as 3 minutes….. Try the relaxing hobby of watercolour painting…. it’s a race against the clock and a high adrenalin rush. Ask my past student, an extreme rock climber who returned to cigarettes (being off them for years) after just one lesson with me in Thailand !

DURING THIS TIME (AND THIS TIME ONLY) IT’S POSSIBLE TO ADD OTHER COLOURS AND GENERALLY MANIPULATE THE WASH USING OTHER TECHNIQUES LIKE LIFTING OFF FOR EXAMPLE.

image973THAT’S THE BIG SECRET……. BUT

And I see this all the time when I am teaching

ME

”OK EVERYBODY THE SHINE IS NOW GOING OFF YOUR PAPER AND YOU NEED TO STOP PAINTING NOW”

THEN I LOOK UP TO FIND STUDENTS STILL FIDDLING ABOUT, ADJUSTING THIS AND THAT ‘I’M NOT QUITE HAPPY WITH THIS BIT”, ”I’LL JUST CHANGE THIS BIT”

I guess it’s human nature, or maybe our striving for perfection who knows. All I do know is that they are rewarded with a muddy mess, paper with dark scrubbing marks on it. Some students even think they can ‘rescue’ everything by adding more water, at this late stage oops !

image599

The thing is, that you can apply as many washes over other ones, as long as the previous wash is perfectly dry. I have a hair dryer to speed this up. Another clue is to see if the paper has dried flat to the board, if it’s still raised in a bump, leave it alone.

THE SECRET IS TO BE PATIENT

Another early morning blog from me , sun shining, birds singing, storks building their nests and the sound of the river in the distance. So done the coffee juice and ciggies, and it’s off down to the studio for me. All this talk of painting really gets me in the mood.

HAPPY PAINTING

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LIKE SUBSCRIBE OR COMMENT

MARTIN XXX

You can download my e-book here from as little as one dollar

Comments
  1. Great tips! I’ve always thought of it as hurry up and wait 🙂

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